It's not that much off topic (out of sheer luck, I hadn't specified "Tintin names" in the title, and in any way it's interesting to compare the translation processes).
No really, it is! ;-) We're in the Tintin books section after all; a break out thread in the Lounge would be the appropriate place, which is why I apologized, but no harm done. No doubt the movie of Watchmen
might generate a bit of traffic there when it comes out. Thanks for the confirmation on the translator's credentials, by the way, I've not been aware of him.
And the insight into the formality of the language is also really interesting. There is an almost irresistible urge to have any characters involved in tales of derring-do and adventure talk in an overly formal way in English too - the Boy's Own
stories of the Thirties, Jennings
, the Hitchcock 39 Steps
etc. have a great influence, and the ornate names fit that ambience.
Thinking about the Loiseau/ Abird/ Bird thing, it could be that the translators went for Bird, not just because Abird is an improbable looking name, and both Loiseau
are real family names in their respective languages - so they may generally be seen as related names, not just here but elsewhere (as one might equate Schmidt
), but because (doing) bird
is British slang for serving time in prison...