Westman, Indsman and other troubles of a would-be translator

Belenor

Trooper
Ah, well, I know it is a bit strange topic for an Iron Maiden forum and should end up on some forum about linguistic problems, but I'll try anyway :)

Recently, I started to translate one german author to the Czech language and got to some interesting words I have problems translating.

The first one is Westmann, which is traditionally translated as westman in the czech versions of his books, but I am afraid, there is no such English word to justify this usage. It is used as a description of a person who is versed in Wild West life, mixture of cowboy, trapper, gunslinger and whatever, but I do not think it is used this way in the English. Can anybody confirm, please?

Another word is Indsmen which should be a term for american Indians, but I believe there is no such word in English at all, right?

Well, any answer will be appreciated :)
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Neither of those terms exist as you say in English. Again, an American Indian would just be called that. And a generic description of someone from the Wild West...hmm. Frontiersman would be the closest I can think of.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Westmann in German dictionary:
Mann von Welt (man of the world)

This English word might interest you as well:
Westerner

Though you're busy with Czech so it won't help much.
 

Belenor

Trooper
Man of the world - meaning a person who knows a lot about the world? I do not understand entirely here.

Westerner sounds nice, but I guess it is more like someone living in western countries, not necessarily a skilled roamer of Wild West which is what Karl May ment by "westmann".

Well, ideas of other people could help me with a translation I will be satisfied with so thanks for replies :) Well, I think "westman" sounds more "cool", but I do not feel it is right to use it in the Czech version, I should probably use a correct Czech translation, or supply readers with some translation notes :)
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Yeah, Foro, westerner, in English means something like, "resident of the West" AKA, Europe and North America. Frontiersman is the term in English for someone who goes into the wild west - like Davey Crockett. King of the Wild Frontier.
 

Perun

After the war?
Staff member
Yeah, knowing the word "Westmann" from German, I can say frontiersman is the proper English translation.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
Pioneer might be another decent translation.  My understanding is Frontiersman is someone who lived in the west, pioneer was someone exploring the west.  Depending on the context, either if these could work.

I've never heard the term Westman in reference to the old west here in the US, or really anything else for that matter.  Westerner is more of a modern reference.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Belenor said:
Man of the world - meaning a person who knows a lot about the world? I do not understand entirely here.

Me neither. That online dictionary sucks I guess.

This came from wiki
-------
frontiersman (plural frontiersmen)
1. A person who lives in a wild and undeveloped area beyond the reach of civilization.
-------

Which means Indians had no civilization.  :nonono:
 

Perun

After the war?
Staff member
It is my understanding actually, that usage of the word Westmann is limited to the works of the German author Karl May and maybe those influenced by him.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Frontiersman is what comes to mind. That IS a word in English and is someone versed, if you will, in all things west. They had to if they wanted to survive.
 

Belenor

Trooper
Perun said:
It is my understanding actually, that usage of the word Westmann is limited to the works of the German author Karl May and maybe those influenced by him.

Yeah, it seems very likely :) And the Czech translations use "westman" (without the last 'n') - this is probably where my confusion comes from, because May's version with double 'n' sounds like a correct german word. Some translator then removed one 'n' and the word started to look like English. So considering this, I will have to find some Czech alternative (I have one in my mind already).

Thanks all for ideas. I fell like writing a short essay or something on this theme for my Karl May website now :)
 
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