View Full Version : How's your old German

John Hart
06-15-2005, 4:26 PM
An old German gentleman knew of my love for ancient texts so he gave me this book. I can't read it but I sure like it. It is an original text printed in 1770 and is written by Magnus Friedrich Roos. I assume it is religious in nature but...Can anyone here tell me what this cover page says? I'd love to do some searching on it but typing in how it's written comes up empty...and this author is quite famous...so something's goofy with me or the book

Any help is greatly appreciated. Oh..and the pages are made from paper, which is made from wood....so..that's the link up with SMC.:D

Lee DeRaud
06-15-2005, 4:36 PM
I'd love to do some searching on it but typing in how it's written comes up empty...and this author is quite famous...so something's goofy with me or the book.Some of those "f"s are really "s"s (e.g. "teftament"). I kinda doubt Google is set up to handle that.:p

Von Bickley
06-15-2005, 4:37 PM
Can't help you with the book. I spent 1.5 years in Germany and all I know is how to order 1 large beer, say thank-you and good-bye. ;)

Cecil Arnold
06-15-2005, 5:10 PM
John, I think the 4th line is "the partiarch and profit or propritor" third line--lebens may be loves, and under the name is his title, superentend and "pfarrer" I think is father or friar, just not sure, it's been 43 years since I spent any real amount of time there and then didn't have a sleeping dictionary. The visits since then have been just too short to pick anything up or even remember what I forgot. I can still get a beer and bed though.

John Hart
06-15-2005, 7:27 PM
Hmmmm...Maybe I should just do it the hard way and search on the author. I think he was a big influence in the Protestant movement.. Hey..maybe I have the only copy!!!

Rob Littleton
06-15-2005, 7:37 PM
you can go to altavista and look for babel fish. that has a blunt translation too but it will give you the idea.

good luck

Doug Shepard
06-15-2005, 7:49 PM
I'm real rusty but I'll take a stab at it. Cant lay my hands on my dictionary so I'll probably get a few things wrong. The first step is to convert that old type to modern because I find that old type almost as hard to read as actually translating the German.

Fussstapfen des Glaubens Abrahams
Footsteps of the faith of Abraham

in den Lebens = Beschreibungen der Patriachen und Propheten aus den Schriften des Alten Testaments
In the lives and descriptions/teachings (?) of the Patriarchs and Prophets from the writings of the Old Testament

gezeigt von M.Magnus Friederich Roos -

Superintendens und Pfarrer zu Lufnau
I think Cecil's right on the pfarrer=father or friar
and the zu Lufnau is 'at Lufnau' - a location or title of someplace

John Hart
06-15-2005, 7:54 PM
Wow Doug!! I think you hit it! Each chapter is the name of someone big. Like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses..etc. Ok! so now I really have something to work with. Thank you so much.

John Shuk
06-15-2005, 8:22 PM
No help here but a really cool find. Let us know more about what you find out. I'm very interested.

Jeff Sudmeier
06-16-2005, 8:14 AM

That is a really neato old book! You are lucky to have it. Let us know what you find out about it.

Jim Becker
06-16-2005, 9:17 AM
You might check with some of the older folks of Germanic decent at a local synogogue. They may be not only able to help you, but happy to do it. That's a very nice book to have in your collection, both for it's historical and content interest.

Dave Brandt
06-16-2005, 11:09 AM
Can't believe some of the guys that responded to the current Festool thread (Sprechen Sie Deutsch? (Yea, another FESTOOL gloat) ) haven't come to you aid! Heck, for a minute there, I thought I had stumbled onto a European clone of the Creek!

John Hart
06-16-2005, 11:31 AM
Yeah Dave...I noticed that m'self. Some coincidence eh?

Thanks everyone for your input. As a result, I was able to locate an organization in Germany that is interested in this particular find because they have a full bibliography on Herr Roos, but this particular book is not in their research.

I'll keep you posted and I'll take some more pictures of the book as it really has some nice character throughout.

Jerry Clark
06-16-2005, 10:16 PM
WOW John, you always have something interesting to post every day! Thanks for sharing!:)

John Hart
06-17-2005, 12:51 PM
Ok...I gave the book a little Photo Shoot.

This first set is
1. The book. The binding is intact but some of the covering is missing
2. & 3 These are cover pages (different from the first) These cover pages are throughout the book as covers to each book within.

John Hart
06-17-2005, 12:56 PM
Here is the Book of David and the Book of Moses just to show you how the Chapters look. Then there's the Sketch on the last page before the index

Jim Becker
06-17-2005, 2:06 PM
John, given the repetition of the "cover" sheets between "books", I wonder if this was something that was bound after the fact...kind of like one would do with a serial publication. No matter, this is really interesting!

John Hart
06-17-2005, 2:23 PM
Now, that's an interesting thought Jim. That hadn't occurred to me and if you are right, then perhaps I can find more information if I search on the individual chapters instead of the compilation. I'll give it a shot tonight. Good one!!:)

Bill Wiggins
06-20-2005, 9:31 AM
Here's a site that may help. I've recently been studying German in preparation for my trip to Switzerland. This site has been a tremendous help.


You may also want to look at a site that explains the "Fraktur" font that is used in older German texts.


Doug Shepard
06-20-2005, 10:47 AM
Here's a site that may help. I've recently been studying German in preparation for my trip to Switzerland. .....

Bill - all I can say is Good Luck. I spent 5 mos. working in Switzerland during college on a summer job exchange program. This was after 3 yrs of German classes, and lots of practice with German exchange students at the U. or Oregon. The Schwyzerteutsch spoken there is a whole nother animal. The rhythm especially will take some getting used to. It's got a sing-song quality that sort of reminds me of English with a heavy Swedish accent. It's sort of the equivalent of a Swiss German studying the Queens English, then being dropped off in Alabama. It's supposed to be the same language, but ....

The good news is, they're nice people and will appreciate your attempt to learn the language and help you out. Most of them speak English quite well. And if they stop and think while they're talking, they can switch into TV announcer mode and speak Hoch-Deutsch so you can keep up, but if you come across as an overbearing Ami (American) they can leave you in the dust conversationally without even trying.

Here's couple of examples for you of how different it can be:
Kuchenshrank (kitchen cupboard) becomes something like Tschutschishetli (I know I'm messing up the spelling)

Wohin gehst du? (where are you going) turns into something like 'wohani go-asch'

It's a beautiful country and I had a blast, as I'm sure you will too.

Timo Christ
06-24-2005, 4:11 PM
let me try to help.
The cover page reads in latin print:

Fussstapfen des Glaubens
den Lebens-Beschreibungen
der Patriarchen und Propheten
aus den
Schriften des Alten Testaments
von M. Magnus Friederich Roos
Superintendus und Pfarrer zu Lustnau.

Translated to English:
Footprints of the faith of Abraham in the descriptions of life of the patriarchs and prophets from the writings of the old testament
shown by M. Magnus Friederich Roos
superintendus and priest of Lustnau.

Lustnau is a town, now a part of Tübingen. Postal Code 72074. Superintendus is a position/function in the church.
Fussstapfen is modern spelling, it can also be spelled Fußstapfen with the "sz"-character. I hope it shows up on your screen.

HTH! :)