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Captain Haddock: His nationality?

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jock123
Moderator
#71 · Posted: 30 May 2019 09:51
Chrissie:
Never once mentioned to be a different nationality or have different ancestry

It's never mentioned that he is Belgian, either, nor is it even certain that he's speaking French, given that he could be speaking Flemish... It's often uncertain what language the characters are intended to be speaking: the Scottish characters all speak in fluent French to Tintin in the original Black Island, when presumably it's Tintin speaking English to them; so Haddock and Tintin could be speaking Flemish to each other, but it's being translated like the English was in Black Island (or they could be speaking English - it's not possible to be definitive).

Anyway, that's the point of this discussion - it's looking for clues, for nuance - Tintinology is meant to be fun, after all.

This question of nationality isn't something that arises out of the books being translated into English either - it's based on the anecdote of Hergé's about the "sad British fish", the haddock. That's our hint.

Chrissie:
Archibald is used in other countries

Again that holds equally true the other way - Archibald is a name more common in Britain than Belgium; the fact that it could be found in Belgium doesn't negate the possibility that Hergé intended him to be British.

Chrissie:
We have George and Paul Remi

Not certain of your point here - for a start, Hergé's name was the distinctly Francophone Georges, rather than the English George. If your suggestion is that you can't tell what nationality someone is from their name, then that just takes us back round again to the start - if we can't assume that someone called Paul is Belgian, it's just the same for someone called Archibald Haddock.
mct16
Member
#72 · Posted: 31 May 2019 14:33
jock123:
nor is it even certain that he's speaking French, given that he could be speaking Flemish

I've heard that although Brussels is in the Flemish part of Belgium, 90% of the population speak French. I imagine the rate was even higher when the original stories were published in the mid-20th century.

Herge was primarily a French speaker. It would be interesting to know how much Flemish he could talk, but I have also heard that while most of Belgium's Flemings also speak French, the Walloons (French speakers) do not necessarily get to speak Flemish as a second language.
jock123
Moderator
#73 · Posted: 31 May 2019 23:26
mct16:
I've heard that although Brussels is in the Flemish part of Belgium

Absolutely true - but it still doesn't negate the point that Haddock could be speaking any language really, given the way in which Hergé makes characters speak French, even when they would not be plausibly doing so, and generally has people speak in their own tongue (e.g. Arumbayas speaking Arumbayan) for comic effect.

mct16:
It would be interesting to know how much Flemish he could talk

His grandmother's Marollian dialect is a form of Flemish, so he would have had some understanding from childhood at least.

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