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Languages spoken in Tintin

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#1 · Posted: 25 Aug 2005 15:21
In the Tintin English versions, what are the most spoken languages, according to the foreign words' total number uttered in all 24 albums?

Thanks in advance for your help.
#2 · Posted: 26 Aug 2005 04:19
Beyond the odd designation like "Monsieur" or exclamation like "Diavolo!" or the fake "Krützitürken," there are almost no western languages in the English versions besides English itself.

The second-most common language is probably fake Arabic (among Crab, Black Gold and Red Sea Sharks). The amount of real Chinese in Blue Lotus also amounts to a reasonable quantity.
#3 · Posted: 31 Aug 2005 19:00 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks for your answer.

Here are some data and comments about the languages heard the original versions:

- Chinese is mostly written and seems to have mainly a rather passive, decorative role and is sort of neutralized (Chinese = Japanese in The Crab with the Golden Claws p8, C1)...
- Arabic is kind of neutralized too in The Black Gold (p18, C2) & in The Red Sea Sharks (p26, A1), and is mostly as fake as in the English versions...

The most common uttered languages (a few dozens of words each, including dialogues) are:

- Arumbayan (mainly in The Broken Ear)
- Syldavian (mainly in King's Ottokar Sceptre)
- English & Spanish (phrases scattered in various albums)
- Sondonesian (in Flight 714 only)

If Arumbayan and Syldavian stand for distorted marollien (Herge's childhood's language, see 'Ketje' book), the real-life linguistic area hinted by the other languages might also be related to the author's youth's 'terrible' time, all the more as some internal data match together, after they are confronted with external data...

Black Island's or internal data:
This story is marked by the only two dramatic barrier's crossings seen in the Tintinverse:
- in England (p30, B1)...
- in Scotland (p38, D3)...
These barriers are narrowly linked to obscure (p31, D1) or invisible passages (p39, B3) and most likely stand for language barriers, because of the ...

...British Isles' or external data:
- the Scottish word 'Iles'* refer to Gaelic islands such as Craigh Dhui (The Black Island, p42)...
- in those islands, the 'Isles'** are rendered by 'Innseachan', a synonymous with the 'Indies'...

These latent language distortions match with The Black Island scenario:
- the story is entirely dedicated to counterfeiters who work with a strange invisible ink (see 'magic Archipelago' thread)...
- Tintin's route is limited to regions the languages of which can transform L'Ile Noire (the album's original title) into East Indies**, namely Sondonesia, a country which appears much later in the corpus (Flight 714)...

Such remote isles*** announced with so much secrecy should most likely possess the 'unseen' transmission system used by Herge 'to say what he had to say' (see 'Tintin et Moi' DVD), all the more as:
- Sondonesian is quoted and thus disclosed by the end of the corpus only...
- Sondonesian natives are Indians, and thus match with the many threads about their omnipresence, which is systematically linked with obscure or unseen passages...

If English & England & the scenario lead to Scottish regions that possess unseen languages able to transform words and match them, Spanish & Spain might have the same properties...

Tintin never travels to Spain in the books, but Spain is intimately linked to his encounter with Haddock, for both heroes often do mention it in The Golden Claws before they crash in a place which isn't Spain any more, but has turned into Sahara...
Just like The Black Island, 'Spain' & the 'Sahara' might be kind of 'passwords' (please search for 'passwords' thread) related to Tintin & Haddock's reunion, i.e. the first four 'virtual' syllables of the author's announced message (please search for 'hieroglyphs' thread)...

- 'Iles' without a circumflex, namely spelled as shown on the cover to the Ile Noire ultimate version
(please see both covers here http://modelbox.free.fr/dossiers/tintin/Tintin_P/page3.html )...
Such an 'invisible' title's duplication (1938/43's version versus 1966's) implies 'Ile' is kind of a plural...
- the 'Iles' = the 'Hebrides' (Scots Dictionary, ISBN 1-902930-01-0, p308)...

(1) Isles = Gaelic 'Innseachan' = Indies (Gaelic Dictionary, ISBN 1-874644-11-6, p197)...
(2) Gaelic 'noir' = East (Gaelic Dictionary, ISBN 1-874644-11-6, p247)...

L'Archipel Tintin (2004) would thus not just be a casual book's title, but reflect Tintin, Haddock & Co's unseen and so-called 'unconscious' motherland, namely Pulau Pulau (= the Iles) Bompa, a Sondonesian islet linguistically as plural as L'Ile Noire*...
#4 · Posted: 22 Sep 2005 14:40

I am surprised as to how no one has pointed out that in Tintin in Tibet one porter shouts angrily on Captain Haddock in Hindi as "Kyon Ji Dekh Kar Nahi Chal Sakte?" which losely means "Hey, can't you watch your step?" Then in the same book the same porter shouts something else after seeing Haddock again (I don't remember what he says as I had read the book a long time ago).

Sandeep Gupte.
#5 · Posted: 22 Sep 2005 15:30
I am surprised as to how no one has pointed out that in Tintin in Tibet one porter shouts angrily on Captain Haddock in Hindi (...)

If your search on this site, you'll find the Tibet page


that might help you...
#6 · Posted: 23 Sep 2005 11:41
That rocks, basically. Very interesting.
#7 · Posted: 23 Sep 2005 12:07 · Edited by: yamilah
"Kyon Ji Dekh Kar Nahi Chal Sakte?"

Could you please (or someone else) tell us the exact meaning of each of these seven short words?

Thanks in advance.
#8 · Posted: 27 Sep 2005 11:43 · Edited by: sandeepgupte
Hi yamilah,

I have mentioned in my earlier post that those 7 short words loosely translated in English mean:

"Hey, can't you watch your step?"

Sandeep Gupte.
#9 · Posted: 28 Sep 2005 13:01
thanks your answering, but I meant the meaning of each of these separate short words, if possible!
Thanks again.
#10 · Posted: 28 Sep 2005 20:23
Regarding the Hindi in Tibet query the actual words spoken by the Porter in the first meeting are not quite as stated as above. In exactement they are :

Porter : Kyon Ji? Dekhte nahin saamne kya hai?

Which mean :

Kyon Ji : Hey you
Dekhte : See
nahin : Cant
Saamne : Ahead
Kya : what's
Hai : there?

(Gramatically wrong wordwise but makes sense in a flow).

Incidentally the second time the Porter bumps into Haddock he barks the words : KYA?..PHIR WAHI?

Which means : WHAT?..YOU AGAIN??...

hope it's all clear now and the porter is at peace.

(PS : The Hindi of the porter is bang on. In terms of the lettering (devanagari) and the way it's phrased).

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