Here at Transcription City, we pride ourselves on providing expert transcription services, translation services, subtitling services and voice over services. With that in mind, we thought we’d hear from one of our Austrian translators. Mandy has worked with us for many years and provides expert Austrian translation services and Austrian transcription services.
Austrian Transcription Services – A Christmas Trip around Europeâ€¦
Silent Night is one of the most famous Christmas melodies in the world. But how many people actually know that the Original was in German and originated in Austria? The teacher and the assistant vicar of the little village of Arnsdorf near Salzburg wrote the song together and first performed it in Oberndorf on Chirstmas Eve in 1818. From there it travelled all over the world. As with the song, how does Christmas and its traditions actually translate to other languages and cultures? Let’s go on a turbulent trip, jumping back and forth through time, languages and countriesâ€¦ wrap up warm!
Austrian Translation Services
Let’s start at home. We know the festival of Christmas is widely known as a Christian tradition, but has its roots in Pagean celebrations. What does the word actually mean? The word â€˜Christmas’ as such comes of the â€˜Christ’s Mass‘, the Christian Mass from Middle English. The Anglo-Saxons referred to their â€˜midwinter’ feast as â€˜nativity‘, which we know from the nativity scenes around Christmas. Nativity is Latin for â€˜birth‘. The French across the Channel call Christmas â€˜Noel‘, from the Old French of â€˜noÃ«l‘, also coming from the same Latin word of â€˜birth‘. Further across into Europe and in Germany the word for Christmas is “Weihnachten” and Christmas Eve is “Heiligabend“, the â€˜holy evening‘. â€˜Weihnachten‘ divides into two words, the verb â€˜weihen‘ means to consecrate and â€˜Nacht‘, the â€˜night‘. So it is to consecrate the holy nights, ultimately referring to the midnight mass in the night from 24th to the 25th December. Further up North and in Scandinavia â€˜Yule‘ is widely used as the name for the holidays. This was linked to the Nordic god of â€˜Odin’. Which interestingly brings us back home, because in Old English the time of December and January was first called â€˜Geola‘ which translates into â€˜Yule‘. Later, with Christianity spreading, it was translated into â€˜Christmastide‘. So next time you tuck into a Yule Log, you can be a smart pants with all these facts!
And what about the Jolly old man that brings the presents? Well, the word â€˜jolly‘ had a long journey, originating from the old Norwegian word of â€˜jÃ³l‘ that entered the Old French language to become â€˜jolif‘, only to come to England with the Normans. Sometimes there is great confusion as to who brings the presents, between Santa Claus and Father Christmas and not to mention St Nicholas. They seem to look similar, middle-aged men in red suits, white beards and being, well, a little obese. In some parts of Germany, Austria and middle-Eurpoean countries it is the â€˜Christkind‘, the â€˜christ child‘ that brings the presents, but I have never seen it, it is very elusive. The original out of the men seems to be St Nicholas, whose name was translated into the Dutch â€˜Sinterklaas‘ and then from there again translated into English as â€˜Santa Claus‘. Most commonly used in the UK is Father Christmas, who is actually older than Santa Claus, and who is also â€˜PÃ¨re NoÃ«l‘ in France but only the â€˜Weihnachtsmann‘ (literally â€˜Christmas Man‘) in German. Gosh, all this time travelling is making me tired, can we have some presents now maybe?
Most Western countries celebrate Christmas on 24/25 December, the date that the Romans celebrated as the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. Some countries however celebrate St Nicholas on 6 December and receive their gifts then. Eastern Christian Churches follow the Julian Calendar and they have to wait until 6/7 January before they can unwrap their presents. So I guess if you planned this journey wisely, you would start with the Netherlands in early December, making it to Germany, Austria or the middle-European countries by 25th December and continuing on maybe to warmer Greece by early January. What do you think? It could be Christmas every day!
Mince pie, anyone?
Austrian Transcription Services and Austrian Translation Services
If you would like more information about any of our Austrian translation services, Austrian transcription services, subtitling services, voice over services or note taking services, why not get in touch? We are available 7 days a week to help and that includes over the festive season (Christmas and new year). We look forward to hearing from you soon!