Project: German translation of a graphic novel

Translation (Dutch to German) of the graphic novel “Elke Dag Sterven” (“Jeden Tag Sterben”) from the Dutch author Luuk Koelman.

With this project, the quantity of text wasn’t the problem. The book contains 215 pages. However, a graphic novel is all about the quality and the intensity of the pictures; the amount of words is rather limited. The accompanying text should reflect that intensity, the despair, the darkness and the never-ending rain that literally swallows the soldiers in the trenches. To capture that text mood in wordings was indeed a challenge.

For instance the fact that the soldiers slowly disappeared in the smoke, wasn’t reflected well enough by saying they disappeared ‘into’ the smoke: they were already surrounded by smoke as they disappeared. They were already IN the smoke, but the smoke itself got thicker and heavier and that is why they disappeared. So in this case, Germans say: “Sie verschwanden im Rauch” (as in: the thickening smoke swallowed them), not “Sie verschwanden in den Rauch [hinein]” (as in: they walked into it).

Details, details. But: details make the text!
A great assignment indeed.