Lost in Translation

>> Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Apparently when they translate a book into a different language, they change quite a few things, including titles and character names. For example:

Original English Version:
"Hallo!" said a soft and musical voice above his head, and Terence, looking up, saw the most beautiful girl he had ever seen—a girl he would have been frightened of except that her blue eyes looked sad, and sadness was something Terence knew about.
-Eva Ibbotson, Which Witch?

German-to-English Translation:
"Hello," said a soft, musical voice, and Leonardo looked up. In front of him stood the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, a girl who might have frightened him but for the sad expression in her blue eyes. He knew about sadness.
-Eva Ibbotson, The Mystery of the Seventh Witch (Das Geheimnis der Siebten Hexe)

I still don't understand how Terence translates to Leonardo, though.

3 Comments:

Sananora June 28, 2011 at 8:04 AM  

I would think that they would just leave the names be...

Marian June 28, 2011 at 9:24 AM  

They've done that in Jules Verne books, too, and it's pretty annoying! And yes, how did they go from Terence to Leonardo--that doesn't make any sense to me. ;) The German language also tends to use long sentences, like in the first example...I kind of prefer the first one myself. It keeps it closer to the original.

Sorry for the rambling comment.. :P

The Golden Eagle June 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM  

I have to wonder how many books published internationally are changed like that--and I have to say, I think I like the original, long-sentence version. There's something more flowing about it.

I Am An Otter

You're an otter, mate! Another good friend of Redwall, you are a natural swimmer and a deadly fighter especially with a long bow or javellin. Camp Willow is your home, just as Redwall is your second home. You have a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. You absolutely love Shrimp and Hotroot soup, living by the motto "Ain't nothing 'otter for an Otter!".

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