Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lost in Translation (prepare for rant)…

Last week I met up with BFF and her youngest kiddo. I hadn’t seen them in FOREVER, we both needed to go grocery shopping, so what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than with BFF and my “nephew”. Let’s forget the temper tantrums of an overtired six year old on a sugar high, okay?

At the local supermarket I found the Danish translations of the first five Southern Vampire Mysteries…and I was greatly disappointed. First of all Dead Until Dark wasn’t translated into Danish until after True Blood aired in Denmark last year. Secondly, the Dead Until Dark (Død indtil solnedgang) cover was, as to be expected, the same as the newish US/UK covers – the first season poster – and the cover for Living Dead in Dallas (Levende død i Dallas) was from one of the season 2 posters. Now what really pissed me off about the covers were the last three…they were awful! I often buy books just because of the cover, but these did not make me want to buy them at all.You can judge for yourself.

Thirdly, the translations are beyond horrendous. I got the first book as a “special” gift in a magazine earlier this year and, being the fan that I am, dutifully read it. Or tried to read it; after one chapter I stopped. The translator did nothing short of butchering the books. The question is how can you translate something as unique as a southern accent? The answer: You can’t. The translator used an accent from a part of Denmark, where I hail from, called Jutland. Let’s face it Jutland is Hillbilly country, and I’m damn proud to be from there. I’ve lived nine years in Elsinore, I guess you can compare this part of the country to the east coast of USA, and I still have my accent. Granted Danish is a very difficult language, and we don’t have as many nuances as English, but I was saddened by the lack of effort put into these translations. The only good thing about the Danish translations were the titles, they’re as accurate as they can be.

Lastly, we have the price. Well hello there 200 Dkr. 200 Dkr is the equivalent of US$ 40. Would you spend that much money on a hardcover book?

I would love to hear if any of you have had similar experiences with translations of your favorite books.

On to happier things. We had reps from Simon and Schuster at the store today. Yay! I talked a bit with them and they gave me a Simon Pulse tote bag. I heart it!

1 comments:

said...

Sweetie, I so know what you mean!

The Portuguese translation is awful, the covers are lame at best (except for the 6th book - last one to be translated - which I think it's appropriate in a way) and the book titles are hideous!

http://www.saidadeemergencia.com/index.php?page=ThemePages.ThemePageView&theme_page_id=39

#1 Dead Until Dark -> Sangue Fresco (translated: Fresh Blood)
#2 Living Dead In Dallas -> Dívida de Sangue (Blod Debt)
#3 Club Dead -> Clube de Sangue (Blood Club)
#4 - Dead To The World -> Sangue Oculto (Occult Blood)
#5 - Dead As A Doornail -> Sangue Furtivo (Furtive Blood or Stealthy Blood)
#6 - Definitely Dead - Traição de Sangue (Blood Treason)

The thought alone makes me cringe *sigh*

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