There are seven dwarves in the Snow White story. But for some reason, there was a need to change their names in different translations of the tale. There are many factors that go into changing a name, but when it comes down to it we’re all worried about one thing: what’s going on with the dwarf names?
In the original version of Snow White, there are seven dwarves. They were named: Dopey, Happy, Grumpy (sometimes spelled as Grim), Sleepy, Bashful and Sneezy. In German it was translated to: Dummling/Dummerle/Stumpelstilzchen aka “the Dunce,” Hänschen Küchengeschirrspüler (“Little Dishwasher”) or Schlafmütze(“Sleep Hat”). It is in this translation that we see a change in names for the dwarfs from their English counterparts.
A few other translations have also changed some dwarf names such as Doc being called Ernst while Dumpling became Napthali.
In general, many translations of Snow White have been changed from the original. This is because there are numerous factors that go into changing a name including: cultural difference and history. One key thing to remember when looking at different languages’ versions of Snow White in particular – they’re all just trying to tell their own story!
Briefly mentioned: Language’s Power over Translation..History vs. Cultural Differences ..The Final Verdict on Dwarf Names?..Dopey as Dummling/Der Dummerle/Stumpelstilzchen..Hänschen Küchengeschirrspüler (“Little Dishwasher”) or Schlafmütze(“Sleep Cap”) This is also a great opportunity to mention that there are many other different versions of Snow White around the world. From Japan’s Shirayukihime to Nigeria’s Ananse, each one has its own story and culture. I recommend checking out this article from The Guardian about some of these amazing stories! In general, all cultures have changed dwarf names over time by adding their own twist or altering it in order to fit into their cultural context better than translating in an accurate way would allow for. Dwarves’ names can often be translated as “Little Person” (Dopey) or “Crummy Beard” (Grumpy). In addition, many languages give dwarves funny nicknames instead: Dummling