This work is the result of the loving efforts of Les Hopper (1927-2003), an SCI Master Steinologist, winner of the Jack Heimann Service Award, past President of SCI, founder of the Bayou Stein Verein, and our very own 'Gator. He compiled the booklet "1001 German Beer Stein Translations," "The Index to Prosit" (including Supplement), "Beer Stein Marks, A Supplement to Prosit," and several editions of the SCI Membership Directory. He was a prolific author, contributing many articles to Prosit, with special favor shown to Diesinger, Girmscheid, and artist Karl (Kilian) Beuler. Les was a most diligent and generous contributor to our hobby.
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1001 German Beer Stein Translations

Compiled by Colonel Lester E. Hopper, AUS (Ret)

Published by Al E. Gator Press - 1994

Dedicated to Jack G. Lowenstein

This article consists of an introduction/preface by the author, and a number of links to detailed articles. For the benefit of those who wish to go directly to those article, links are provided here. The introduction may be read by simply scrolling down.

OLD GERMAN PRINT AND SCRIPT - A Steinologist's Guide to Old German Print

EXAMPLE OF EXPRESSIONS ON A STEIN - The Verses of Mettlach # 171 Explained

INDIVIDUAL TRANSLATIONS - An Extensive Compilation of Translated Verses

SUPPLEMENT NUMBER 1 - More Translated Verses

-------------------- Introduction --------------------

One of the true joys of stein collecting is the insight into German culture which can be gathered by their careful study. This is particularly true if, like the Compiler, you found special interest in your ethnic background relatively late in life.

Unfortunately the Compiler's German Great Grandmother succumbed to the political pressures of the times and made a concerted effort to remove all things German from her family group. This included the language. Thus, it was extremely difficult for the Compiler to read and understand the expressions which appeared on many beer Steins.

Quite naturally he turned to his German friends for assistance only to be advised that "they can't be translated." Of course the expressions can be translated word by word with the help of a good dictionary; but, they really don't make sense in this form. What the compiler's friends meant was that the expressions probably would lose their true meaning in translation.

Not to be discouraged by this, the Compiler committed himself to "do it." Fortunately, many members of Stein Collectors International (SCI) are most willing to help others study their favorite drinking vessels. In so doing they often share their wealth of knowledge of both the language and the culture of Germany. The primary one who was most willing to help was Prosit Editor, Jack G. Lowenstein. As covered later in this Preface his support and encouragement made this writing possible.

Now that willing helpers were at hand the problem became one of logistics. In other words how does one keep up with all of the individual expressions and their translations and still be able to present them for the enjoyment of others in an organized manner. The answer comes in the form of that all wondrous modern tool, the Computer. With the Computer it becomes a matter of accumulating the material into a data base program and developing a means of extracting the Information in a readable form. Considering that it is both boring and beyond the scope of this writing, a description of these details is intentionally omitted.

Several sources were developed for the accumulation of expressions and their translations. The Compiler was fortunate to receive many expressions from fellow SCI members. In addition, he gathered expressions from his personal stein collection. Now the problem was to get them translated and to verify the accuracy of those already translated. It should come as no shock, but the Compiler was just that when he discovered the difficulty of getting two of his German speaking friends to translate in the same manner. What was needed was a "Standard." Here again, Jack Lowenstein came to the rescue and served as the "Standard" for this work. As a result of Jack's almost constant assistance over the several years which this project has been in the works it is now ready to share with others.

Many expressions which appear on beer steins are in themselves a combination of several others. In some cases they are closely related, in others they are not. A decision had to be made regarding the listing of those which were not fully related. It was decided that rather than listing all expressions as they appeared on a given stein as one item, the individual expressions would be listed separately in this work. Additionally, there are times when only partial expressions are used in this work due to a lack of space. In both cases individual alphabetical listing facilitates the listing of their translation.

An example of two expressions appearing on a single beer stein is: "Bei Scherzen und Lieben werden die Grillen vertrieben. - Des Lebens Sonnenschein ist Trinken, Singen, Froehlichsein." As a single expression this translates to: "Merriment and loving drive away sadness. - Life's sunshine is drinking, singing and being happy." Although they are somewhat related, they were separated. Thus the two separate expressions, "Bei Scherzen und Lieben werden die Grillen vertrieben" and "Des Lebens Sonnenschein ist Trinken, Singen, Froehlichsein," are listed individually along with their translations. Thus, at times, when researching the verse appearing on a given beer stein, it will be necessary to refer to the translations of the individual expressions as they appear on separate panels of a stein.

One of the problems encountered in accumulating the expressions was that of reading the German print and script which appeared on many of the steins being studied. Immeasurable help was received in this task by the discovery of Dr. Roy C. De Selms' outstanding article "Steinologists' guide to old German print and script" which was published in the March 1978 Issue of Prosit. With Roy's kind permission it is reprinted in its entirety as a portion of this work. In addition to containing a valuable table of old German print and script with Roman equivalents, it contains valuable insight into the German language in general.

One of the difficulties of acknowledging the assistance rendered in a work of this nature is failing to do so for all who helped. None the less, the Compiler would be remiss if he did not attempt to do so. The first of these is the real guiding light for the whole process, Jack G. Lowenstein. All stein collectors know and respect Jack for his many contributions to their avocation. The Compiler is no exception.

This is especially true when it comes to the project at hand. Jack not only had to teach the Compiler to type the German text properly, but to catch the all too frequent typographical errors in both German and English attributable to the Compiler. He did so at the cost of much red ink and, I am sure at times, patience. Not only did he provide the mechanical correctness, but also a considerable amount of cultural background which made this task more enjoyable. Without his assistance, this writing would not have been possible.

Another German scholar who provided invaluable assistance was Arthur J. Maethner of the Upper Midwest Steinologists. Not only is Art a German scholar of note, he is a member of the prestigious Schlaraffia. This select German organization is dedicated to the preservation of German language, art and culture. Art's membership provides him with special insight into the true meaning of the words. Art's editorial assistance has been invaluable in this work and in increasing the compiler's understanding of those things Germanic in nature.

Every project must start someplace and with some data. In this case the start was a big one via the contribution of the expressions which had previously been collected by Roland Henschen, Steve Smith and Mike Wald. Without them, the goal of accumulating the 1001 expressions listed would have been extremely difficult to achieve.

Other expressions were provided by; Rolf-Dieter Burchardt, Martin Cameli, AI Kleindienst, Pat and Gene Manusov, Robert Morgan, Fred Mueller, Les Paul, Charlie Peat, Harry Schwersenz, Robert Sparks, Martin Steenbock, Burton Waine and Herb Weyer.

Special thanks are also due to Bob Wilson for providing original photographs used in the De Selms' article and of Mettlach Number 171.

Finally, thanks are most certainly due to my caring wife Carol, who not only supported this and other undertakings, but reminded me that this one too could also be conquered.

Les Hopper New Orleans, Louisiana September 1994