The New York Sun

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Moderator: Jochgem

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The New York Sun

Beitrag: #Beitrag Jochgem »

In the latest Missive (from the one and only really official site) an article by Asterix translator Anthea Bell is quoted that appeared in the New York Sun. The online edition is not hard to trace: Asterix and His Secrets.
The great treasure of the Asterix saga is its inventive wordplay, which has forced translators such as me to adapt freely and creatively. Tintin also contains wordplay, but not nearly as much as Asterix, and the volume of Goscinny’s gags increased as time went on. At first he relied heavily on the simple joke that the Romans spoke Latin: On the first page of the first adventure, after a bruising encounter with the Gauls, one legionary declaims, “Vae victis!” However, his concussed friend has perdu son latin, literally “lost his Latin,” but with the colloquial meaning of being “baffled, at a loss.” The Germans use the same expression; we don’t have it in English. “It’s all Greek to me,” a close equivalent, was no use here. It was done with grammatical references in English: “Accidence will happen” and “We decline.” (“Funny way to spell accidents,” a puzzled German student once commented to me.)
Hendrik Jan

Asterix in 100+ translations at:

Re: The New York Sun

Beitrag: #Beitrag Furienna »

Here in Sweden, the word "galler" can mean both "Gauls" and "bars". And that gave our translators the opportunity to make a pun / word play. There's at least twice, when the Swedish translation has a Roman say "Dessa galler, de borde sitta bakom galler!" Translated word by word into English, that would be something like "Those Gauls, they should be behind bars."