General Translation Notes

General sources:

My number 1 go-to source for German-English translations is:

It’s tricky to read (because it uses proper ‘Gothic’ German typeface), but is invaluable. My second German-English resource when Hilpert’s fails is:

  • Haltenhoff, my 1902 German-English dictionary which is usually much less useful (because shorter), but is in all-Roman typeface, so is a lot easier to find things in!

Once I have a rough translation of a text using these tools, I may review other cantata translations to check awkward or ambiguous points. The five sources I may consult at these times are as follows:

  • Dürr means the German/English cantata texts contained within my 2006 edition of Alfred Dürr’s The Cantatas of J. S. Bach. The English translations are actually by Richard D. P. Jones, but I refer to ‘Dürr’ for convenience.
  • Schmuck means the German-English translations of the cantata texts available on the ‘Bach Cantatas’ website, under the ‘English-10’ label, created by Tobin Schmuck
  • Browne means the German-English translations of the cantata texts available on the ‘Bach Cantatas’ website, under the ‘English-3’ labels (the link is to one specific translation), created by Francis Browne.
  • Ambrose means the German-English translations of the cantata texts available on the ‘Bach Cantatas’ website under the English-1 label (the link is again to one specific translation), created by Z. Philip Ambrose.
  • Dellal means the German-English translations of the cantata texts available on the Emmanuel Music website, created mostly by Pamela Dellal.

In case of any disagreement between Dellal, Ambrose, Browne and Schmuck, Dürr takes precedence, unless Hilpert’s differs from Dürr, in which case Hilpert’s tends to win! Ultimately, though, it’s my judgment call, and Dürr is not Holy Scripture!!

Online English dictionary definitions and thesaurus synonyms are usually from dictionary.com. Online German-English dictionary definitions are sometimes used when Hilpert’s or Haltenhoff come up blank and are then usually from Reverso.

All King James Version Bible texts are from the Bible Gateway website. Apocrypha quotations tend to be from the King James Bible Online website.