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Red Sea Sharks: Difference between "de" and "dé"?

#1 · Posted: 21 Mar 2014 07:47
At the end of the opening page of the Red Sea Sharks, Tintin and the Captain literally bump into Alcazar whom they haven't seen for years. Turning the page, Tintin explains how they were just talking about him (an actor in the film they saw reminded them of him):

"It's extraordinary! Imagine! The Captain and I were just this moment talking about you!"

To which General Alcazar responds with "Qué?... Of me?" Given his native language is Spanish, the 'qué' here is of no surprise.

Interestingly, in the French version, he replies with simply "Ah! ...dé moi?"

But the real question I have been wondering is what the difference is, in this context, between the French words 'dé' and 'de'. Because, in the next panel, in the French version, Tintin goes on to say:

"Oui, dé vous, pardon, de vous..."

It seems he corrects himself here. And since my schoolboy French is only limited, I was just wondering if perhaps someone around here might be able to shed light on my musings?
#2 · Posted: 21 Mar 2014 10:10
It's just to show that the General is speaking French with a heavy accent (the acute changes the pronunciation of the "e"). Tintin inadvertently copies the General, before correcting himself. It is an indicator to anyone not totally sure that Alcazar is a foreigner.

It's like when a writer in English has a French character say "zis" and "zat" for "this" and "that", it's a sort of stereotype/ short-hand. While it may be acceptable in broad comedy ('Allo 'Allo or the Inspector Clouseau films make a big thing out of the absurdities of accented English), careful writers tend to avoid it.

The English translators get round that by having the General drop in a Spanish word, which does the same thing for the reader, and saves Tintin's dignity a bit.

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