Friday, July 01, 2005

Cleopatra's Needle, LondonNot so much lazy - more busy.

A week has passed, and in that week I have discovered a great many things (unfortunately none are relevant to alchemy).

I have discovered that the great thing about knowing someone who's just come back from France is that they might have gone a wee bit mad and bought me an Asterix book. Mais toutes les personnes dans la livre sont appellent par autres noms*. Those crazy French people call Cacophonix, the lamentable bard, "Assurancetourix", which I think translates as "fully comp" (it's a pun on toutes-risque). Because obviously bad music is impenetrably linked with actuaries.

Even worse, Dogmatix, la chien ideologique d'Obelix, is "Idéfix", which comes out as "fixed idea" (ou peut-etre un dogma?). Getafix, the druid, is Panoramix, and the chef, Vitalstatix, is Abaracourcix - which I can't even translate. You'd think whoever translated it into French would have worked harder on the names, wouldn't you?

Although having read it (or more precisely wondered what pun I'm missing on "Gallo-pin" and so on), I'm now trying to remember what the incidental characters are called in the English version. I'm also wondering if the names of the surrounding camps have changed or if I was simply too young to know what Laudanum was.

But, of course, j'ai oublié Google. Other people have been here before me, although I just misread what Getafix becomes in some other countries. I'm sure that can't have said Magimix.

But enough Asterix. Et maintenant, le plus célèbre Belge après Poirot: Tintin. Who rather oddly is still called Tintin in French (the book fairy also bought a L'Ile Noire, so I had a quick flick before they gave it to the intended recipient). More bizarrely, Captain Haddock is still Captain Haddock (presumably because it's a daft English word vaguely related to the sea, as is the character [not a word obviously, but you know what I mean]). But I still find it odd trying to remember that all the people are supposed to be French. Thomson and Thompson (Dupont et Dupond, possibly respectively), for example. I'd always assumed it was Herge mocking the gentlemen of the city. It never occurred to me that French people have bowler hats too.

And Snowy is called Milou. That's just wrong.

Ont peut trouver plus d'information sur Tintin ici.

Moving on, and I think I'll shunt a lot of the rest of my discoveries into a different post. But one quick thing - Are New Zealand accents recognised by the UN as an implement of torture? The person who made me think this was working the same office as a South African, and managed to make the kl'pt Afrikaans accent sound nice by comparison. It's like the mutant spawn of Australian and middling Northern.

By way of example I now present the world's shortest Kiwi-English Dictionary:

Git - This is not a reason to slap her, rather it is an instruction to pick something up.
Steers - Not American for bullocks or the action of steering, but a method of passing between floors of differing level.
Teen/Tine - Nothing to do with forks or adolescents. In actual fact, it is a place of many dwellings and some commerce.

Every vowel seems to have shifted up a tone, which means my example Kiwi probably scrambles the echolocation systems of bats every time she meets an "i".

If she's around much longer I'll have make the joke about NZ being Australia's solitary confinement wing in the hope that she takes offence and refuses to speak to me forevermore. Does anyone one know any really cruel anti-NZ joke, as her painfully loud voice (obviously Telecom NZ is expensive, so the residents find ways to avoid using it) is not stopped by mere masonry, so I need her to be in a permanent sulk whenever I'm within a county or two of her.

Adjourning temporarily.


*Just as well I Babelfished to check, as I managed to write the middle of that as "don la lire". Je suis tres fatigué. [Retournez]

In German, Tintin takes on the hideously Teutonic moniker "Tim" and Snowy becomes the even more fearsome sounding "Struppi". In fact the books are actually called "The Adventures of Tim and Struppi", okay, they're not it's Die Abenteuer von.... but you get the point.

Asterix and Obelix are so popular that they produce versions written in regional German dialects - Alsatian and Swabian for example (can you imagine it written in say, Scouse?) please tell me that hasn't happened, please.
And what is it about the phrase "returning from France"? Is its use compulsory this week?
I'm now desperately struggling to combine the words "why-ay-man" and "magic potion" in the same sentence (yes, I know that's not Scouse, but I can't actually think of anything Scouse).

I think you can get Asterix in Welsh, but they might get a bit miffed if I class that as a regional accent (but taksi? Come on).

Returning from France: Well, it's not like anyone would go and not come back, is it?
I'm not sure that BBC Scotland (Gaelic) running "Telebhisein prògraman" entitled "Speaking Our Language" is much better than "Taksi" though.

As the place of birth on my passport is very close to Newcastle I'm going to ignore the way-aye man Scouse comment. Presumably the Scouse version would have everyone running around in shell suits, stealing cars....
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?