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FB: Mestanska beseda

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  • Melvyn
    Another interesting and instructive Facebook thread for you: Hi all, I m putting the final touches on a tour book of Pilsen and there s one orisekk that has to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2013
      Another interesting and instructive Facebook thread for you:

      Hi all, I'm putting the final touches on a tour book of Pilsen and there's one orisekk that has to be hammered out. Mestanska beseda - translate it or leave it Czech? I admit, probably due to the influence of the Germans who are perfectly happy leaving the names of their prominent buildings in German, I'm partial to leaving it in Czech, as I have for all the translations I've done about the city so far. A suggestion has been made to translate it as "Municipal Meeting House" (probably with Mestanska beseda in brackets after this); sounds good, I've googled and found 14 hits ... but is the translation really necessary? At some point another translator offered "Burgher's Hall" ... hmmmm ... thoughts, anyone?

      Seen by 90

      I should add that the other typical stuff like city hall and the brewery have been translated into English ...

      AS I think the translation with brackets is the best option. For example pretty much every tourist in Prague has no idea that the czech name for Wenceslas Square is Václavské námìstí
      11 June at 12:22 · Like · 1

      IV isn't it a name & not a function /former function? then the only argument for translating it is that it's difficult to read /pronounce for a foreigner. btw, 'mestanska' isn't exactly 'municipal'. it sounds more like 'for citizenry' /something (for the 'bourgeoisie'
      11 June at 12:26 · Like

      ES Yes, in Berlin there's the Brandenburg Gate ... and right next to it, the Reichstag
      11 June at 12:28 · Like · 1

      DA I tend to keep the originals with brackets wherever possible, unless the name in question is absolutely, positively well-known.
      11 June at 12:32 · Like · 2

      GV I agree with D. I would put the Czech first and then the English in brackets. Not many people know what a 'burgher' is without looking it up - they might think it is some kind of hot-dog stand. Municipal Meeting House is as good as any. It is one of my pet hates when I see guide books with everything slavishly translated into English - I once saw some parking instructions for coach drivers in Prague which said something like 'coaches may park by the Legion bridge near Smetana's Embankment'. It must be very confusing for visitors, most of whom aren't versed in Czech.
      11 June at 12:35 · Like · 4

      GV ... and the next time I see námìstí Svobody in Brno translated as 'Freedom Square' I'm going to rip it down
      11 June at 12:46 · Like · 1

      ES Yes, I'm noticing here another building I won't translate is Masne kramy, which is a gallery (former mediaeval meat market)
      11 June at 12:46 · Like

      GV The mind boggles ...
      11 June at 12:46 · Like

      ES Thanks, everyone
      11 June at 12:47 · Like

      VT Taksim Square actually means "Distribution Square", and how often does that get translated?!
      11 June at 12:48 · Like

      IV, 'fat stuff gallery' sounds funny, though:)
      11 June at 12:49 · Like

      VT p.s. I have used Municipal Meeting House for that building, but definitely in brackets afterwards.
      11 June at 12:49 · Like · 1

      GV Or the Champs-Elysées. I would be very surprised to see that translated as 'the Elysian Fields'.
      11 June at 12:49 · Like

      MC BTW I see in Wikipedia that the Plzen Mestanska beseda "nebyl puvodne nazev budovy, ale nazev spolku mestanu, ktery vznikl v Plzni v roce 1862". Bit late for burghers IMHO. How about <Mestanska beseda ("Civic Clubhouse")>??? I have also translated "beseda" as "forum" elsewhere (see Czechlist passim), but that would be an unfortunate choice here.
      11 June at 20:04 · Edited · Like

      ES When I hear "clubhouse" I think of some children in a treehouse out in the back yard ... this is a little grander: http://www.images.atlasceska.cz/images/kalendarakci/velka/1795/v7403_beseda-3.jpg

      11 June at 20:30 · Like ·

      MC , course, in the 19th century every gentleman had his club, e.g. check out this image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentlemen's_club .

      [totally irrelevant digression]

      11 June at 21:25 · Edited · Like ·

      MC Or you could possibly use "meeting house" or get rid of the building description altogether - and the scare quotes would indicate this is only an approximation.
      11 June at 21:03 · Edited · Like

      IV couldn't 'City Meeting House' work?
      11 June at 21:52 · Like

      MC And FWIW I notice that Civic Clubs elsewhere are quite often worthy local institutions in nice old buildings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_Club_(Estonian_House)


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