Book titles translated (or not) #1

When it comes to book titles the Germans are odd. Really odd. The other day I was browsing through the book shop in the German paranormal section (I usually read books in English, unless they were written in German to begin with. But even this is not 100% true. I got "The Reader" in English, even though its original language is German, just because the cover was nicer. All this, BTW, thanks to Claire and her post where she mentioned a Milan Kundera book, "Laughable loves", the cover of which she found so hideous, she wondered what to do about it).

All that aside, though. I was browsing and saw a book called "Dragon Love" (English, not German) by Katie MacAlister. I haven’t read anything by her so far, but I know that she wrote some vampire novels as well. Anyway, Dragon Love sounded interesting, so I looked for the original title. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be "You slay me". Huh? They take an English book, and then translate the title into another English title for the German market? Why didn’t they leave it at "You slay me" when they wanted to have an English title? Possibly they thought the average German won’t know what "You slay me" means, but, of course, with all the paranormal hype, every German Tom, Dick and Harry will know what a "dragon" is. Does that make any sense? The Germans are mad about English, it seems.

Then, the Twilight books. They could have just gone with the German translation for the English titles, but that would have been too easy and obvious. Instead they invented new titles with a pun. The books are called:

Bis(s) zum Morgengrauen – Until dawn (or Bite at dawn)

Bis(s) zur Mittagsstunde – Until noon (or Bite at noon)

Bis(s) zum Abendrot – Until dusk (or Bite at dusk)

Bis(s) zum Ende der Nacht – Until the end of the night (or Bite at the end of the night)

Nice. The fact that Bella doesn’t get bitten until well into book four, if I recall correctly, is of no importance whatsoever.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is also a good example. Not only are the titles totally different, here the publisher also came up with a great ruse idea to make the reader pay through the nose. They publish only half a book at a time. So, in order to read one novel, you have to buy two books , each priced regularly. And on top of that, you have to wait for the second half of the story until it is being released (usually six months or so after the previous book). You can say what you want about German publishers, but they do know how to market a book to their own advantage.

Dark lover is being divided into Nachtjagd and Blutopfer (Night hunt and Blood sacrifice)

Lover eternal is being divided into Ewige Liebe and Bruderkrieg (Eternal love and Fratricidal war)

Lover awakened is being divided into Mondspur and Dunkles Erwachen (Moon trace and Dark Awakening)

Lover revealed is being divided into Menschenkind and Vampirherz (Human Being and Vampire heart)

Lover unbound is being divided into Seelenjäger and Todesfluch (Soul hunter and Death curse)

Lover enshrined is being divided into Blutlinien (Blood lines) and whatever they will come up with once it’s being released

I find all this very annoying. Those titles give a totally different impression of what the story is about.

These are just a few examples of the most popular PNR books out there. Next thing I’ll do is have a look at a few classics or contemporary literature. Stay tuned!

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