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THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Originally published in German, All Quiet on the Western Front was quickly translated into English. At times, however, the English is distinctly British. While the words are not difficult to understand, you may feel more at home if you scan the American equivalents:
British English American English Aeroplane=airplane civil life=civilian life garden fete=garden party in fine trim=in fine shape mess-tin=mess kit Mind!=Watch out!; Be careful! Motor/lorries=trucks munition-column=ammunition convoy pub/bar=tavern queue=line wireless men=radio operators wiring fatigue wiring duty or detail
IN THE ARMY
DIXIE - Oval-shaped British army cooking kettle (from the Hindi degshi, a pot or vessel). The navy equivalent is a fanny.
FROGS, FROGGIES - The French, from an ancient heraldic device (symbol for a shield or coat of arms) consisting of three frogs.
JOHNNY - As used in context in Chapter 7 it refers to a Russian. This is similar to an American's referring to Russians as Ivans. Ivan, Johann, and John are the same name in three different languages-Russian, German, and English.
SKAT - A German card game played by three players using 32 cards. Bids are expressed in numbers. The winning bidder becomes the player and names the exact variant of the game to be played.
TOMMY, TOMMY ATKINS - Similar to G.I. Joe for an American soldier, Tommy means a British private soldier. (A Jack Tar is a British sailor.) At one time all recruits were given manuals in which they were to enter name, date, etc. The model used the fictitious name Thomas Atkins.
GERMAN NAMES: PRONUNCIATION
Feel free to pronounce the names in this novel as they appear. You will have a problem being more precise, since English consonant and vowel sounds are not identical with those in German. For instance, the German sound for the ch spelling in the middle of a word is our k or h after a guttural sound we do not have in English. At the end of a word, ch is more like our sh. Also, the two dots over a vowel (called an umlaut) indicate a vowel sound we do not have in English. "Baumer," for example, would be pronounced BOW-mer, but "Baumer," (with an umlaut over the a) is pronounced BOY-mer. Therefore these are approximate pronunciations of some of the less obvious names.
Baumer - BOY-mer