Übermensch in English

The first translation, published in 1896, of Thus Spoke Zarathustra into English was by Alexander Tille, who translated Übermensch as Beyond-Man. In the Thomas Common translation, published in 1909, however, Übermensch was rendered as "Superman". Common was anticipated in this by George Bernard Shaw, who had done the same in his 1903 stage play Man and Superman. Walter Kaufmann lambasted this translation in the 1950s for two reasons: first, its near or total failure to capture the nuance of the German word über (while the Latin prefix super- means above or beyond, the English use of the prefix or its use as an adjective has altered the meaning); and second, a rationale which Fredric Wertham railed against even more vehemently in Seduction of the Innocent, for promoting an eventual puerile identification with the comic-book character Superman. His preference was to translate Übermensch as "overman". Scholars continue to employ both terms, some simply opting to reproduce the German word.
The German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is prepended. Mensch refers to a member of the human species, rather than to a male specifically. The adjective übermenschlich means super-human, in the sense of beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity.