Question by Kenn: What is the better translation of Mein Kampf?
I’ve been trying to buy Mein Kampf, but I don’t know which one is the best translation. I’m looking to get the best english version available. I’ve read a few reviews on both the Ford Mannheim translation. Which one is better or is there a better one available beside the original one from 1939, which are to hard to find and expensive.
Answer by thetechguy2002
The Ford translation is by far the best. It is much easier to read, more accurate, and includes historical notes the other ones do not have. I recommend comparing the different translations if you are unsure. The publishers of the Ford translation produced a book which documents errors in Manheim, Murphy, and Reynal Hitchcock versions. It is a great reference and interesting reading in itself. It also explains the different translations. I will give a summary of the ones that are available. Ford Translation: This is the newest edition which is written in modern English. It includes historical notes which explain unfamiliar references. Older translations missed obvious common expressions which the Ford translation includes. The Ford translation also has a much better flow to it. Many people have criticized Mein Kampf as being rambling but that is only how the old translations came out. I relaly enjoyed reading the Ford version, and found the second volume to be the most interesting where Hitler talks about forming the Nazi party.Manheim Translation: This is an older translation from the 40’s I think. It is very hard to read because the translator used a mechanical translation style which converted the German to English without changing it to make it sensible in English. He also left some parts untranslated. It is known to have many errors such as referencing a battle in 1945 which should be 1845 and other translation issues(which are documented in the book I will link to below).Murphy Translation: There are actually two Murphy translations. One is his British edition which was made from the Official Nazi translation. Murphy actually started translating for the Nazi government until he was kicked out of the country. The Nazis published his version and it is now available as the Official Nazi Translation. Murphy obtained a copy of his translation after he was kicked out of Germany and used it to create the British version. This version is much shorter than the original German version. It also has a number of translation errors.Reynal and Hitchcock: This is an old translation which is no longer published. It was supposed to be written by a list of scholars. It is now known that some of those listed in the credits had nothing to do with the book. It was translated by some of those listed and by assistants. It is slightly easier to read than Manheim’s version but it is also full of errors because those doing the translating did not understand what they were translating so resorted to word substitution.Read through the below pdf book and I am sure you will agree the Ford translation is the best by a long shot. They did a really good job documenting the corrections they made and explaining their translation choices. It is also available in an audio book if you want to listen. I have both the printed hardback and the audio. I would suggest getting the softcover if you want the printed version. It is much cheaper than the hardcover.
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