1.07Orcs, goblins and the like

There is somewhat of a confusion concerning Tolkien’s race of evil creatures, the Orcs, who are in the service of the actual villains Sauron and Saruman. Both Carroux and Krege transliterate the word ‘Orc’ into ‘Ork’ and use it like this throughout LOTR.

Tolkien does, however, also use the word goblin. He does not do this to describe another race, but he uses it more as a descriptive term for the Orcs or anything evil in general. This term is translated by Carroux with the probably rather exact, though very old fashioned ‘Unhold’, while Krege usually rewrites it as ‘Orks’ also.

T 35...torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunder-claps.
C 50...Fackeln, Zwergenkerzen, Elbenkaskaden, Unholdbeller und Donnerschläge.
K 45...Fackeln, Zwergenkerzen, Elbenkaskaden, Orkbrüller und Kanonenschläge.

In this list of fireworks the word ‘Unholdbeller’ actually does seem weird. Krege’s slightly modified list sound more natural.

T 238‘He looks more than half like a goblin’
C 255›Er sieht wirklich wie ein halber Unhold aus.‹
K 241»Der sieht doch beinah wie ein Ork aus.«

Apart from the ‘Unhold’ Carroux’ sentence seems strange, especially due to the confusing ‘wie ein halber’ instead of a possible ‘halb wie ein’ or, as Krege wrote, ‘beinah wie ein’.

T 441‘There are no goblins near or my ears are made of wood. ...’
C 462»Es sind keine Unholde in der Nähe, oder meine Ohren müßten aus Holz sein. ...«
K 436»Orks sind keine in der Nähe, oder meine Ohren müssten aus Holz sein. ...«

T 511‘... Now perhaps we can get away without those cursed goblins seeing us.’
C 533»... Jetzt können wir vielleicht weg, ohne daß diese verfluchten Unholde uns sehen,«
K 502»... Nun können wir vielleicht verschwinden, ohne dass diese verdammten Wichte uns sehen.«

Carroux’ continuing ‘Unholde’ is not a good choice. The word takes the reader back into the language of fairy tales I described earlier. In the second example Krege does not write ‘Orks’, as the members of the Fellowship do not know what, if anything, is following them.

Krege had used ‘Wicht’ earlier against an ‘Unhold’ by Carroux. On T 189f the four Hobbits on their way to Bree, crossing the Barrow-Downs, are trapped by a Barrow-wight, that had been mentioned earlier on T 172. Carroux, from then on, translates this creature by the badly chosen word ‘Grabunhold’, whereas Krege uses the equally ridiculous, though etymologically closer, ‘Grabwicht’. In a poem not retranslated by Krege on T 188, von Freymann also writes ‘übler Wicht’ for ‘you old Wight’.

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