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King Ottokar's Sceptre: English/ Syldavian translation?

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GurraJG
Member
#1 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 11:21 · Edited by: GurraJG
In the English version, the word gendarmaskaïa was changed to politzki (pg. 25, fr. 2-3). Also, on the wall of the police station (pg. 25, fr. 4) the words were changed. I think the words are gendarmaskaïa in the French version and politzki in the English. Why was all of this done?

Also, what is Professor Alembick's French name? The Swedish version gives his name as Halambique.

-Gustav
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#2 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 11:44
I suppose the words for the police station were changed to reflect the original pun. The French version is an obvious pun on "gendarmarie" for "police station", so in order for it to remain a pun in English the Syldavian word was changed.
Professor Alembick's name in French is Halambique. The good one is called Nestor, and the bad one is Alfred.
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 12:05
An “alembic” is a type of retort used in distillation - it’s one of those sort of spherical pots with a beak, which cartoonists like to draw chemists, or anyone even vaguely scientific, as having in their laboratories.

The translators have added a “k” to the end, because it makes it look more like a regular surname. I’m assuming that the Swedish is also a play on this too, so I think there is a fair chance that the French will make this pun too, or at least something making a pun on scientific equipment.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 12:13
I think it could also be a pun on lambic, a type of Belgian beer which may have got it's name from Lembeek ("Lime Creek"), a town southwest of Brussels, in the heart of the beer- producing area.
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#5 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 12:20
If memory serves, the well on page 21 of "Land of Black Gold" is called "Bir El Ambik" in the original French. It retains its brewing connotations by being translated as "Bir Kegg".
jock123
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 12:36
Ed sed:
If memory serves, the well on page 21 of "Land of Black Gold"

That’s prodigious memory work you have there, Ed!! It must be learning all that case law!! You know the page from memory!! ;-)

Chris, Ed, I’d not made the beer connection, but I see that it does make for a good pun. The Bir Kegg one has always been a favourite of mine.
GurraJG
Member
#7 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 12:57
Um... what's a pun?...

*runs*

-Gustav
Jyrki21
Member
#8 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 14:27
Um... what's a pun?...

*runs*


A play on words. :) Any phrasing that is meant to indicate something else. So while "Bir Kegg" is supposed to sound like an Arabic name for a certain oasis ('bir' means 'well' in Arabic), it is a play on the English "beer keg."

Hergé often uses puns in his naming, and the English translators usually turn them into English puns. Sometimes translation isn't even necessary, since Hergé often uses Flemish-influenced Bruxellois, whose Germanic character makes it similar enough to English in the original (like "Wadesdah" for "What is that?").

That said, in the strict sense, neither the 'gendarmaskaïa' nor 'politzki' renderings are actually puns, since they are supposed to mean gendarmerie/police in Syldavian... :)
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#9 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 14:28
Thanks jock123, though I do have the English version in front of me so I could see the page, I just remembered what the French version said because I don't have that with me at the moment ;-)
Gustav, a pun is a jokey sort of play on words - like where two words look and sound the same but have different meanings. Perhaps the case with "gendarmaskaïa" isn't a pun as such, being a straightforward "Balkanisation" of "gendarmarie". More obvious puns are when Hergé uses things like "Bir El Ambik" (see above), "Hotuatabotl" (hot water bottle - Picaros), or "Kih-oskh" (kiosk - Cigars). Many of them are not Hergé originals but added by the translators - and there are many many more to be found!
edcharlesadams
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#10 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 14:30
Apologies Jyrki21, I see we both posted at more or less the same time!

Ed

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