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Digital Editions: New English translations by Michael Farr

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#21 · Posted: 1 Jun 2017 15:00

Thank you for a very insightful reply to my rather visceral reaction post. Indeed it does explain why the digital editions are so far removed from the print. It does make sense from a fiscal standpoint. They don't have rights and they don't want to pay an arm and a leg to get them. Cheaper alternative - pay for a retranslation.

That said, from my standpoint, the retranslation makes it feel like a different comic altogether. I am not a purist in that I didn't mind the relettering, I welcomed it even, as the new lettering made good use of the white space/density as you pointed out.

However, with the retranslation, the changes are subtle, but the retranslation seems to have robbed a lot of character out of the more colorful inhabitants of the Tintin world. Haddock for instance, who always came across as a bit of a gruff, rough around the edges sailor, has gotten a makeover to sound more refined (stupid versus my fine fellow - Prisoners of the Sun). It just is not the same character I grew up knowing and loving (and I've been rereading for the last 35 years).

Examples abound. I bought ten albums in total, as I love reading Comics on my iPad Pro (12.9" screen), and the prospect of reading my favorite books in digital at the tap of a button was just too delicious to not avail at this price point per album.

As for the question you brought up, from where I stand, no, not in the very least. I don't think the new texts do the albums justice. I may be biased as I have never read the French originals, but I have read the English versions for over 35 years, and this ain't it. Just my $0.02.
#22 · Posted: 1 Jun 2017 18:25
Thank you for a very insightful reply to my rather visceral reaction post.

No problem! We all get more like Haddock as we grow older, I fear, no matter how much we wish to be even-tempered like Tintin! ;-)

It just is not the same character I grew up knowing and loving (and I've been rereading for the last 35 years).

It's difficult, I know (and I have been a fan for close to 50 years!), but perhaps the availability of a new translation might be more acceptable to a younger readership?
I don't know if the MT&LL-C translations may seem dated, so if it does engage a different audience, then maybe that's a good thing?
I found the change in lettering also changed the "sound" of the characters, so I know how you feel.
I know one thing, I certainly won't be getting rid of my original translation (and original-lettered - I am a purist to that extent!) Methuens and Egmonts!

We have been incredibly lucky to have had such fantastic translations of the books in English, and it's good to know that you have enjoyed them so much over the years!
#23 · Posted: 29 Aug 2018 03:31
According to the Tintin site, 23 books were fully translated two months and 14 days ago, with Alph-Art being added in the following months.
#24 · Posted: 14 Sep 2018 00:44
Hello, my first post here:

I have a question on English translations of The Land of Black Gold. Has anyone encountered the Autocart towing service in another name? Autocart was definitely used in my Methuen version of The Land of Black Gold which I bought sometime in the mid 1970s (I don't have it handy - it's packed away for some home renovations). However, today, on a Tintin app (see below) I have encountered "Recovery Zoom" instead of "Autocart" both on the radio the Thom(p)sons listen to and on the wall at the garage. There is also a different version of "One day your car goes boom" song which reads like:
Boom... One little look and Boom...
When your motor goes Boom...
Just call Recovery Zoom...
They'll see to you quick...

Has the English translation of this book or others been changed over the years? This one is certainly significant.

The Tintin app I mentioned is one I downloaded to my iPhone a while ago from Tintin.com. You may have encountered it on your internet travels. It has the first 4 pages of each book and you can pay $5 to download the rest.

If anyone has any comments or know of something about the different translation, I'd love to hear. :)


P.S. I did search the forums beforehand for Land of Black Gold with Autocart and Recovery Zoom but found nothing about this.
#25 · Posted: 14 Sep 2018 12:49
Has anyone encountered the Autocart towing service in another name?

Welcome! Well done and thank you for doing the search first - it's always appreciated; unfortunately, although the specific instances you mention hadn't been discussed, the over-all reasons for the changes have.

You will see that this thread (to which your message has been moved) is about the fact that the app doesn't use the Methuen translations - which continue to be the basis for the print books - but new translations done by Michael Farr.

This means that not just the specific lines you mention, but many others, are in fact different.
#26 · Posted: 28 May 2019 12:23
Moved to existing topic

I've been reading the American translations of Manga.
I must say they are very close to the original. They even have a few pages to explain cultural references and jokes we won't get but they didn't change.
I was wondering if anyone else would like to see a new translation of the albums? Just from a new perspective.
I'd actually like to see Calculus called Sunflower, regardless of how little the joke makes sense.
It would be nice to see the original editions in their original form in English. Even the hearing jokes in their original language.
I think some translations are needed, even if only a few.
Stuff like Haddock mentioning seeing Castafiore in the Red Sea in Crystal Balls. Unicorn being set in London, despite of its being set in Belgium.
I know they did it for the re-release of the original stories, but I'd like to see the reprints done too. Maybe even some in American English for people in North America or people in Europe that use American English.

Also, there seems to be a few terms they use that have either fallen out of public usage. It would be nice to see them using more common usage words. I'm not suggesting Tintin starts calling people "dude" or "bro", but some of the terms especially in the older translations could be better done.
The newer ones "Soviets" and "Congo" are great even if the stories themselves aren't the best
#27 · Posted: 8 Jul 2019 10:52
some of the terms especially in the older translations could be better done.

I'm sure your point would be clearer if you gave examples, as it's hard to know how to respond otherwise; what sorts of expressions, and who is to interpret what is common (for example, in America, some speakers of English commonly use "y'all" as a plural second-person pronoun, some don't, and speakers of English in Britain and Australia don't use it at all)?

I'm also not sure how one could easily make a case for changing the expressions if, as it appears from your post that you actually don't want the text to deviate in other areas; you also have to consider that the books are all old, and the language has to suit the era in which the story sits - Hergé's dialogue in the original books will be every bit as dated, if not more so, as the English, which is for me all part of their charm.
#28 · Posted: 14 Jan 2020 09:03
This seems very odd, maybe it's to get us to buy all the Tintin albums again.
#29 · Posted: 14 Jan 2020 16:22
This seems very odd, maybe it's to get us to buy all the Tintin albums again.

If you read back through the thread, I think you will find that there is a very mundane reason for the change!
#30 · Posted: 12 Feb 2024 12:15
One thing that I am hoping for is that they don't try to relocate Tintin to England. In the current English publications Tintin is implied to be a resident of England. In "Crystal Balls" we have towns like Palissy becoming Harlesford or La Rochelle becoming Bridgeport, which is at odds with the police being dressed as Belgian gendarmes or French town policemen, not to mention all the left hand drive cars.

Sorry to resurrect a post from years back. I have just re-read Farr translated 'Crystal Balls' and the text now refers to places like La Rochelle and Saint-Nazaire. Unfortunately the sign on page 55 still states Westermouth rather than Saint-Nazire (which in the French book). This is a 2021 digital edition. I much prefer the French / Belgian names.

UPDATE: I decided to contact tintin.com directly and they have already replied stating that it is an error and will be amended.

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