It builds on the narrator's paranoia over having another person, who he knows virtually nothing about, in such close quarters. The narrator starts by wondering idly about the young man who has rented the apartment. Franz Kafka was born July 3, in Prague, which was then a part of Austria. He was born into a middle class Jewish family, and lived in the shadow of his father, a powerful shopkeeper, for all of his life.
Achtung Nachbar (German Edition) - AbeBooks - Gunnar Wagner:
In he received a law degree and began working for the Workers' Accident Insurance institution until he fell ill with tuberculosis. He was forced to retire in and spent most of his time at health resorts and sanatoriums until his death in He never married, though he did have some less-than-pleasant love affairs.
His writing reflects this, giving an either guilty or dirty view of sex. Kafka did most of his writing at night, while working during the day Grolier. Only some of Kafka's writings were published before his death, and those which were published were published without enthusiasm from Kafka.
This translation was done by Annika Eder, a 19 year old German student who is studying in Australia. She is from Krefeld, Germany and studies at Marienschule Krefeld. I think the translation is not particularly bad, but not particularly good. It is interesting that she is translating presumably - there is no way for me to know for sure from her native language to a second language, which is the opposite of what most translators usually do. Also, presumably at 19 she's not a professional translator, or one with a lot of experience.
English-German Glossary: House and Apartment
What I noticed most about the translation is that I can tell that it's something that's been translated; there are parts which don't sound quite like regular English. The very first sentence is actually interesting in the way she translated it.
The German is literally "My business rests entirely on my shoulders," however she translates it as "I am totally responsible for my business. A literal translation would make sense to, and probably convey a similar meaning, though I'm not sure we have the exact same idiom in English.
Wir Waren Nachbarn (We Were Neighbors)
However, what the translator does is to just state the meaning of the idiom "the narrator is responsible for his business. In the second sentence the translator does several interesting things. The first is that she translates "Vorzimmer" as "front office" but "Zimmer" as "room. The translator also leaves out the word "a" before "desk.
The seventh sentence is a hard one. It has two words which are not readily translated into English "aber" and "noch.
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"mein Nachbar" English translation
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