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Asterix: Interview with Anthea Bell about the translations

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#11 · Posted: 12 Nov 2021 03:07
I have just read the English version of the new album, Asterix and the Griffin, and I was disappointed by the sloppiness of the translation. A few examples:

- One character, the cheesemaker, is actually given two different names on different pages!

- Little attempt seems to have been made to replace French jokes with English ones, with the result that much of the dialogue is confusing or nonsensical. There were similar problems in the previous album, Asterix and the Chieftain's Daughter. There, the characters from Arvenia (nowadays Auvergne) have a speech impediment. But since English-speaking readers have no idea about local French accents, the joke is pointless. In contrast, whenever Arvernians appeared in the earlier albums, the old translators removed the speech impediment and inserted English jokes instead.

- At one point in this latest album, the French word 'Scythes' is inexplicably left intact instead of being translated as 'Scythians'. Again, there was a similar sloppy error in the previous album. The French name of a town (nowadays Rennes) was left intact as 'Condate' instead of being translated as 'Condatum', which is what the old translators consistently did.

But maybe I should let this go. The new albums are not very good anyway ...

The first was Le Secret de la Potion Magique; an album based on the movie of the same name- and the other was Le Menhir D'Or- both are not panel comics, but illustrated albums

It's enterprising of you to translate these! I have read them in French. I didn't much like Secret of the Magic Potion, and none of the usual creators, old or new, are involved. But Golden Menhir is actually by Goscinny, so it's a real shame there's no official English version. And there's actually yet another of these illustrated albums, a revised version of Twelve Tasks published in 2016 featuring completely new illustrations by Uderzo (see here and here). That is the best of all of these but was not translated either.
#12 · Posted: 6 Sep 2022 13:13
Vishnukanth and I once again joined hands to translate to English Le Menhir D'or as The Golden Menhir, same way as we did The Magic Potion.

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