Which version of Mein Kampf is the most accurate?
The Ford translation is the best. If you have any doubts, then look at the book Mein Kampf A Translation Controversy. It compares the different translations and shows errors in Manheim and Murphy as well as other translations and explains a lot about what Hitler said. It quickly becomes clear that older translators did not understand what they were translating and guessed at some of it. Murphy actually did not know German very well and made many mistakes. Manheim's version is translated in a style that is on par with what any high school kid could do in German 101. They both altered what Hitler said including editing out humor he used and mistranslated references he made. The above book makes for interesting reading and documents many of these instances. If you are seriously interested in comparing editions or understanding Mein Kampf, read through it. It is available as a free pdf here
http://www.hitler-library.org/Mein-Kamp ... oversy.pdf
Errors in the Ford Translation of Mein Kampf
I got a copy from Barnes Review. The Stalag Edition. The only complete and officially authorized English translation ever issued.
The 'Stalag' edition was the only English translation published by the Eher Verlag - the NSDAP's own publishing house.
It has only recently become re-published through Ostara Publications after having been repressed for many decades. Very few original copies were printed. Most were destroyed.
It is very similar to the Murphy translation, but there are segments missing from the Murphy translation, even though it's supposed to be 'unexpurgated'.
What is the real Mein Kampf Translation
Though it is filled with anti-Hitler footnotes, the translation that remains truest to the original is the Manheim translation.
The Murphy translation does not contain any negative footnotes, but it is not as true to the original text.
I have the Manheim edition as well. The translation is EXTREMELY accurate. However, this can cause some slight complications as German sentences tend to run on compared to English. This doesn't bother me as it shows it's accuracy even more, but it may bother some when reading.
Which Mein Kampf?
I know of at least six English translations, all of which are currently available somewhere, either as new books or used books:
4.Stockdale (the translation used by George Lincoln Rockwell)
5.Dugsdale (abridged version only)
I have not yet read the Ford translation, so I cannot comment on it. Of the others, the translation by Ralph Manheim is far and away the best, both in terms of accuracy and with regard to capturing the spirit of Hitler's writing.
There has been a lot on nonsense written claiming that the Murphy translation is "authorized" and "pro-Hitler." It is neither. Murphy had a contract with the NSDAP's publishing house, Franz Eher Verlag, to produce an English language translation, which would be released only after it had been approved by them. Murphy made an uncorrected rough draft which was not approved, and the project was dropped. Shortly afterwards, the British publishing house Hurst & Blackett acquired this draft (probably through illegal means), which they released without the permission of Hitler, Murphy or the copyright holder (Franz Eher Verlag). For marketing purposes, they falsely advertised it as the "authorzied" edition, "approved" by Hitler.
All of this would have doubtlessly been sorted out in a British court, but the War intervened. Subsequently, Hurst & Blackett ceased publication of their inferior translation, and the Manheim translation, published by Houghton Mifflin, became the standard edition. Unfortuntely, it is marred by an anti-Hitler introduction by the German Jew Konrad Heiden (who was a professional, full-time anti-NS activist), as well as by various snarky comments and footnotes attributed to Manheim himself.
In 1972, a West Coast movement publisher, Sons of Liberty, made an offset reproduction of the Hurst & Blackett edition, likewise falsely claiming that it was "pro-Hitler."
All of the above is a matter of public record. Indeed, whole books have been written on the "battles" over the translations of Mein Kampf.
Anyone who doubts that the Manheim translation is far superior to the other versions should make the following test: open a German language edition to any page and then compare that page with the corresponding passages in Manheim and Murphy. The differences will be immediate and obvious!
Let the reader decide for himself which is better:
Here is a passage that is justly famous, from Volume I, Chapter 11 (Volk und Rasse):
Wer leben will, der kaempfe also, und wer nicht streiten will in dieser Welt des ewigen Ringens, verdient day Leben nicht. (S/317)
Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live. (p.287)
He who would live must fight. He who does not wish to fight in this world, where struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist. (p. 163)
Johnson (Reynal & Hitchcock translation):
He who wants to live should fight, therefore, and he who does not want to battle in this world of eternal struggle does not deserve to be alive. (p. 397)
Anonymous translator for the Stackpole edition:
He who would live, then, must fight, and he who will not do battle in this world of eternal struggle does not deserve to live. (p. 282)
I do not have access at this time to the Dugdale, Cranston or Ford translations; if someone who does could look up and post this quotation we would then have the complete array.
This is an important passage, which encapsulates a key element of the Hitlerian worldview in a concise and eloquent manner.
It is crystal clear to me -- at least in this instance -- that Manheim's translation is superior, being both the most accurate and best capturing the sense and spirit of Hitler's words.
Murphy inexplicably divides Hitler's short and coherent sentence into two separate sentences, and he introduces a phrase and a concept ("law of life") that is not present in the original, while leaving out the key phrase "eternal struggle." As I previously pointed out, Murphy's translation was only a rough, uncorrected draft. Perhaps he would have smoothed this over had he worked on it further -- but as published, his translation is not as good as the others.
That is how I look at it -- but you decide for yourself which is best!
I've made some comparisons between my unabridged Murphy and Manheim editions and the most noticeable thing is that the Manheim reads far more eloquently, the Murphy edition by comparison seems cheap and if it were translated for a child in places
My Manheim edition is from 1942 and is complete. It did have an introduction but I was able to remove all those pages without damaging the book and one cannot even see I have done it. I generally remove all anti German/NS introductions from my books where possible as I'm sick to death of them.
The awkward prose of the Murphy translation is an indication that it was only a first draft. Presumably, he would have smoothed it over had he completed the project. But he did not.
The Mein Kampf translation was Ralph Manheim's first big job as a translator. Despite his anti-Hitler attitude and a technical mistsake here and there, he did the best job to date of capturing the spirit of Hitler's words in English.
I think Manheim tried translating this almost word for word, but never really captured the spirit of what Hitler was trying to put across. When you translate something word for word you just end up making it look like a half retarded machine wrote it, when really you could have left out some words and gotten a more understandable comment. Kinda like you don't want too much gun powder in a cannon, you want just enough to get the job done. A lot of people say he was trying to sabotage Hitler's work by making it boring and run on, when really I think since it was his first translation he was probably being anal in the word for word, but wouldn't really translate meaning. It's hard to explain if you don't speak German or at least a little German. Not every phrase in German has a translation and Manheim seemed to either translate it word for word which doesn't capture the meaning because like I said you can leave some words out and it turns out making more sense, or just leave it in German, in both cases leaving it to the reader to "figure it out" themselves.
I felt the Hitchcock translation was the same way but I actually enjoyed it a little more, but you'll be paying a lot more since this book is no longer published and considered a collectible among WWII Militaria collectors like myself.
The Murphy Version I read was easier to read than the Manheim Version as it doesn't just ramble on and on like in the Manheim Version. But it still has it's faults. I think Murphy (after being disillusioned by Nazism and kicked out of Germany) kinda made the book more his than it was Hitler's. Writing what he wanted, adding to it, removing passages, and having incorrect translations which changed the meaning.
This Ford translation seems absolute garbage:
Errors in the Ford Translation of Mein Kampf
Just from the page view on the first site you can see a bad translation and errors. I don't care about Bytwerk himself, however, he is correct in my opinion, the ford "translation" is garbage.
Brother thanks for the link,
I really love it,and the explanations of why words were changed to get the current meaning.
like the words," the world war".
Since Hitler's book we have had 2 wars,when he wrote Mein Kampf,
we only had one world war.So it was changed in the translation from world war, to world war 2.
There are many examples of this in the commentary.
I was wondering,or hoping is this what you mean by a bad "garbage",translation?
And is there a more accurate translation out these days?
I must commend you for the links,Thanks.
just because this guy pointed out two errors and posted an article on the internet, I wouldn't say this is garbage. I just got the copy today and am about to begin reading it myself. I would suggest reading a book before you denounce it with only one source, especially since he only noted TWO errors, which there are literally HUNDREDS in the other translations which I still would not call GARBAGE. . .
However it could be garbage, but I have read Mr. Ford's other book "Mein Kampf: A Translation Controversy", and it seems he knows what he's talking about especially after showing the original German, then four other english translations and then his translation. Honestly his seems to be the most accurate and not only that but he offers explanations that are not biased at all and give a unique insight to someone who might not understand what the Fuehrer is explaining in a particular statement. I'll have to wait to give a further opinion after I've read it though...
LOL on Bytwerk's whole page devoted to errors in Ford's translation, he only lists 2 supposed mistakes. One being the error of capitalizing the word Am when it shouldn't have been, and the other choosing to translate Völkischer as "race".
you have seriously got to be kidding me, that's your proof that the Ford translation is "garbage"?
You haven't really read his page have you? There's more than two mistakes there.
If you like it, read it. If not, write Bytwerk and ask for more examples. Or, who cares, read what you like and others should do the same.
Is your Manheim highly annotated with anti National Socialist sentiment? I read one of these once and it just destroyed the whole book. I wont by a copy if it is annotated. A footnote or two in the original German or explaining an historical event is fine but never full annotation.
All the copies I buy are from the 30s and 40s anyways.
Manheim intentinally sabbotaged his edition. He could not intentionally mistranslate it because he would have been caught too easily. Instead, he translated it in a way that makes it very hard to read and understand. You may see lots of reviews saying MK is hard to read, rambling and disjointed. THAT IS NOT TRUE! It is the Manheim translation that is crap.
Murphy's edition is better written but Murphy was not very good with German and missed many common sayings in German which have English equivalents. It really alters the meaning.
If you are really interested, check out the book Mein Kampf: A Translation Controversy. Ford has it on his website as a free download. It has some really interesting tid-bits showing how the older translations made errors(some intentionally???). Some are so obvious that you wonder how it got past the editors.
The Ford translation also has historical notes in the text which explain what Hitler was saying. I dont mean interpreting, just things like when Hitler refers to the Sword of Brennius, I had no idea what that meant, but it turns out it was a very intelligent reference about a Greek story. Ford explains politicians and places that were important to the Germans too. It really adds to the book. Manheim and Murphy never identified anyone and it is confusing when they talk about politicians or places and you have no idea what the reference means. That is another reason I love the Ford translation and recommend it over the others.
The Murphy, to me-in places, seems like it was translated for kids where as the Manheim seems more suited to adults. One thing the Manheim has that the Murphy lacks, is a good literary style. However, what the Murphy is that the Manheim isn't, is a fast reading book.
I'm glad I own both anyways.
So it seems to me that the top three English translations are Ford, Manheim and Murphy. The three of them together would seem to work out the kinks that exist between all editions. Some may dislike Ford but he probably does have some good corrections to make.
http://www.hitler-library.org/Mein-Kamp ... oversy.pdf
However, at the end of the day, I would probably settle for the Stalag edition.