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When the books, or the movie series, are translated into foreign languages, how often are the English-type Westeros personal and place names left alone, and how often are they translated?

 

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4 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

When the books, or the movie series, are translated into foreign languages, how often are the English-type Westeros personal and place names left alone, and how often are they translated?

 

I can just speak for the German Books 

Personal Names:

The first name is mostly the same and the only changes I noticed were in Fire and Blood.

Criston Cole ->Kriston Kraut

Joffrey Velaryon -> Geoffrey Velaryon

But this are the only first names who are germanized noticed so far

Nicknames are a completly diffrent  thing

Penny-> Hella

Halfman-> Halbman

Etc.

House Names:

There are three fractions:

Those who stayed the same because their origin is unrecognizeable and they have a similar german pronouncation like Manderly, Baratheon and Stark

Then their are original names with a more difficult pronouncation who get germanized:

Lannister -> Lennister

Piper -> Peiper

Etc.

The third are the word-by-word translated ones:

Blackwood -> Schwarzhain

Dustin -> Staublin

Etc.

Westerosi Place Names are often translated (the only exceptions I remember is the Mander and Winterfell):

Stonedance -> Steintanz

Kingslanding -> Königsmund

Casterly Rock -> Casterly Stein

Etc. 

I honestly dont like the translation because most of them sound like they just asked Google Translator, but I am fond of Altsass for Oldtown : D

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1 hour ago, Karneol said:

The first name is mostly the same and the only changes I noticed were in Fire and Blood.

Criston Cole ->Kriston Kraut

Joffrey Velaryon -> Geoffrey Velaryo

Joffrey to Gottfrid. Which is totally inconsistent since they kept Joffrey for Joffrey Baratheon. 

And many given names are translated (some times you can not really call it translation). Unwin to Unsieg, Eustace to Konstans, Edwell to Edgut, Osgood to Osgut and so on.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

Joffrey to Gottfrid. Which is totally inconsistent since they kept Joffrey for Joffrey Baratheon. 

And many given names are translated (some times you can not really call it translation). Unwin to Unsieg, Eustace to Konstans, Edwell to Edgut, Osgood to Osgut and so on.

Thank you, I completly forgot Konstans and all the other names you mention. Its been a while since I read the books in german and the only thing I am going to reread in german are Hedge Knight stories and FaB. Part of the reason why is because of the "ugly" and "unfitting" place names ( It did go so far I was about to name some places myself)

Edited by Karneol

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28 minutes ago, Karneol said:

Thank you, I completly forgot Konstans and all the other names you mention. Its been a while since I read the books in german and the only thing I am going to reread in german are Hedge Knight stories and FaB. Part of the reason why is because of the "ugly" and "unfitting" place names ( It did go so far I was about to name some places myself)

In my opinion Unsieg and Staublin are the worst. It is like translating Blumentopferde to Flowerstohorses. I do not see any consistant strategy. Reyne becomes Regn, but Dayne becomes Dayn instead of Tagn (which would not really make it better anyway). Winterfell is not translated at all (so it sounds like a fur animals get in winter), neither is Stark (so they had to go with Kraft for Strong). Edmure keeps his mute e, Trystan does not. Mace is changed to Maes, but Mance to Manke and rhymes with Tanke. All in all the German translation is not that bad, but they messed up the names.

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In Polish - as for the place names some are translated (Old Town - Stare Miasto; Kings Landing - Królewska Przystań; Bitterbridge - Gorzki Most; Last Hearth  - Ostatnie Domostwo). Some names maybe do not lend themselves  to translation, others were not translated for some obscure reason, including Pennytree, Casterly Rock (although sometimes it is called "Skała" - the Rock), Stonedance and many more. 

As for the personal names - most (most most) are left alone.

As for the nicknames - most were translated (Halfman - Półmężczyzna; Coldhands - Zimnoręki etc).

BTW. What I hate about Polish translation is that Coldhands is riding a moose. In Poland people generally cannot tell elk from moose, I really dunno why.  On the other hand - on the moose he would look more badass.

 

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The Czech translation is a mess. First names are, mercifully, left unchanged and surnames mostly, as well, though inconsistently - Thoren Smallwood remains Smallwood buty lady Smallwood becomes lady of Small-wood (z Malolesa). Then, half-way through the series, the translator suddenly decided that it was time to translate the surnames and went for it with the grace of an elephant in a china shop. She made all of the surnames adjectives, which is a possible surname type but not on such a scale, adjectival surnames are a minority. She was probably inspired by the medieval tradition of such names derived from the name of the family seat but totally failed to realize the prevalence of names "of XY" or just "XY". On top of that, she stubbornly kept  both parts of compounds, which in Czech is a non-productive type of word formation and led to all kinds of weird, unnaturally sounding and too long words. This created quite an uproar from the readers, and with the huge popularity ASOIAF was gaining, AFFC was republished with the names in the original form to maintain consistency. Sadly, the translatory butchery of toponyms was going on from AGOT already, so that remained unchanged. What happened with ADWD I don't know because I totally gave up on the translation and have stuck with the originals ever since, as it's not just the name translations but the general level of language that is totally cringey.

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Here are a few examples from the Swedish translations (which I have not read, but am somewhat familiar with as I've browsed through the copies and have had friends read them.) Most of the names of houses and characters are kept in the original English, but many geographical sites are translated into Swedish.

Westeros is Västeros, which reads quite humorous since there is a small Swedish town namned Västerås. It makes for an easy joke. (And yes, George RR Martin has been asked about this while in Sweden and he knows of this town now, though it had no influence on his choice of name.)

Winterfell is Vinterhed, a direct translation which reads really cool in Swedish and gives a very true atmosphere.

King's Landing is Kungshamn, which is not a direct translation and rather means "King's Harbour". A more correct translation would have been something like Kungslanda. Kungshamn reads very historically correct and very medieval and could very well have been an actual old Swedish town, but at the same it reads quite lame because it sounds too cosy and small town Swedish to represent what I guess King's Landing actually is meant to sound like (and how it sounds to me in English). For example, in my part of the country we have towns like Kungsbacka (King's Hill) and Kungälv (King's River) which might sound cool and GRRM-ish when translated to English but to us Swedes such names just feel very cosy and modern day familiar, and further up the west coast we actually have a small community named Kungshamn (the Swedish translation of King's Landing).   

The Dothraki Sea is Dothrakien, which follows the pattern of how some real world countries are named in Swedish, as in Spanien (Spain) or Syrien (Syria), but I would argue that it's not a correct translation at all and gives the wrong feeling. 

So yeah... Geography is translated into more Swedish sounding names, sometimes great and sometimes not so great, but most characters and houses are kept in English.

Which I find weird, since many of the English character names not translated could easily have been made into Swedish as well. The Greyjoys are still called Greyjoy in Swedish, but should be something like Gråfröjd which would actually have sounded quite cool and medieval. But others, as Alliser Thorne, is correctly translated to Alliser Törne. Just seems stupid to not be consistent...  

As for the subtitles of the HBO show, I know that one of the two founders of this very site (Linda Antonsson) did those subtitles for the first seasons, though I'm not sure if it's still her.  I've never seen the show with subtitles, so I can't say for sure how they hold up, but from just a quick glance at the Swedish subtitles from Season 7 I can say thay they're only using the English names, not the Swedish ones from the books. And happily, Sweden has never done that awful thing of dubbing the voices of foreign movies or tv (other than cartoons for children), so that's no issue. 

 

 

 

Edited by Daniel von Gothenburg

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57 minutes ago, Daniel von Gothenburg said:

Here are a few examples from the Swedish translations (which I have not read, but am somewhat familiar with as I've browsed through the copies and have had friends read them.) Most of the names of houses and characters are kept in the original English, but many geographical sites are translated into Swedish.

Westeros is Västeros, which reads quite humorous since there is a small Swedish town namned Västerås. It makes for an easy joke. (And yes, George RR Martin has been asked about this while in Sweden and he knows of this town now, though it had no influence on his choice of name.)

Winterfell is Vinterhed, a direct translation which reads really cool in Swedish and gives a very true atmosphere.

King's Landing is Kungshamn, which is not a direct translation and rather means "King's Harbour". A more correct translation would have been something like Kungslanda. Kungshamn reads very historically correct and very medieval and could very well have been an actual old Swedish town, but at the same it reads quite lame because it sounds too cosy and small town Swedish to represent what I guess King's Landing actually is meant to sound like (and how it sounds to me in English). For example, in my part of the country we have towns like Kungsbacka (King's Hill) and Kungälv (King's River) which might sound cool and GRRM-ish when translated to English but to us Swedes such names just feel very cosy and modern day familiar, and further up the west coast we actually have a small community named Kungshamn (the Swedish translation of King's Landing).   

The Dothraki Sea is Dothrakien, which follows the pattern of how some real world countries are named in Swedish, as in Spanien (Spain) or Syrien (Syria), but I would argue that it's not a correct translation at all and gives the wrong feeling. 

So yeah... Geography is translated into more Swedish sounding names, sometimes great and sometimes not so great, but most characters and houses are kept in English.

Which I find weird, since many of the English character names not translated could easily have been made into Swedish as well. The Greyjoys are still called Greyjoy in Swedish, but should be something like Gråfröjd which would actually have sounded quite cool and medieval. But others, as Alliser Thorne, is correctly translated to Alliser Törne. Just seems stupid to not be consistent...  

As for the subtitles of the HBO show, I know that one of the two founders of this very site (Linda Antonsson) did those subtitles for the first seasons, though I'm not sure if it's still her.  I've never seen the show with subtitles, so I can't say for sure how they hold up, but from just a quick glance at the Swedish subtitles from Season 7 I can say thay they're only using the English names, not the Swedish ones from the books. And happily, Sweden has never done that awful thing of dubbing the voices of foreign movies or tv (other than cartoons for children), so that's no issue. 

 

 

 

I made a thread about this a while back that might be of interest:

 

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