Names of Characters in Foreign Editions.

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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:43 pm

Le bump! :lol:
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:08 pm

One of my very first posts on here was in this thread :) It's on page 3 :P
A poster outside one shop urged people to Dig For Victory, as if it were some kind of turnip.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:10 pm

I noticed! :D

What avatar did you have then? Someone thought it was very good.
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:19 pm

The great A'Tuin :D

Image

WWD thought it was good :P
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Postby author3 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:45 pm

That pic of The Great A'Tuin has been my desktop for the last 2 years :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:15 pm

Ah, now I remember! :D
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Postby DaveC » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:04 am

Tonyblack wrote:Ah, now I remember! :D


You've seen Author's desktop?!?! :lol:
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Postby ChristianBecker » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:11 am

... which is a good idea.
We have a thread of desktop screenshots at the Gentoo forums.

→ Opening one now in the broken drum.
On with their heads! I'm the clown prince of fools
if you don't get the joke it's your loss
Love and laughter you see are the new currency
'cause greed's coinage is not worth a toss

Exile yourself to the unforgiving continent of Wraeclast!
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Postby DaveC » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:15 pm

ChristianBecker wrote:... which is a good idea.
We have a thread of desktop screenshots at the Gentoo forums.

→ Opening one now in the broken drum.


Maybe a bit pointless for me, I change mine evry week or so...
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Postby Anilori » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:49 pm

Cheery wrote:Oui! Il est morte. Means "He is dead".

Doesn't just "Mort" mean death? That would be a bit of a problem in the french edition :?


*wanders in, six months later* In French he's just called Mortimer. Or Morty :)

I did a comprehensive list of all main characters and book titles once, for another forum - unfortunately I can't find it...

Discworld - le Disque-Monde
Ankh-Morpork - the same
Great A-Tuin - la grande A'Tuin (feminine form even though we don't know his/her gender, since the world for turtle is feminine)
Rincewind - Rincevent
The Luggage - le Bagage
Death - la Mort
War - la Guerre
Famine - la Famine
Pestilence - la Pestilence
Cohen the Barbarian - Cohen le Barbare
The Librarian - le bibliothécaire

Vimes - Vimaire
Carrot - Carotte
Cheery Littlebottom - Hilare Petitcul
Reg Shoe - Raymond Soulier
Nobby Nobbs - Chicard Chicque

...
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Postby Teppic » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:24 pm

Anilori wrote:Cheery Littlebottom - Hilare Petitcul


:lol:

That's great!

And Google translate brings it back into English as Hilarious Small Ass. :lol:
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Postby Anilori » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:11 am

Yes, unfortunately French is back-to-front with nouns first and adjectives second, so she has to introduce herself as 'Petitcul, Hilare' for the worldplay to work optimally ^^

I found my old write-up! It's very long, and I can't link directly to the other forum because you have to register to be able to see it, so here is a big old WALL OF TEXT which I'm very sorry about:

-----
- Havelock Vetinari -> Havelock Vétérini (same pun, adapted for the French pronunciation)
- Rufus Drumknott -> Rufus Tambourinoeud (tambourin = small drum ; noeud = knot)

The Watch:
- Samuel Vimes -> Samuel Vimaire (now that's an interesting one; until recently, I thought it didn't mean anything and was just meant to sound more French. But it turns out 'vimaire' is a dialectal word, meaning 'something of great strength'. Isn't that nice?)

- Carrot Ironfoundersson -> Carotte Fondeurenfersson (literal translation, except for the -sson, left untranslated, to keep the Norse ring and because that kind of patronymic name doesn't exist in French)

- Cecil Wormsburg St-John Nobbs, aka Nobby -> Cecil Wormsbourg Saint-Jean Chicque, aka Chicard ("chic" means "chic", of course, but here it mostly means "posh". -ard is a derogatory ending used to form nouns)

- Frederick Colon -> Frédéric Côlon (note the circumflex; "côlon" means the organ, "colon" means colonist)

- Cheery Littlebottom -> Hilare Petitcul (I love this one! "Hilare", of course, is a bit stronger than "Cheery": the modern meaning is "laughing out loud", but her name had to be an adjective ending in -e, because only those are identical in the masculine and feminine forms... Plus, it comes from the Latin "hilarus", meaning, well, cheery! As for "Petitcul", "cul" is generally considered the equivalent of "arse" rather than "bottom", but it probably sounded better than "Petitderrière"^^)

- Detritus -> Détritus (sounds obvious, but apparently, detritus in English means a kind of sedimental rock. In French, it mostly means "litter, rubbish", I don't know about the possible geological meaning)

- Reg Shoe -> Raymond Soulier (apparently, Pterry chose "Reg" because it sounded old-fashioned, sturdy and dependable. That's mostly what comes to my mind when I think of "Raymond"... "Soulier", of course, means shoe; it's a bit old-fashioned in France, but it's still very much used in Quebec)

- Moist von Lipwig -> Moite von Lipwig (same word, although it is a bit of a false friend; "moite" means "clammy")

- Adora Belle Dearheart -> Adora Belle Chercoeur (literal translation)

- William de Worde -> Guillaume des Mots (literal translation, almost)

- Sacharissa Cripslock -> Sacharissa Cripsloquet (loquet = lock)

- Cut-Me-Own-Throat-Dibbler -> Planteur-je-m'tranche-la-gorge (the "cut-my-own-throat" part is literally translated, but I really don't know about "Planteur", which means, well, planter...)

- Lord Downey -> le seigneur Sédatiphe (sédatif = sedative, obviously)

- Rosemary Palm -> Rosemarie Paluche ("paluche" is a slang word for "hand", and the verb "palucher" means, well, you'll guess from context)

- Jonathan Teatime -> Jonathan Leureduthé - I know he's only in one book, but I have to mention him because it's one of M. Couton's masterpieces in my mind. "Leureduthé" is a perfectly literal translation of "Teatime" - you couldn't be more literal. Now, Teatime, as you know, insists that his name is pronounced in an exotic way, "Teh-ah-tim-eh". Similarly, Leureduthé should be pronounced "Leredouté" - that is, 'Leureduthé' said with a kind of Spanishy accent, but also "le redouté" = "the feared one". Because of that, Francophone fans have spent a lot of time wondering what the original pun was in Teh-ah-tim-eh, and caused a lot of confusion in English boards :D

Rincewind -> Rincevent (literal translation, no problem here)

Mustrum Ridcully -> Mustrum Ridculle (simple Francisation, with the added bonus that Ridculle sounds almost exactly like "ridicule" (ridiculous))

Ponder Stibbons -> Cogite Stibon (cogiter = to ponder)

Mrs Whitlow -> Madame Panaris (literal translation - I had to go and check this one in an online dictionary, you learn something new everyday!)

Eskarina Smith -> Eskarina Lefèvre (Lefèvre is a common name with originally the same meaning as "Smith", although it's no longer used as a noun in modern French)


Witches:

- Granny Weatherwax -> Mémé Ciredutemps (literal translation - I'll just note that there are two common words translating as "granny": "mamie", which is the one preferred by most modern grandmothers as it sounds younger and more modern, and "mémé", which has an old-fashioned and rural ring, and now mostly brings to mind a crotchety old woman. Well played, M. Couton)

- Nanny Ogg -> Nounou Ogg (literal translation)

- Magrat Garlick -> Magrat Goussedail ("gousse d'ail" means "clove of garlic", but "ail" would be a bit short for a name all by itself)

- Agnes Nitt -> Agnès Créttine (crétin, -e: idiot, nitwit)

- Tiffany Aching: Tiphaine Patraque ("patraque" is a slang world meaning "not feeling well". It's also a funny word to say^^)

- Lilith de Tempscire: as I explained in the Quotations thread, Couton simply reversed the language switch and made her Lilith Weatherwax...

- Death: la Mort. It's obviously a literal translation, but the problem is that "mort" is a feminine word. It's caused trouble in the Spanish translation, where the first books just referred to la Muerte as a feminine entity, until it couldn't be sustained any longer (a feminine entity cannot be a father, now, can it?) and the translator had to give up and leave a footnote saying basically "sorry, we goofed in the previous books, now Death is male, deal with it"). Couton, on the other hand, always referred to him in the masculine, even if the word "mort" calls for a feminine, and, to explain the apparently broken grammar, he writes funny little footnotes explaining why he does it. My favourite one is the one where he calls Death "un mâle nécessaire" (a necessary male, which sounds exactly like "a necessary evil")

(Grammatical gender not matching actual gender is a frequent problem in languages that have gendered nouns. For example, when I read the Jungle Book as a child, Bagheera was a female, because the word "panthère" is feminine. In the Disney film, obviously he was a male, which confused me a lot...)

- Mort -> Mortimer/Morty (obviously his name couldn't be kept unchanged, so it was slightly tweaked)

- Susan -> Suzanne (which is a very old-fashioned name now; most Suzannes are at least grandmothers. It probably adds to the un-magicalness of the name)

- The Death of Rats -> la Mort-aux-Rats. (a more literal translation would be 'la mort des rats', but this older/more familiar construction allows for a nice pun, since "mort-aux-rats" is the colloquial name of rat poison)

- Binky -> Bigadin. I really don't know about this one...

Twoflower -> Deuxfleurs: possibly a rare example of a (very minor) translation mistake, since Deuxfleurs translates to "twoflowers", plural. As far as Twoflower alone is concerned, it's pretty anecdotal, but to keep it coherent, Couton had to pluralise the names of all the Agateans in Interesting Times, so Five Pink Pig, for example, became Five Pink Pigs and so on; whereas I think the numbers were supposed to refer to birth rank (Five Pink Pig, younger brother of One Pink Pig, Two Pink Pig, etc.), like it used to be in ancient China. Now I might be wrong and anyway, like I said, it's really minor, nothing like the cluelessness of Mr Czech Translator.

Brutha -> Frangin (a slang word meaning "brother")

Willikins -> Villequin (simple francisation)

Sybil Ramkin -> Sybil Ramkin (he could have named her Ramequin, which is a kind of small bowl, but he didn't)

Polly (from Monstrous Regiment) -> Margot (someone in the book says "Polly" is a "good old maidservanty name" ; Margot is exactly that)

Rob Anybody -> Robin Deschamps (a pun on Robin des Bois, which is the French name of Robin Hood)
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Postby Teppic » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:58 am

Superb post, well done.

I like them all except for this one:

Agnes Nitt -> Agnès Créttine (crétin, -e: idiot, nitwit)

I really don't think that suits the character. She is a sensible, intelligent and down-to-earth character, able to 'cope' and rarely panicked.

She's almost, I'd say, the complete opposite of an idiot or a nitwit (a description more suited to some of the senile wizards, Nobby or Lord Rust).

I suspect "Nitt" was chosen because it sounds dull, monosyllabic, and a little witch like. There's nothing you can do with a boring name like Nitt; it is what it is. That, of course, is in contrast to Perdita X Dream, her other personality's "name".
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Postby Anilori » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:24 am

It's not my favourite either, if only because it's really too "obvious", unlike Nitt. Also, you're not supposed to have accented é before a double consonant, so it hurts my innate sens of spelling somewhat :P

EDIT : oh, and I also did a list of the book titles. /!\ second wall of text ahead

----
First, the "eighth" trilogy:
The Colour of Magic -> la Huitième Couleur (the Eighth Colour)
The Light Fantastic -> le Huitième Sortilège (the Eighth Spell)
Equal Rites -> la Huitième Fille (the Eighth Daughter... although, technically, Esk was the *first* daughter after seven sons)

At this point, Couton probably realised he couldn't go much further with the pattern:

- Mort -> Mortimer (for the same reason the character's name couldn't be kept as it was, ie that it means "death" and that would have been a leetle bit confusing)

- Sourcery -> Sourcellerie (same pun, since 'sorcery' is 'sorcellerie' and 'source' is 'source'. Moreover, 'sorcier' is a sorcerer, but 'sourcier', according to Collins online, is a water diviner)

- Wyrd Sisters -> Trois Soeurcières (a nice portmanteau between "sorcières" (witches) and "soeurs" (sisters))

- Pyramids -> Pyramides (move along, nothing to see)

- Guards! Guards! -> Au Guet! - "le Guet" is how Couton chose to translate "the Watch". It's an old word that used to refer specifically to the *night* policing force in the Middle Ages, so, while it suited Vimes' crew perfectly, it became a bit awkward when the Day Watch, aka "le Guet de jour", came into the picture. But we got used to it.

- Eric -> Eric

- Moving Pictures -> Les Zinzins d'Olive-Oued - "Olive-Oued" is a fantastic translation of "Holy Wood" : it sounds like 'Ollywood pronounced with a French accent, it's still about trees and the 'oued' part (wadi, a desert river) is quite appropriate to the setting. "Zinzins" means "nutters", there might be a reference there but I'm not sure about it.

- Reaper Man -> Le Faucheur ("the reaper". As I've already mentioned, Death is feminine in French, so our equivalent to the phrase "the Grim Reaper" is "la grande Faucheuse", the Great reaperess, if I may say so. Couton masculinised it back for the Discworld)

- Witches Abroad -> Mécomptes de fées - a nice pun on "contes de fées" (fairy tales) and "mécompte" (disappointment)

- Small Gods -> Les Petits Dieux (a literal translation)

- Lords and Ladies -> Nobliaux et Sorcières ("Noblemen and Witches")

- Men at Arms -> Le Guet des Orfèvres (a pun on the aforementioned "Guet" and "Quai des Orfèvres", which is the name of the police headquarters in Paris. "Quai" and "Guet" are pronounced almost the same. Very logically, "Pseudopolis Yard" was translated this way)

- Soul Music -> Accros du Roc ("Rock Addicts" - "Roc", meaning "rock" as in "stone", is of course pronounced the same way as "rock", meaning "rock music" ; so "Music with Rocks In" was translated as "Musique de Roc")

- Interesting Times -> Les Tribulations d'un Mage en Aurient ("Tribulations of a Wizard in Aurient", in homage to the Jules Verne novel "Tribulations of a Chinaman in China")

- Maskerade -> Masquarade (same pun on "mascarade" (masquerade) and "masque" (mask))

- Feet of Clay -> Pieds d'Argile (literal transation)

- Hogfather -> Le Père Porcher (literally, it means "Father Swineherd")

- Jingo -> Va-t'en-Guerre (someone who is a "va-t'en-guerre" - literally "goes-to-war" - is, well, jingoistic)

- The Last Continent -> Le Dernier Continent (literal translation)

- Carpe Jugulum -> Carpe Jugulum (it doesn't work as well when translated to French, but who cares about Latin anyway ? ^^)

- The Truth -> La Vérité (literal translation)

- The Fifth Elephant -> Le Cinquième Eléphant (literal translation and same pun on éléphant/élément)

- Thief of Time -> Procrastination (they say procrastination is the thief of time, but the proverb doesn't exist in French, so Couton went with one of the meanings. Anyway, it's a funny word, always a bonus!)

- The Last Hero -> Le Dernier Héros (literal translation)

- Night Watch -> Ronde de Nuit (that's the name of the Rembrandt painting, although it means "night patrol", not "night watch" literally)

- Monstrous Regiment -> le Régiment monstrueux (a literal translation that, for once, seems to lose the initial reference and not replace it by anything; strange on Mr Couton's part, but considering the rest of his work, it's more than forgiven)

- Going Postal -> Timbré (that one translated itself, really, and most people had called it beforehand. "Timbré" means "with a stamp on" (for a letter) and "crazy" (for a person))

- Thud -> Jeu de nains: possibly my favourite. "Jeu de mains, jeu de vilains" (hand games are nasty games) is a proverb mothers say to their children when they're beginning to fight physically; it means "if you go on, someone's going to get hurt". "Jeu de nains", on the other hand, means "Game of Dwarfs". So you've got the game (both literal and political), the dwarfs, and the threat of violence, all in those three words...

- Making Money -> Monnayé: another past participle to keep to the pattern set by "Timbré"; the verb "monnayer" can mean something like "to make money", and in the past participle, it comes off as, more or less, "sold".
---------------

Since then, there have been two more Discworld books:

- Unseen Academicals -> Allez les Mages ! : "Go Wizards!", a parody of the common football supporter's chant, "Allez les [whatever]", meaning simply "Go [whatever] ! Most famous versions: "Allez les bleus !" for the French national team, and '"Allez les Verts !" for the green-wearing Saint-Etienne team which was really big in the 70s.

- I Shall Wear Midnight -> Je m'habillerai de nuit; a literal translation. Also marks the first time ever, since Discworld began, that the French translation has caught up with the English Disc. Now Patrick Couton has to do the same thing as the rest of us and wait for Snuff to come out :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:33 pm

:lol: I love these translations.
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