It's fascinating how you still can learn new things thanks to Tintin! Up here in Sweden, those kings are translated as Henrik XV
and Ludvig XIII
(which, like in the Finnish case, simply are the germanic versions of Henri and Louis and clearly meant to be French kings - there's never been any Swedish kings named Ludvig or Henrik), but up until now I've never realized that there never even was a Henri XV of France! I wish they somehow kept that joke in the Swedish translation. Being a fan of the Marx Brothers, I know that in the stage version of Animal Crackers
(but not in the film), there's a masquerade scene taking place at the court of the fictional king Louis the 57th
. Or take the singer who recorded They're coming to take me away
in the 1960s as Napoleon XIV
. Using names like these (which look like French royalties but quite obviously are fictional) could have been a way.
And about Swedish translations, it's actually quite complicated. Tintin was first presented to Swedish readers in the late 1940s, but up until the 1960s it was only serialized in weeklies and dailies, each time with a new translation! The first batch of albums came in 1960-62, when The Shooting Star, King Ottokar's scepter, Secret of the Unicorn
and Red Rackham's treasure
was published. Some of these stories had already been available in various papers, but this was brand new translations. Those albums didn't sell well, so it was back to serializations in the papers, from the 60s including some comic magazines. The albums soon returned and between 1968 and 1978 all of them (including Soviet
) was published, re-translated again and (partly thanks to the Belvision-cartoons shown on Swedish TV in the early 1970s) this time Tintin was a large success. Still is, actually.
During 2004-05, all albums was re-released in new editions and - yes - re-translated once more! This means that there are at least two, often three, Swedish translations of every adventure. Ottokar
has been translated into Swedish six (!) times and Cigars
five. Being a "late" adventure, The Castafiore Emerald
has been translated only twice, and I'm referring to the first one which I grew up with. I haven't the second available right now but when I get the chance I'll check that translation regarding those kings.
The bits about the Spanish translations in this thread are interesting, since most of present Belgium for quite a long time was part of the Spanish empire as the Spanish Netherlands, sharing the same kings. However, the boundaries changed over time and when Chevalier de Hadoque received Moulinsart by king Louis/Ludvig XIV, that piece of land must obviously have been annexed by France. If I remember correctly, we've been discussing this before in another thread.
De Insula Nigra:
Similarly, in the English version of Red Rackham's Treasure (p. 23, frame 1 in the Spanish), the translators changed the church from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome to Westminster Abbey. The Spanish version, however, remains true to the French. Any ideas why the English translators changed the French references and whether they are the only ones to have done so?
Check out http://www.tintinologist.org/articles/goldenpress.html
. In the first US edition of Rackham
, it was St. Patrick's cathedral in New York! In the first Swedish edition (and translation) from 1962, the reference was to the Swedish cathedral Uppsala domkyrka, but in the two others (from 1974 and 2004 respectively), it's St Peter's in Rome.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit the lovely island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and I was pleasantly surprised to find Tintin translated to their local, French-based language Kréol Morisien. So far, only two albums are available (Unicorn & Rackham
) and on page 23 in Trézor Rakam ti-rouz
, the joke is referring to "Katédral Sin Loui dan Porloui"
, i.e. the St Louis Cathedral in (the Mauritian capital of) Port Louis
...or "Ludvigshamn", which would be its Swedish name :-)
BTW, in the related language Kréol Rénioné on nearby island of Reunion (still a French possesion), five Tintin albums are available: Lotus, Crab, Tibet, Flight 714
- and Le kofŕe bijou la Kastafiore
! I wonder how those kings are translated in Rénioné...