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Crab with the Golden Claws: What does 'Karaboudjan' mean?

#1 · Posted: 9 Dec 2004 06:49 · Edited by: Jyrki21
In another thread, thmthm wrote:

Armenia's and Turkey's histories are intertwined (in the most unforunate way) and share many words - karaboudjan in Turkish is:
Bou - this
djan- Spirit
THIS BLACK SPIRIT - maybe a foreshadowing of whats to come after Tintin gets kidnapped
but thanks for starting this new topic from the previous one
When i saw that cover from Harrock I was dying of laughter - that was good!

Indeed, I studied a little Turkish in undergrad, and it was only then that I appreciated that 'Karaboudjan' sounded like a Turkish name. Indeed, thmthm's translation is bang on -- it would be spelled "Karabucan" in Turkish -- and I wonder if Hergé got his Levant languages confused. Because this is quite clearly a Turkish name...
#2 · Posted: 9 Dec 2004 07:24
Well - many turkish/Arabic (and even French) words are used interchangably within the western Armenian culture- especially in my parents and grandparents generations - so Herge might have been told that it was Armenian. To this day, I learn that many of the words I use are not Armenian at all just because Ive heard it used over and over again in conversation...
You couldve imagined how great I felt as a kid when I read that though!
Harrock n roll
#3 · Posted: 9 Dec 2004 11:49 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
This is from the book Tintin at Sea:

Hergé made up the name of this ship. As was his method, he brought together two names from one geographical region - KARA BOUgaz, a gulf on the east of the Caspian Sea, and AzerbaiDJAN - to produce, as Tintin notes, an Armenian sounding name.

On 20 September 1972 he wrote to his friend the Author Gabriel Matzneff "One day when we meet again, you are sure to tell me that the name actually exists, though I had invented it."

This I found on the internet:

The name Kara-Bogaz-Gol, literally "black throat lake", can be translated as the "mighty strait lake", after the steep Caspian-KBG channel.

The Kara-Bogaz-Gol gulf is in Turkmenistan.
#4 · Posted: 9 Dec 2004 20:42
Of course - I forgot about that book...
so was this book just an excuse to re-release the TINTIN, HADDOCK ET LES BATEAUX book in english? (which im glad they did) Even though it was to coincide with the exhibition?
UK Correspondent
#5 · Posted: 9 Dec 2004 22:00
I'm guessing they chose to release it to concide with the exhibition because it is a perfect companion to it. I think that the original "Mille sabords !" exhibition held in the Musée de la Marine in Paris was based on the book "Tintin, Haddock et les Bateaux", so when the exhibition came to the UK, the release of the book in English must have been a seemingly natural decision.

The new book "Tintin, Hergé et les Autos" could perhaps provide a similar theme (although it would probably be far more difficult to put together such a collection for exhibit).
#6 · Posted: 30 Dec 2012 22:55 · Edited by: Moderator
Hi guys,
Another version what could Karaboudjan mean is a family name in Armenian. As you might know, Armenian family names have mostly an ending which is pronounced as "yan". 'jan' is a European (German, Scandinavian, Dutch) pronounciation of the same 'yan'.

An example, there exist Armenians with family name Karabedyan or Karabedjan. And 'boud' means thigh in Armenian. Anyway, in the 17th century Armenian was much different than it is now, so Karaboudjan might have a meaning which I dont know now.

However, that it could be a family name (invented or real or unreal) is very likely.
#7 · Posted: 31 Dec 2012 11:40
It's slightly ironic that Armenia is landlocked from the open seas, though there are Armenian communities in many countries with a coastline.

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