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Re: Importance of foreign language in paleo
<<Oh, 19th and often 20th century scientific articles in German have such a
style that you are not likely to understand all of them after 2 or 3 years
of school study, no matter what the dictionary is like.>>
This is certainly my impression from attempting reasonably quick
translations of articles from a popular science magazine called Kosmos
Handweiser für Naturkunde (selections from 1909-1924). The structure of
sentences often compares well with mazes that appear to have bits missing.
(They're usually present but enjoy hiding). Some of the authors were never
happier than when trying to break into the hundreds with a sentence word
count, and clauses and subclauses gyrate joyously. Concise sentences and
German science writing still aren't all that well acquainted, even in the
more popular end of the scale. Without driving myself more mad than usual,
I've tried to retain the original length of sentences in the translations.
Kosmos Translations Archive
The Paleo/Geology Department presently features (among other stuff): a 1909
report on finds from Holzmaden and some place called Tendaguru in German
East Africa; a 1924 summary of on-going excavations by American Researchers
in Mongolia; and a 1924 elegy to the persuasiveness of Dr Alfred Wegener's
theory of continental drift. The articles in the Mammal Department include
helpful advice for shooting marmosets in Austria (but the legal situation
may have changed since 1910).