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King Ottokar's Sceptre: English/ Syldavian translation?

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#11 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 20:59
Oh, okay, thanks. Now I got that figured out.

Just one more question: Was it really neccesary to change the lettering on the police station?

#12 · Posted: 24 Jun 2004 22:22 · Edited by: jock123
Gustav enquired:
Was it really neccessary to change the lettering on the police station?
Well, yes, why ever not? The word “gendarmerie” would mean nothing to the average seven year old in the UK or the US, for example, so to change it not only kept the joke Hergé was making in the French, but also made it easier for the readers. If it hadn’t been changed, there would have been no joke, and less clarity.

I take it there is a reason you thought they shouldn’t have?
#13 · Posted: 25 Jun 2004 10:42 · Edited by: GurraJG
Um… the police station lettering is in that cyrillic (or something like that) language so most readers wouldn’t be able to understand it.

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#14 · Posted: 26 Jun 2004 00:39
The thing about the Cyrillic in the books is that you can transliterate it without knowing the language at all -- you just need a table of the characters and their English equivalents. And once you've done that, you can understand the joke. :)

I liked 'Szcht', for 'silence' (though this is also shown in English, nay?).

#15 · Posted: 26 Jun 2004 23:22
I have gone back and looked at the book, and I concede that the joke might have worked if it had been left unchanged - given that you might expect a child prepared to put the ground-work into doing the de-coding to be inquisitive enough to find out what the word meant anyway. I had forgotten that the “sign” had been placed directly onto the outside of the building, meaning that there are shadowy outlines of Hergé’s original to be seen: this is a change which would benefit from a little Photoshop re-touching.

The other thing I noticed was that the border signpost is written in Roman- not Cyrillic-script. Is this standard practice at international frontieres, or just inconsistancy?
#16 · Posted: 27 Jun 2004 20:10
From what I remember, both Syldavia and Borduria use the Roman alphabet. I think instances of Cyrillic are probably just inconsistencies, but there could be any number of historical reasons why both might coexist (as in former Yugoslavia).

On a similar topic -- also just from recollection -- the Hotel Sznôrr in Szôhod is mistakenly noted as "Zsnôrr" on the building façade, is it not? (Calculus Affair).

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