Why reproduce all that junk in translation? Consider the following text (preface) from Kant's first Kritik, 1781:
Die menschliche Vernunft hat das besondere Schicksal in einer Gattung ihrer Erkenntnisse: da=DF sie durch Fragen bel=E4stigt wird, die sie nicht abweisen kann; denn sie sind ihr durch die Natur der Vernunft selbst aufgegeben, die sie aber auch nicht beantworten kann; denn sie =FCbersteigen alles Verm=F6gen der menschlichen Vernunft.

Meiklejohm 1855:
Human reason, in one sphere of its cognition, is called upon to consider questions, which it cannot decline, as they are presented by its own nature, but which it cannot answer, as they transcend every faculty of the mind.
Max M=FCller, 1881:
OUR reason (Vernunft) has this peculiar fate that, with reference to one class of its knowledge, it is always troubled with questions which cannot be ignored, because they spring from the very nature of reason, and which cannot be answered, because they transcend the powers of human reason.
Norman Kemp Smith, 1929:
HUMAN reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer.

My version:
Human Reason suffers the peculiar fate, that, in one department of knowledge, it is beset by questions which it cannot set aside, as they arise from the nature of Reason itself; but these questions it cannot answer, for they transcend all the powers of our Reason.

Comment: My version has better rhythm and is less 'clunky' than the others.In diese Verlegenheit ger=E4t sie ohne ihre Schuld. Sie f=E4ngt von Grunds=E4tzen an, deren Gebrauch im Laufe der Erfahrung unvermeidlich und zugleich durch diese hinreichend bew=E4hrt ist. Mit diesem steigt sie (wie es auch ihre Natur mit sich bringt) immer h=F6her, zu entfernteren Bedingungen. Da sie aber gewahr wird, da=DF auf diese Art ihr Gesch=E4ft jederzeit unvollendet bleiben m=FCsse, weil die Fragen niemals aufh=F6ren, so sieht sie sich gen=F6tigt, zu Grunds=E4tzen ihre Zuflucht zu nehmen, die allen m=F6glichen Erfahrungsgebrauch =FCberschreiten und gleichwohl so unverd=E4chtig scheinen, da=DF auch die gemeine Menschenvernunft damit im Einverst=E4ndnisse steht.

Dadurch aber st=FCrzt sie sich in Dunkelheit und Widerspr=FCche, aus welchen sie zwar abnehmen kann, da=DF irgendwo verborgene Irrt=FCmer zum Grunde liegen m=FCssen, die sie aber nicht entdecken kann, weil die Grunds=E4tze, deren die sich bedient, da sie =FCber die Grenze aller Erfahrung hinausgehen, keinen Probierstein der Erfahrung mehr anerkennen. Der Kampfplatz dieser endlosen Streitigkeiten hei=DFt nun Metaphysik.

Meiklejohn, 1855:It falls into this difficulty without any fault of its own. It begins with principles, which cannot be dispensed with in the field of experience, and the truth and sufficiency of which are, at the same time, insured by experience. With these principles it rises, in obedience to the laws of its own nature, to ever higher and more remote conditions. But it quickly discovers that, in this way, its labours must remain ever incomplete, because new questions never cease to present themselves; and thus it finds itself compelled to have recourse to principles which transcend the region of experience, while they are regarded by common sense without distrust.

It thus falls into confusion and contradictions, from which it conjectures the presence of latent errors, which, however, it is unable to discover, because the principles it employs, transcending the limits of experience, cannot be tested by that criterion. The arena of these endless contests is called Metaphysic..
Max M=FCller, 1881:Nor is human reason to be blamed for this. It begins with principles which, in the course of experience, it must follow, and which are sufficiently confirmed by experience. With these again, according to the necessities of its nature, it rises higher and higher to more remote conditions. But when it perceives that in this way its work remains for ever incomplete, because the questions never cease, it finds itself constrained to take refuge in principles which exceed every possible experimental application, and nevertheless seem so unobjectionable that even ordinary common sense agrees with them.

Thus, however, reason becomes involved in darkness and contradictions, from which, no doubt, it may conclude that errors must be lurking somewhere, but without being able to discover them, because the principles which it follows transcend all the limits of experience and therefore withdraw themselves from all experimental tests. It is the battle-field of these endless controversies
which is called Metaphysic.
Norman Kemp Smith, 1929:The perplexity into which it thus falls is not due to any fault of its own. It begins with principles which it has no option save to employ in the course of experience, and which this experience at the same time abundantly justifies it in using. Rising with their aid (since it is determined to this also by its own nature) to ever higher, ever more remote, conditions, it soon becomes aware that in this way -the questions never ceasing -its work must always remain incomplete; and it therefore finds itself compelled to resort to principles which overstep all possible empirical employment, and which yet seem so unobjectionable that even ordinary consciousness readily accepts them.

But by this procedure human reason precipitates itself into darkness and contradictions; and while it may indeed conjecture that these must be in some way due to concealed errors, it is not in a position to be able to detect them. For since the principles of which it is making use transcend the limits of experience, they are no longer subject to any empirical test. The battle-field of these endless controversies is called metaphysics.
My version:
Yet no blame lies upon Reason for falling into this embarrassment. It begins with principles, which, in the course of experience, have proved quite indispensable and sufficiently trustworthy. Borne up with these principles (and as demanded by its nature), it ascends to ever higher and more remote conditions. When, though, it discovers that its work can never be completed in this manner-as the questions never cease-Reason is driven to seek refuge in principles which, though transcending any possible application to experience, occasion no distrust. Then Reason finds itself plunged into darkness and contradictions, from which it can only infer that some-where must be lurking errors that it can not detect, because the principles which Reason employs, as they reach beyond experience, do not admit of examination by trial. The battle-field of these endless conflicts is called Metaphysics.
Comment:
'Falls..fault" (used in Meiklejohn and copied by Smith) is to my ears inelegant, so following M=FCller, I chose 'blame', using a construction "lies upon" found in Trollope's 'The Eustace Diamonds': "And you'll find also that she'll contrive that all the blame shall lie upon him." Other constructions used by Trollope feature 'cast': "No blame by such an assertion is cast upon the young Conservative aspirant for party honours." He uses 'imputed in 'Can You Forgive Her': " He had said no more than this-had imputed no blame to Alice-had told none of the circumstances; but Seward had known that the girl had jilted his friend, and had made up his mind that she must be heartless and false." Also, "on her head": "Don't put the blame on her head"

The point is that there are many constructions one can use for assigning 'blame'. I chose one from 'The Eustace Diamonds' because it seemed appropriate for the metaphor, where Reason is taken as a sort of personage.
The second sentence in the original is not excessively wordy, but all of the translations are. I avoided that by refusing to repeat the expression 'experience'. M=FCller comes close, but even his is too wordy.
The next sentence needs considerable work. If translated literally, it seems tautologous:
"Reason takes refuge in principles which, even though they transcend all possible application in experience, are so innocent-seeming that ordinary human reason (common sense) agrees with them."

Well, duh! Why include the bit about "ordinary human reason" when 'reason' is already the subject of this sentence? Why explain that "common sense" or "ordinary human reason" agrees with them if they seem 'innocent'?
Anyway, "die gemeine Menschenvernunft" is usually translated as "common sense", which obscures the relationship between 'Menschenvernunft' and 'Vernunft'. 'Tis better simply to leave it out, as I did, and simply say: "occasion no distrust". What is the English reader missing here? Nothing!
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Why reproduce all that junk in translation? Consider the following text (preface) from Kant's first Kritik, 1781: Die menschliche Vernunft ... transcend all the powers of our Reason. Comment: My version has better rhythm and is less 'clunky' than the others.

This is, of course, the beginning of the preface to the first edition. People with the second edition might be confused.
You might compare these to the translation by Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (Cambridge, 1998):
Human reason has the peculiar fate in one species of its cognitions that it is burdened with questions which it cannot dismiss, since they are given to it as problems(b) by the nature of reason itself, but which it also cannot answer, since they transcend every capacity(c) of human reason.

(b) aufgegeben
(c) Vermögen
As for "clunkiness," I see no advantage to your version. Some differences to note, though, include
Your capitalization of 'reason', missing in all the other versions screams either personification of reason or your retreat to 18th century capitalization for an archaizing effect. It is an error.

'Cognition' is what the passage is about and what 'Erkenntnisse' means. 'Knowlege' (Müller, Smith, UC) is not wrong but is too broad. It is hard to express in English the connotation of 'discovery' often attached to 'Erkenntnisse', but it is not clear that it is necessary.

'Department of knowledge' is silly. 'Gattung' does not mean 'department'; it means 'kind', ;sort', 'genre', 'genus', or 'species'. The choices of the translators of 'class' or 'species' are much better than 'sphere' or 'department.'
The use of 'burdened with' for 'belästigt wird' is obviously better than the bloodless 'called upon to consider'. UC's 'beset' is fine.

'Vermögen' is given as a footnote by Guyer and Wood for the good reason the popular 'powers' does not adequately represent the meaning of this word.

UC's version is obviously better than (Meiklejohm, 1855). So is everybody else's. It seems to me no improvement over (Max Müller, 1881) or (Norman Kemp Smith, 1929) and definitely inferior to (Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood, 1998).
Why reproduce all that junk in translation? Consider the following ... has better rhythm and is less 'clunky' than the others.

This is, of course, the beginning of the preface to the first edition.

Yes.
People with the second edition might be confused. You might compare these to the translation by Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (Cambridge, 1998):

Those hacks? You must be joking.
Human reason has the peculiar fate in one species of its cognitions that it is burdened with questions which it ... reason itself, but which it also cannot answer, since they transcend every capacity(c) of human reaso=n=2E (b) aufgegeben (c) Verm=F6gen

The whole discussion of "aufgegeben" shows that they have no idea what they are talking about.
As for "clunkiness," I see no advantage to your version. Some differences to note, though, include Your capitalization of 'reason', ... screams either personification of reason or your retreat to 18th century capitalization for an archaizing effect. It is an error.

It is personification, in accord with 18th-century practice. The preface uses Reason as an agent.
'Cognition' is what the passage is about and what 'Erkenntnisse' means. 'Knowlege' (M=FCller, Smith, UC) is not wrong but is too broad.

This is a preface. The reader is not ready for that, and 'cognition' is not clearly the best choice. I have sided with M=FCller, who was a native German speaker, after considerable reflection.
It is hard to express in English the connotation of 'discovery' often attached to 'Erkenntnisse', but it is not clear that it is necessary.

Right.
'Department of knowledge' is silly.

It's idiomatic 18th century language.
'Gattung' does not mean 'department'; it means 'kind', ;sort', 'genre', 'genus', or 'species'.

Right, but "department of knowledge" is the idiomatic term in English.
The choices of the translators of 'class' or 'species' are much better than 'sphere' or 'department.'

Nope. They're hopelessly literal. I consulted an actual preface to see. Also, see any old Websters dictionary. "Department of Knowledge" is standard.
Look at the following:
"It is vain, then, if it were desirable, to avoid touching, or even entering to some extent into, other apparently distinct departments of knowledge."
From LATIN LEXICON LATIN-ENGLISH AND ENGLISH-LATIN EDITED BY F. P.LEVERETT COMPILED CHIEFLY FROM THE MAGNUM TOTIUS LATINITATIS LEXICON OF FACCIOLATI AND FORCELLINI, AND THE GERMAN WORKS OF SCHILLER AND LUENEMANN

NEW PRINTING FROM THE ORIGINAL
THE PETER REILLY COMPANY PHILADELPHIA 1931
I do my homework. Guyer and Wood? You cannot be serious.
The use of 'burdened with' for 'bel=E4stigt wird' is obviously better than the bloodless 'called upon to consider'. UC's 'beset' is fine.

I like it better.
'Verm=F6gen' is given as a footnote by Guyer and Wood for the good reason the popular 'powers' does not adequately ... over (Max M=FCller, 1881) or (Norman Kemp Smith, 1929) and definitely inferior to (Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood, 1998).

Guyer and Wood are hacks who have no business doing translations. They're hopelessly incompetent.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This is, of course, the beginning of the preface to the first edition.

81)
or (Norman Kemp Smith, 1929) and definitely inferior to (Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood, 1998).

Guyer and Wood are hacks who have no business doing translations. They're hopelessly incompetent.

By the way, the Leverett Latin lexicon dates from about 1836.

http://www.richardwolf.de/latein/leverett.htm
'Department of knowledge' is silly.

You don't translate the 'words' but what the words refer to.

'Department of knowledge" is standard (idiomatic) English academic language. Kant is referring to 'metaphysics' by this expression.
'Department of knowledge' is silly. 'Gattung' does not mean 'department'; it means 'kind', ;sort', 'genre', 'genus', or 'species'. The choices of the translators of 'class' or 'species' are much better than 'sphere' or 'department.'

James Madison to W. T. Barry, 4 Aug. 1822:
"Its rapid growth & signal prosperity in this character have afforded me much pleasure; which is not a little enhanced by the enlightened patriotism which is now providing for the State a Plan of Education embracing every class of Citizens, and every grade & department of Knowledge. No error is more certain than the one proceeding from a hasty & superficial view of the subject: that the people at large have no interest in the establishment of Academies, Colleges, and Universities, where a few only, and those not of the poorer classes can obtain for their sons the advantages of superior education. It is thought to be unjust that all should be taxed for the benefit of a part, and that too the part least needing it."
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s35.html
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'Department of knowledge' is silly. 'Gattung' does not mean 'department'; it means 'kind', ;sort', 'genre', 'genus', or 'species'. The choices of the translators of 'class' or 'species' are much better than 'sphere' or 'department.'

James Madison to W. T. Barry, 4 Aug. 1822:
"Its rapid growth & signal prosperity in this character have afforded me much pleasure; which is not a little enhanced by the enlightened patriotism which is now providing for the State a Plan of Education embracing every class of Citizens, and every grade & department of Knowledge. No error is more certain than the one proceeding from a hasty & superficial view of the subject: that the people at large have no interest in the establishment of Academies, Colleges, and Universities, where a few only, and those not of the poorer classes can obtain for their sons the advantages of superior education. It is thought to be unjust that all should be taxed for the benefit of a part, and that too the part least needing it."
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s35.html
'Department of knowledge' is silly. 'Gattung' does not mean 'department'; ... 'class' or 'species' are much better than 'sphere' or 'department.'

James Madison to W. T. Barry, 4 Aug. 1822: "Its rapid growth & signal prosperity in this character have afforded ... that all should be taxed for the benefit of a part, and that too the part least needing it." http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s35.html

It struck me as remarkable that anyone both would and could give you a serious critique of your English translation of a passage from Kant, even given that you had cross-posted it to alt.usage.german. It strikes me as even more remarkable that you have posted no fewer than six responses, so far, to that one critique.
I lack the knowlege of German to weigh in on the merits, but I wonder if you have a metaphorical mirror in which you can examine your conduct, and whether you might then contemplate whether sneering at the one person who has bothered to give you an educated and considered response is the best way to profit from the experience. You could have said much the same thing in substance by thanking Brother Martin for his thoughtful resopnse, expressing polite disagreement with those points you don't agree with, and perhaps asking a question or two to help develop the discussion.
If this be ad hominem, make the most of it.

Bob Lieblich
Channeling Emily Post
James Madison to W. T. Barry, 4 Aug. 1822: "Its ... part, and that too the part least needing it." http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s35.html

It struck me as remarkable that anyone both would and could give you a serious critique of your English translation ... asking a question or two to help develop the discussion. If this be ad hominem, make the most of it.

You must underdstand that few are qualified to judge this (my) work. I wanted to illustrate how important a native knowledge of English is in translating Kant. Most of these criticisms are old, and almost all of them are wrong. 'Gattung' may mean 'genus' and 'Erkennisse' may mean 'cognitions' in isolation, but "einer Gattung ihrer Erkenntnisse" means "in one department of knowledge". Full stop.
Most modern Germans are utterly unqualified to translate Kant into English or even to criticisze such a translation, unless they have a native knowledge of 18th & 19th century academic English as well. You'll note that I found several examples of "department of knowledge" from the early 19th century. The collocation goes back much farther than that.
Secondly, again, most Germans tend to want to translate every word, even when such a practice results in redundancy or absurd English. That was the principle point I wanted to discuss. In my translation, I have abbreviated the sentence:
"When, though, it discovers that its work can never be completed in this manner-as the questions never cease-Reason is driven to seek refuge in principles which, though
transcending any possible application to experience, occasion no distrust. "
Why? The parts that are excised from the German simply add nothing but confusion. You'll note also that I repositioned "in this manner" to a point where it is idiomatic in English. None of the other translators bothered to do this.
"Da sie aber gewahr wird, da=DF auf diese Art ihr Gesch=E4ft jederzeit unvollendet bleiben m=FCsse, weil die Fragen niemals aufh=F6ren, so sieht sie sich gen=F6tigt, zu Grunds=E4tzen ihre Zuflucht zu nehmen, die allen m=F6glichen Erfahrungsgebrauch =FCberschreiten und gleichwohl so unverd=E4chtig scheinen, da=DF auch die gemeine Menschenvernunft damit im Einverst=E4ndnisse steht."
Consider Kemp Smith's version:
"Rising with their aid (since it is determined to this also by its own nature) to ever higher, ever more remote, conditions, it soon becomes aware that in this way -the
questions never ceasing -its work must always remain incomplete; and it therefore finds itself compelled to resort to principles which overstep all possible empirical employment, and which yet seem so unobjectionable that even ordinary consciousness readily accepts them."

He at least tried to get around the redundancy of 'Vernunft' and 'Menschenvernunft' by rendering the latter as "ordinary consciousness". But why bother with that at all? If, as Kant says, reason "takes refuge" (my expression) in these principles, why bother with it again by adding that reason 'accepts' (Smith) or "agrees with" (M=FCller) them? We have already been told that reason has taken refuge in them, so what more needs to be said, except that they give us no reason to distust them?
Meiklejohn gave me the clue to drop this, with his translation "while they are regarded by common sense without distrust". He saw the redundancy and decided to do away with it. And why say that "common sense" accepts them because it sees nothing wrong with them? 'Common sense is indeed one of the translations of "die gemeine Menschenvernunft" but Kant is repeating 'Vernunft', which again is lost if we translate it as "common sense". So, again, what's the point. DROP IT!
Note also how wordy Smith's version of this sentence is compared to mine:
"Borne up with these principles (and as demanded by its nature), it ascends to ever higher and more remote conditions."

Rising with their aid (since it is determined to this also by its own nature) to ever higher, ever more remote, conditions (he fuses this sentence, which ends here in the German, to the next)

Why take ELEVEN words to say what can be said just as well if not better in SIX?
"(since it is determined to this also by its own nature" "(and as demanded by its nature)"
when the German is only EIGHT:
(wie es auch ihre Natur mit sich bringt).
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