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translation of M.Moorcock's books

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  • translation of M.Moorcock's books

    I am new on this forum, and I do not know if somebody already tackled the subject of the translation of the books of M.Moorcok.
    So, I would like to put the following question: does MM have the choice of its translators; and if so, which are its criteria ?
    I am conscious that the translation is not an exact science, nor easy !!!
    To be honest, the first time that I read (in french) the chronicles of Elric, I adored the history (otherwise, I won't be on this forum), but I did not find them very well written.
    But then, I read Corum and Von Beck ... and I loved the style !!!!
    So my assumption is that the translation of Elric is not so good. Am I right ?
    I plan to read again them in English, but it will take me a long long time ...

    Bye,
    Damien.

  • #2
    Authors aren't often involved in choosing their translator - it's something the local publisher takes care of.
    Only successful "serious" authors (not sf or fantasy) would even have the same translator from book to book but that normally depends on the translator working hard to keep their job.
    A quick look through my (small) collection of sf in Italian shows that this is so because in Italy at least you'll normally find a credit on the page with the copyright info.
    I remember throwing away Stephen King's "It" in Italian and waiting for a chance to get it in English because the translation was so bad. So even big names (with high sales potential) don't necessarily get translated well.

    I think if you can manage, read the original language. Same for films of course. Italian dubbing is generally pretty high quality - not like the awful kids programs in the UK where you could hear that the same 5 people did all the voices even if there were 40 different characters. Foreign feature films in the UK are usually subtitled but other countries have long traditions of dubbing and are often very good.

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    • #3
      Now that you talk about translation, I hope the books will be re-published when the movie is released. English is my second language, and I received some of Elric books from a friend who loves fantasy too. But it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a copy in spanish, at least in this side of the ocean. Of course, there are still some copies in Spanish pages, but they are too expensive and too few, no to tell that most of them are too worked out.
      I wonder if someone could do something about it, I mean, can't they be published again in spanish?
      Sweet moons!

      Comment


      • #4
        For a somewhat depressing discussion of the Swedish translation of the Elric books, see [broken link]

        The moral of that particular thread would probably be something like: Never let a roleplaying game company translate or publish your favorite books.

        The dangers of reading books in the original language are also made apparent: If there is no market for translations they will eventually stop being made, possibly leaving large groups without books to read. This is why there is almost no sf in Swedish these days.
        Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 09:00 AM.
        You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

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        • #5
          It's the Swedes' fault. They're so bloody good at languages. Most of my Swedish readers prefer to read in the English editions... :)

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd noticed that, about Swedes, and also the Dutch and Belgians I met while in Holland a few years ago (for a one-day concert, talk about a long ride for a few hours' bliss!) I know at least a dozen bands/musicians from Sweden in particular, and every one of them could out-speak some Americans I could name. :)

            I asked them why it seemed everyone spoke English at least passably well -- in Holland I only met one chap, an elderly man, who spoke no English at all -- and they told me the simple reason: movies. Or rather, how movies are presented in BeNeLux. American movies are generally subtitled there for broadcast, and are not dubbed. Result? A free lesson in conversational English, with pronunciations intact.

            Germany and France generally dub their American movies rather than subtitle them for broadcast, so, I was informed, they don't reap the same benefit, and the 'penetration' of English in those countries isn't as pronounced.

            Interesting theory; it certainly makes sense.

            Now I'm wondering about Finland and Norway; the muzos I've met from those countries have either been fluent in English, or very 'light' in it. :)

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            • #7
              Interesting theory; it certainly makes sense.
              And so simple too!!!

              I suppose the only downside is that they'd all learn to speak American English instead of the Queen's English, but I suppose we can't have everything!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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              • #8
                I'm assuming that British productions would likewise be subtitled, but (alas for Europeans who wish to learn "proper" English), there just aren't as many of them. 8O

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pellaz
                  Interesting theory; it certainly makes sense.

                  Now I'm wondering about Finland and Norway; the muzos I've met from those countries have either been fluent in English, or very 'light' in it. :)
                  I think that it certainly makes sense. Even people who are really bad at speaking English, here, almost always understand it very well, which is mostly due to music and movies. My parents' generation are, generally, like that. My grandmother, however, doesn't understand a word of English.

                  As for Finland, well, compared to Finnish, English and Swedish are practically dialects of the same language. The morphology is very different in Finnish compared to Indo-European languages.

                  Norway has subtitles, so I don't know what their excuses are. :)

                  I don't think that English is quite as "cool" in Norway as in Sweden. Also, I think that there is a general consensus in Sweden (in politics, etc), that learning English is very important. We also have many loan words imported from English. Perhaps it's Norwegian policy to "protect" their native language, as in Iceland or France? Why am I writing this, I obviously don't know anything about it... :roll:
                  You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

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                  • #10
                    As French used to be, English is the dominant language and the lingua franca of the world. This is more to do with American movies and so on, I suspect, than anything else. Also rock music and so on. My experience is that Norwegians, too, are generally pretty well versed in English, as are German, Japanese, French and even Spanish people. Young people usually want to learn it because the culture which appeals to them (rock music, games, sf) is primarily produced in English. This makes those of us with English as a first language very lazy about learning even French, which used to be de rigeur for educated English people, or German, which used to be regarded as the languge of philosophy, social justice and so on. Jerome K. Jerome, in Three Men on the Bummell (3 Men on Bicycles in US) suggests that the teaching of languages in English schools is hampered by comic stereotypes of foreigners. He remarks in 1900 that Germans speak excellent English whereas the English speak appalling German. Maybe it's all to do with Anglophone arrogance, after all...

                    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Some while ago I read the book that accompnied the British TV series 'The Story Of English'. In this the author suggested that English was on the wane as a global language. Unfortunately, along came the video games industry and then the internet to prove him wrong!
                      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                      -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                      Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                      :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                      "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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                      • #12
                        When hitching around the continent in the 80's I met a Dutch girl I Nice and spent the evening drinking and quoting Monty Python with her. She put the high level of English down to the availability of British TV in Holland - they could pick up the BBC just as easily as native duth TV and their English teachers at school would give watching a specific programme as homework.
                        In Germany I once got directions from a tramp lying in the gutter - in an almost perfect Oxford accent.

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                        • #13
                          Cue Dee's sad Monty Python anecdote:

                          The last time I tried to impress a girl (English) by stealing jokes from Monty Python's Holy Grail I quoted the scene where Palin (as a serf) mocks King Arthur for taking a sword from some "bint" in a lake... not only had the girl never seen the film, she also happened to speak Arabic and found the word very offensive. What are the chances of that?

                          (Actually, it isn't that sad an anecdote, because we got on quite well after I'd apologized profusely and even wrote to each other for a while... but my point is that the universal langauge of Monty Python will not always be there to aid you).
                          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                            . . .
                            Jerome K. Jerome, in Three Men on the Bummell (3 Men on Bicycles in US) suggests that the teaching of languages in English schools is hampered by comic stereotypes of foreigners. He remarks in 1900 that Germans speak excellent English whereas the English speak appalling German. Maybe it's all to do with Anglophone arrogance, after all...
                            Of course, for a combination of arrogance and silliness, it's difficult to top the
                            remark by former Texas governor "Ma" Ferguson:

                            "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for the schoolchildren
                            of Texas."

                            LSN

                            P.S. Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummell
                            are extremely amusing books which seem not as well known as they deserve to be.

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                            • #15
                              "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for the schoolchildren
                              of Texas."
                              Oh. My. God. 8O

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