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Anthony Appleyard

Dunk and Egg :: problems for translaters

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Posted (edited)

Dunk and Egg seems to contain one of the various bits of text where word-play causes problems for translaters. Here, the word-play is between "Egg", referring to his bald head, and his real name "Aegon". How do translaters manage here? French "oeuf", German "Ei", Spanish "huevo", Russian "яйцо" ("yaytso") :: the word-play is lost.

Same in one of the books where someone remarks that a dragonfly looks nothing like a dragon:  "dragonfly" becomes French "libellule", German "Libelle", Norwegian "øyenstikkere", Russian "стрекоза " ("strekoza"), etc: again, the word-play is lost.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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16 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

Dunk and Egg seems to contain one of the various bits of text where word-play causes problems for translaters. Here, the word-play is between "Egg", referring to his bald head, and his real name "Aegon". How do translaters manage here? French "oeuf", German "Ei", Spanish "huevo", Russian "яйцо" ("yaytso") :: the word-play is lost.

Same in one of the books where someone remarks that a dragonfly looks nothing like a dragon:  "dragonfly" becomes French "libellule", German "Libelle", Norwegian "øyenstikkere", Russian "стрекоза " ("strekoza"), etc: again, the word-play is lost.

 

Not all books are equally great outside their original language of writing and publishing.

Not everyone can be as lucky as Paulo Coelho in getting good translators., or it have something to do with the fact that it's evangelical softcore conversion bull crap disguised poorly as philosophy. GRRM doesn't do bull shit AFAIK. IIRC. 

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Sometimes translators are able to come up with a different type of wordplay using their language. 

For example on the French version of Harry Potter, the Sorting Hat is renamed Choixpeau. This isn't a literal translation but is better in keeping with the spirit of the series as its a play on Choix (meaning choice) and Chapeau (meaning hat). 

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Posted (edited)

In cases where it is not possible to replicate those kinds of wordplay, a common approach is to add an asterisk after the first time the word appears, and then include a footnote explaining it.

On 5/14/2021 at 10:04 PM, Lady_Qohor said:

For example on the French version of Harry Potter, the Sorting Hat is renamed Choixpeau. This isn't a literal translation but is better in keeping with the spirit of the series as its a play on Choix (meaning choice) and Chapeau (meaning hat). 

I wasn't aware of that one. It's really great.

It's very similar (but inverting the languages) of the translation from Ideafix to Dogmatix.

Edited by The hairy bear

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3 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

In cases where it is not possible to replicate those kinds of wordplay, a common approach is to add an asterisk after the first time the word appears, and then include a footnote explaining it.

I wasn't aware of that one. It's really great.

It's very similar (but inverting the languages) of the translation from Ideafix to Dogmatix.

I've always been a little bit in awe of the translation work for the Asterix series. So many names, so many puns... 

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On 5/13/2021 at 5:05 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

Dunk and Egg seems to contain one of the various bits of text where word-play causes problems for translaters. Here, the word-play is between "Egg", referring to his bald head, and his real name "Aegon". How do translaters manage here? French "oeuf", German "Ei", Spanish "huevo", Russian "яйцо" ("yaytso") :: the word-play is lost.

Same in one of the books where someone remarks that a dragonfly looks nothing like a dragon:  "dragonfly" becomes French "libellule", German "Libelle", Norwegian "øyenstikkere", Russian "стрекоза " ("strekoza"), etc: again, the word-play is lost.

 

Slam dunk for Sweden!

Ägon = Aegon

Ägg = Egg

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