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Yora
2012-08-07, 07:03 AM
I've never read harry potter and I just know that I saw that wizard rugby scene and the scene with the giant snake when I walked through the living room when someone was watching it on TV. In German dub, of course.

But I just read that there is an American "translation", which given that lots of readers were 10 and up I won't mock this time. English English can be a funny thing, even if your English teacher in school taught it to you. And even from the few illustrations and movie stills I've seen, I know that HP is very English. :smallbiggrin:

And now I am wondering. Is anyone familiar with the two versions and can point out some major differences?

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-07, 07:17 AM
I've never read harry potter and I just know that I saw that wizard rugby scene and the scene with the giant snake when I walked through the living room when someone was watching it on TV. In German dub, of course.

But I just read that there is an American "translation", which given that lots of readers were 10 and up I won't mock this time. English English can be a funny thing, even if your English teacher in school taught it to you. And even from the few illustrations and movie stills I've seen, I know that HP is very English. :smallbiggrin:

And now I am wondering. Is anyone familiar with the two versions and can point out some major differences?

From what I have gathered, aside from the title change (sorcerer's not philospher's), I think it was not so much translation as Americanisation *eyeglow*1 (crips to chips, that sort of thing), but I don't know how much farther than the first book into the series it went. I have an incling it didn't get all that far into the series, but I could be wrong.



1Lichemaster forfend the children of America be subjected to the same educating broadening of cultural horizons that the rest of the world consuming American media get, right American media companies...?

Knaight
2012-08-07, 07:26 AM
From what I have gathered, aside from the title change (sorcerer's not philospher's), I think it was not so much translation as Americanisation *eyeglow*1 (crips to chips, that sort of thing), but I don't know how much farther than the first book into the series it went. I have an incling it didn't get all that far into the series, but I could be wrong.



1Lichemaster forfend the children of America be subjected to the same educating broadening of cultural horizons that the rest of the world consuming American media get, right American media companies...?
Changing of crisps to chips and similar went on through all seven books, which I really can't see as unreasonable. However, there was nothing like the absurd change from philosopher's stone to sorcerer's stone in any books but the first. They appear to have learned from the backlash to that particular bit of abject stupidity.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-07, 07:36 AM
Changing of crisps to chips and similar went on through all seven books, which I really can't see as unreasonable.

I just find it a bit pathetic that (some, and apparently a slightly diminishing number of) American distributers (and I'm not just talking books, but things like anime as well) seem to consider that American (children) are somehow more stupid than those in the rest of the world, in they they apparently can't be trusted to understand that there are other places in the world that use different words for things, so they have to have everything Americanised, even when it's stupid. (See Pokemon's early shows with riceballs being called hamburgers, or Code Lyoko being set in America when one episode clearly showed a local map of France...!) Which is as wrong-headed an attitude as it is daft.

Mind you, these are usually the same sort of people who have to have American-made versions of foreign shows in live-action adult fare too (e.g. Life of Mars, the Office - Red Dwarf (*snerk* they had to abandon that one as a bad job...!)), so...

Knaight
2012-08-07, 07:47 AM
I just find it a bit pathetic that (some, and apparently a slightly diminishing number of) American distributers (and I'm not just talking books, but things like anime as well) seem to consider that American (children) are somehow more stupid than those in the rest of the world, in they they apparently can't be trusted to understand that there are other places in the world that use different words for things, so they have to have everything Americanised, even when it's stupid. (See Pokemon's early shows with riceballs being called hamburgers, or Code Lyoko being set in America when one episode clearly showed a local map of France...!) Which is as wrong-headed an attitude as it is daft.

I'd agree, however I'd make a distinction between localization of terminology (e.g. chips become crisps) to fit a dialect and the removal of elements that could be deemed foreign. Localization for a dialect is just translation writ small, and I have no objection to translation. Erasure of elements of foreign culture for the purpose of familiarity (as in the "hamburgers" and "donuts" of Pokemon) or replacing a legitimate term with an imprecise description because of some perceived lack of knowledge is something else entirely. Chips and crisps both refer to the same object. A philosopher's stone, on the other hand is a specific object being portrayed as a part of a larger category. They might as well have changed the title to Harry Potter and the Magic Rock.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-07, 08:47 AM
I'd agree, however I'd make a distinction between localization of terminology (e.g. chips become crisps) to fit a dialect and the removal of elements that could be deemed foreign. Localization for a dialect is just translation writ small, and I have no objection to translation.

I might have less of a problem with it if it didn't always seem to be - to my knowledge - a one-sided translation; because I personally don't know of any US literature (e.g., say the Three Investigators, or CSI novels etc (to be fair, I don't read much stuff set in present day, so I might be wrong) - or even something like Twilight - being "localised" for, say, British or Austrailian audiences. I doubt that if Harry Potter had been written by an American, anyone would have felt the need to make what amounts to virtually nothing more than a dialect change. And that's what annoys me.

Though on the other hand, I would sort of like to see famous works "translated" into some of the more entertaining dialects; my own broad Derbyshire or Yorkshire or Scouser or something...

snoopy13a
2012-08-07, 09:39 AM
I'd agree, however I'd make a distinction between localization of terminology (e.g. chips become crisps) to fit a dialect and the removal of elements that could be deemed foreign. Localization for a dialect is just translation writ small, and I have no objection to translation. Erasure of elements of foreign culture for the purpose of familiarity (as in the "hamburgers" and "donuts" of Pokemon) or replacing a legitimate term with an imprecise description because of some perceived lack of knowledge is something else entirely. Chips and crisps both refer to the same object. A philosopher's stone, on the other hand is a specific object being portrayed as a part of a larger category. They might as well have changed the title to Harry Potter and the Magic Rock.

Changing, for example, "jumper" to "sweater" constitutes most of the changes. I think they only made changes in the first few books as the later books use some English slang, "all right?" for instance, that Americans are unfamiliar with.

Xondoure
2012-08-07, 10:20 AM
I think it stopped with the fifth book but I could be wrong. The sixth definitely used the word snogging.

Androgeus
2012-08-07, 10:41 AM
If anyone wanted to look up the changes between British and American printings, this seems like a decent list (http://www.hp-lexicon.org/about/books/differences.html)

Dragonus45
2012-08-07, 02:57 PM
I think it stopped with the fifth book but I could be wrong. The sixth definitely used the word snogging.

In defense of that kind of localization I spent most that whole book wondering what snogging was.

kpenguin
2012-08-07, 03:37 PM
In defense of that kind of localization I spent most that whole book wondering what snogging was.

Oh thank goodness. I thought I was the only one.

Cen
2012-08-07, 04:00 PM
They might as well have changed the title to Harry Potter and the Magic Rock.

Wouldn't that be called Texasnisation? ;-)


"jumper" to "sweater"
just... just imagine how magnificent would it be if they made it more often! (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489099/)


In defense of that kind of localization I spent most that whole book wondering what snogging was.
seriously? why didn't you just check it in the dictionary?

Daftendirekt
2012-08-07, 04:32 PM
just... just imagine how magnificent would it be if they made it more often! (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489099/)


seriously? why didn't you just check it in the dictionary?

Responses:

1) *snerk*

2) I also wondered it the first time it came up, but it was fairly obvious what it meant within the context.

Nekura
2012-08-07, 04:43 PM
Wow a lot of them don’t make sense. The US might not use it as often but there was no need to switch cinema with movies. Mum vs. mom does anyone not know what it means? I can kind of see changing a few things like trainers to sneakers but why change things when it’s easy to know the meaning it just takes away from the ambiance. Or soccer and football it’s widely known the USA is the odd one out name wise from the rest of the world so that’s not hard to figure out. Then there is fortnight changed to two weeks, I am sorry but fortnight is a perfectly good word. I don’t care if it’s a “children’s” book it is also a fantasy book so it’s completely natural for kids to read such words in it. So while I can forgive a few of the changes most of it is just denying people a chance to experience another culture.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-07, 04:54 PM
Wow a lot of them don’t make sense. The US might not use it as often but there was no need to switch cinema with movies. Mum vs. mom does anyone not know what it means? I can kind of see changing a few things like trainers to sneakers but why change things when it’s easy to know the meaning it just takes away from the ambiance. Or soccer and football it’s widely known the USA is the odd one out name wise from the rest of the world so that’s not hard to figure out. Then there is fortnight changed to two weeks, I am sorry but fortnight is a perfectly good word. I don’t care if it’s a “children’s” book it is also a fantasy book so it’s completely natural for kids to read such words in it. So while I can forgive a few of the changes most of it is just denying people a chance to experience another culture.

*checks aforelinked list*

Okay, that goes well past localisation into flat-out stupid in about half of those cases. It was seriously necessary to replace "next day" with "the next day" and "Happy Christmas" with "Merry Christmas" for the American audience was it? Uh huh.

Siosilvar
2012-08-07, 05:23 PM
*checks aforelinked list*

Okay, that goes well past localisation into flat-out stupid in about half of those cases. It was seriously necessary to replace "next day" with "the next day" and "Happy Christmas" with "Merry Christmas" for the American audience was it? Uh huh.

Some of the reorderings of things are pretty bad, but it looks to me like most of the changes aren't to make it understandable for American audiences, but to make it conversational. Kids'll get the general gist of what's going on, but I guess they didn't want anybody turned off of reading it because it's "too hard" (which, I'll give you, is ridiculous, but knowing people I could easily see it happening).

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-07, 05:54 PM
Some of the reorderings of things are pretty bad, but it looks to me like most of the changes aren't to make it understandable for American audiences, but to make it conversational. Kids'll get the general gist of what's going on, but I guess they didn't want anybody turned off of reading it because it's "too hard" (which, I'll give you, is ridiculous, but knowing people I could easily see it happening).

Then one has to wonder why it seems rare that American works that make it to the nonAmerican English-speaking world are so "localised."



This thread has lead me to a realisation - that I just don't agree with "localisation" at all. Translation, yes, which sometimes does require (due to structure of language) modifications; e.g. some of the original jokes in, say, Asterix, being replaced by ones that serve a similar purpose in the new language - word humour does not always translate well, of course. (And I think this has made me realise the twain are not, in my opinion, and contrary to what Knaight said earlier, that closely related.) But "localisation", especially when done in the SAME LANGUAGE... No.

Knaight
2012-08-07, 10:17 PM
Then one has to wonder why it seems rare that American works that make it to the nonAmerican English-speaking world are so "localised."

It's probably a matter of population differences more than anything else. The U.S. represents a market of over 300 million people. No other natively English speaking country has such a large English market, making it less economically viable to localize.

Lord Seth
2012-08-08, 02:05 AM
Some of the changes seemed a little goofy and unnecessary, but for the most part they seemed to be grammar/spelling corrections, which I see no problem with. I knew American and British English had a number of spelling differences, but I was surprised to see the amount of grammar differences.

Gnoman
2012-08-08, 06:41 PM
That's a large part of it, I think. The books were published by Scholastic, which has always had close ties the the American public education systems, with a huge portion of their sales actually being made at schools. I suspect that they wanted to ensure that the book wasn't teaching a different grammar than that which the school system taught, thus confusing the students.

Knaight
2012-08-09, 02:11 AM
I would hope not, as that would imply schools actually try to teach racism against Europe(which doesn't make much since, as america was originally founded by the English, then again, most americans don't know anything about their own history, other then urban legends[for example; many people think thanksgiving has been around for a few hundred years, despite it being a fairly recent invention, invented mainly due to one woman nagging a president for an extra holiday for the purposes of having an extra holiday).

This has literally nothing to do with racism against Europe. All it implies is a preference for the local dialect of English, which is harmless. I'd also call that particular rationale fairly stupid*, as removing the English dialect reduces the educational value of the book instead of increasing is, and it relies on an assumption about the students being more easily confused than they actually are.

*I doubt that that is the actual reason, but it might be.

SaintRidley
2012-08-09, 02:17 AM
Changing of crisps to chips and similar went on through all seven books, which I really can't see as unreasonable. However, there was nothing like the absurd change from philosopher's stone to sorcerer's stone in any books but the first. They appear to have learned from the backlash to that particular bit of abject stupidity.

There is a point in the fifth book where Neville brings up the Stone event. In the American edition he calls it the "Sorcerous Stone." I am unaware of what he calls it in the English editions, but my guess, knowing Rowling's tendencies in wordplay, would be "Philosophous" or even "Phosphorous."

Anybody with an English copy able to confirm? It's about the part where they're selecting Harry to lead the DA.

Elder Tsofu
2012-08-09, 02:38 AM
Huh, I buy English books in English to avoid the extra hand of the translator - but I never thought that the American editions (English ones) of books were translated too. Well I suppose that is just an other thing to look for when I'm book-shopping.

Edit; @^
'And in our first year,' said Neville to the group at large, 'he saved that Philological Stone -'

Avilan the Grey
2012-08-09, 04:24 AM
I must say that I was very surprised by the amount of changes. Of course I read the Swedish translation, so there are other kind of problems with that, mainly between those who think the translation is bad because it makes up new words in place of the made up words Rowling uses occasionally instead of trying to "Swedifie" a made up "English" word. Personally I think the translation was far above average, and besides the Swedish edition's covers are the best ones I have seen anywhere.

Omergideon
2012-08-09, 04:38 AM
I personally see it as a educational disservice to the American audience to "localise" the language. When a book is very, very, clearly set in England/the UK it is useful to introduce an audience to some of the local customs/grammar and the like.

I used to get pretty confused by the differences between the UK and the US, or even failing to be aware of them. It is through consuming american media that I have learnt about them and how to deal with them. It makes communicating with Americans much easier.

SiuiS
2012-08-09, 06:27 AM
Oh wow. Being a second hand reader, I think I read both versions of the first book, one up to half way and the other the rest. I remember being confused as to why they didn't call the philosopher's stone a philosopher's stone since that was clearly what it was, but none of my contemporaries were literate enough to know what that meant so I got stares instead of responses.


Then one has to wonder why it seems rare that American works that make it to the nonAmerican English-speaking world are so "localised."


Because the British are unassuming enough that they'll take whatever.
Because the British are so enamored of the cutting edge of media they'll adopt whatever.
Because the British are so sure of themselves that doing so would be like a college professor editing his son's second grade essay at a professional level.

Take your pick :smallwink:



This thread has lead me to a realisation - that I just don't agree with "localisation" at all. Translation, yes, which sometimes does require (due to structure of language) modifications; e.g. some of the original jokes in, say, Asterix, being replaced by ones that serve a similar purpose in the new language - word humour does not always translate well, of course. (And I think this has made me realise the twain are not, in my opinion, and contrary to what Knaight said earlier, that closely related.) But "localisation", especially when done in the SAME LANGUAGE... No.

But we don't speak the same language, you and I.

Although personally, I agree with your queen. "There is no such thing as American English. There is proper English, and then there are mistakes."


That's a large part of it, I think. The books were published by Scholastic, which has always had close ties the the American public education systems, with a huge portion of their sales actually being made at schools. I suspect that they wanted to ensure that the book wasn't teaching a different grammar than that which the school system taught, thus confusing the students.

This makes me sad on a fundamental level.
Especially since Scholastic did a terrible job teaching american grammar.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-09, 06:36 AM
Because the British are unassuming enough that they'll take whatever.
Because the British are so enamored of the cutting edge of media they'll adopt whatever.
Because the British are so sure of themselves that doing so would be like a college professor editing his son's second grade essay at a professional level.

Take your pick :smallwink:

I said nonAmerican, not British, which includes our friends in Austraila, Ireland, Canada...

That raises an interesting question - what version did the former and the latter get? I assume Ireland must have had the UK version, but it's a good point. Anyone from that end of the world want to chime in?


But we don't speak the same language, you and I.

Although personally, I agree with your queen. "There is no such thing as American English. There is proper English, and then there are mistakes."

Well, yes. That too...!

SiuiS
2012-08-09, 06:43 AM
I said nonAmerican, not British, which includes our friends in Austraila, Ireland, Canada...

I quote every Brit, Aussie, and Canadian I've ever spoken with on the subject;
If you've got the queen on your money, you're British.

And yes you did, but the point would be a non British work being translated into very British English, or you, just as a nonamerican work wa translated into very American English for me. The answer to "why don't they add the occasional 'wot wot' and 'eh, guv'nah?' to books when they translate them to English?" is "because that's silly, ya numpty."


That raises an interesting question - what version did the former and the latter get? I assume Ireland must have had the UK version, but it's a good point. Anyone from that end of the world want to chime in?


Inquiring minds!

DomaDoma
2012-08-09, 06:54 AM
Aside from the title of the first book, there were cuts to the Shrieking Shack dialogue in the third book for no discernible reason. Those are the two really egregious changes.

(Though, in the first two or three books, they change "mum" to "mom", which still makes me feel like my eyes missed a step when I reread.)

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-09, 06:59 AM
I quote every Brit, Aussie, and Canadian I've ever spoken with on the subject;
If you've got the queen on your money, you're British.

And yes you did, but the point would be a non British work being translated into very British English, or you, just as a nonamerican work wa translated into very American English for me. The answer to "why don't they add the occasional 'wot wot' and 'eh, guv'nah?' to books when they translate them to English?" is "because that's silly, ya numpty."

But a classic case would be something like the Three Investigators, which are in exactly the same sort of target age range as Harry Potter, being about a trio of American lads (in California, in the town of I-don't-know-whether-it's-real-or-not of Rocky Beach). To my knowledge, they were not "localised" for external release over here. Or say (now going outside my personal reading experience), the Hardy Boys.

SiuiS
2012-08-09, 07:22 AM
But a classic case would be something like the Three Investigators, which are in exactly the same sort of target age range as Harry Potter, being about a trio of American lads (in California, in the town of I-don't-know-whether-it's-real-or-not of Rocky Beach). To my knowledge, they were not "localised" for external release over here. Or say (now going outside my personal reading experience), the Hardy Boys.

Yes. Because its silly. You and yours recognize it is silly. The US sees this less as silly and more as... I don't even know. but we take ourselves seriously, even when we are being numblypegs. Especially when we are being numblypegs.

Aedilred
2012-08-09, 09:12 AM
Although there are regional differences, the Commonwealth English dialects (British, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and, I assume, Canadian) are all sufficiently similar to each other in terms of spelling, grammar, syntax etc. that no real localisation is necessary. There might be the odd bit of localised slang, but I get the impression that (I may be wrong) British slang is pretty widely known throughout the (royal) Commonwealth, with the possible exception of some very recent stuff ("chav"?) which wouldn't have made it into HP anyway.

In other words, there wouldn't be much, if any, "localisation" needed to make HP fully compatible with the dialects spoken in those areas. The other way round, it might be handy at times, but I've never knowingly seen it done. We get Australian TV broadcast unmodified here, for instance.

Eldan
2012-08-09, 10:02 AM
Although there are regional differences, the Commonwealth English dialects (British, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and, I assume, Canadian) are all sufficiently similar to each other in terms of spelling, grammar, syntax etc. that no real localisation is necessary. There might be the odd bit of localised slang, but I get the impression that (I may be wrong) British slang is pretty widely known throughout the (royal) Commonwealth, with the possible exception of some very recent stuff ("chav"?) which wouldn't have made it into HP anyway.

In other words, there wouldn't be much, if any, "localisation" needed to make HP fully compatible with the dialects spoken in those areas. The other way round, it might be handy at times, but I've never knowingly seen it done. We get Australian TV broadcast unmodified here, for instance.

You obviously haven't been to rural Queensland, then. :smalltongue:
I didn't have a lot of problems with any of the English accents I encountered, but the slang there is utterly impenetrable.

Aedilred
2012-08-09, 10:17 AM
I've been to Queensland, but only to Cairns and the immediate area. I can imagine that the slang there is... interesting. Australia does seem to have a particularly wide, diverse and imaginative range of colloquialisms.

Then again, were a book to be written containing a lot of Australianisms and published over here (which has almost certainly happened, I just can't think of any), I think "correcting" the slang would be to miss the point completely in any case. Imagine doing that with Land Down Under (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McsWKczU6wc).

Omergideon
2012-08-09, 12:13 PM
You obviously haven't been to rural Queensland, then. :smalltongue:
I didn't have a lot of problems with any of the English accents I encountered, but the slang there is utterly impenetrable.

Oh, that's half the fun of it. Though I dare a non-brit to interpret deep chav, or a strong Yorkshire accent without assistance :smallwink:


Hmmm.......thinking about it perhaps Chav woudl require translation.

The Extinguisher
2012-08-09, 12:32 PM
We got the American version up here. Canada tends to be a bit more like American English than British English, for the most part at least. And we're used to people spelling words wrong anyway, so we deal. Like we always do.

Knaight
2012-08-09, 02:29 PM
Although there are regional differences, the Commonwealth English dialects (British, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and, I assume, Canadian) are all sufficiently similar to each other in terms of spelling, grammar, syntax etc. that no real localisation is necessary.
This conversation traces to a hypothetical localization of an American book, which warrants localization exactly as much as a British (or Welsh, Scottish, Australian, etc.) book warrants localization to American English.

Siosilvar
2012-08-09, 04:28 PM
This conversation traces to a hypothetical localization of an American book, which warrants localization exactly as much as a British (or Welsh, Scottish, Australian, etc.) book warrants localization to American English.

Less so, really. UK + Ireland + Canada + Australia (+ South Africa, if you want) combined is half the population of the US. If the publisher/producer/editor/whatever it is for books decides that localization is necessary, localizing to American triples your market, but localising to British only adds half again as many people as you already had, so it's probably not going to be deemed as important.

It might be silly, but it does make the book slightly more accessible, and if it's, say, a 5% gain in readership, 5% of your American readers is twice as many as 5% of your non-American readers, all else equal. Not quite sure how the math works out, but evidently it's worth it to localize but not to localise.

Either that or Americans just think everybody else can get over it, but non-Americans feel they have to "dumb down" their books for an American audience. Playing to stereotypes, but there you go.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-09, 04:39 PM
Either that or Americans just think everybody else can get over it, but non-Americans feel they have to "dumb down" their books for an American audience. Playing to stereotypes, but there you go.

Considering it's the American release companies that do the localising, it often feels (to those of us outside the states) more like the reverse of the latter; that [the localisers appear to think that] American culture is good enough for the rest of the world, but the Americans [esp. children] should not be subjected to anything but Americanised culture or are not smart enough to do so without becoming confused.

Which is kinda uppetty in the first instance and kinda insulting to the intelligence of the American populace in the second.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2012-08-09, 05:07 PM
Over here we get both editions, but more often the British.

The American translations are just... why. What is the actual reasoning, even?

Prime32
2012-08-09, 07:48 PM
That raises an interesting question - what version did the former and the latter get? I assume Ireland must have had the UK version, but it's a good point. Anyone from that end of the world want to chime in?British media distribution channels generally extend to Ireland (i.e. it's barely treated as a separate market). So, same edition.

Though I've heard that Artemis Fowl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_Fowl_(series)) had "mam" changed to "mom" in the US... and "mum" in Britain.
On a related note, I'd like to know who added an "I do not condone this biography" preface in later editions when it already ended with "That concludes our psychological report" :smallannoyed:

Randomguy
2012-08-09, 08:01 PM
A philosopher's stone, on the other hand is a specific object being portrayed as a part of a larger category. They might as well have changed the title to Harry Potter and the Magic Rock.


I think we're lucky that the title ended up being "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America. I heard that one of the alternatives was "Harry Potter and the School of Magic". :smallsigh:

Aedilred
2012-08-09, 08:18 PM
This conversation traces to a hypothetical localization of an American book, which warrants localization exactly as much as a British (or Welsh, Scottish, Australian, etc.) book warrants localization to American English.
Yeah, I know. "Necessary" wasn't really the best word I could have chosen there. "Pointful", perhaps.

I think we're lucky that the title ended up being "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America. I heard that one of the alternatives was "Harry Potter and the School of Magic".
From c.2000 (or whenever the film was released):

They didn't think American children would know what a philosopher was, so they've changed it to "burger".

SaintRidley
2012-08-10, 12:24 AM
Huh, I buy English books in English to avoid the extra hand of the translator - but I never thought that the American editions (English ones) of books were translated too. Well I suppose that is just an other thing to look for when I'm book-shopping.

Edit; @^
'And in our first year,' said Neville to the group at large, 'he saved that Philological Stone -'

Blast! Thank you for that, though.

ForzaFiori
2012-08-10, 12:48 AM
Either that or Americans just think everybody else can get over it, but non-Americans feel they have to "dumb down" their books for an American audience. Playing to stereotypes, but there you go.


Considering it's the American release companies that do the localising, it often feels (to those of us outside the states) more like the reverse of the latter; that [the localisers appear to think that] American culture is good enough for the rest of the world, but the Americans [esp. children] should not be subjected to anything but Americanised culture or are not smart enough to do so without becoming confused.

Which is kinda uppetty in the first instance and kinda insulting to the intelligence of the American populace in the second.

Have y'all ever come here? I hate to say it, but sometimes stereotypes can be close to the mark. Some American's think that people in England don't speak our language - learning about other people's culture isn't something that is really stressed in America, and reading is just below it. :smallsigh: If they had left the British slang and spelling in there, most people probably would have looked at it like they looked at Shakespeare. Not to mention that most people in America are used to getting what they want, plain and simple. If the British people decided they wanted a British localization of something, I"m sure the printing houses would agree, it's just that we're the only ones who are nit-picky enough to make a fuss.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-10, 03:57 AM
British media distribution channels generally extend to Ireland (i.e. it's barely treated as a separate market). So, same edition.

I figured. It really wouldn't make sense to do otherwise.


Though I've heard that Artemis Fowl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_Fowl_(series)) had "mam" changed to "mom" in the US... and "mum" in Britain.

Whoever thought that change necessary deserves a good clip round the earhole...

CurlyKitGirl
2012-08-10, 04:57 AM
I think we're lucky that the title ended up being "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America. I heard that one of the alternatives was "Harry Potter and the School of Magic". :smallsigh:

. . .

I know that the French version of Philosopher's Stone is actually Harry Potter et l'ecole des sorcieres (pardon my lack of accents), but America was thinking of that?!
That's a bit stupid. Not to mention 'school of magic' sounds clunky as Hell; if you're really going to call it that use 'magical school'.

What I don't get is that in the UK you had "bobble hats", but in the American translation it's "bonnets"
This must be a serious cultural clash because over here bonnets are distinctly girly things (mostly out of fashion) with wide floppy brims for summer or Easter, and a bobble hat is a practical winter hat made of wool with a little bobble on top.
THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED A BOBBLE HAT.
Look.
Bobble hat:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tmsTXuW40DA/Sy9Okhof9xI/AAAAAAAAA4M/4DcD7OHuvZY/s640/img-thing.jpg
Bonnet:
http://toyawalker.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/childs-easter-bonnet.jpg
So seriously, Americans, what the Hell.

At least I finally understand why in the fanfic Dumbledore eats lemon drops and not sherbet lemons. Over here these two are very different sweets. It's a bit of a stupid change seeing as I'm lead to believe that sherbet exists in America as well as over here.

As far as translating into American goes, I can see why, and I might even agree with parts of the idea, but not completely.
I can see translating certain slang terms - telling an American 'x has gone off his trolley' probably doesn't make sense, so I can see it being changed to 'crazy' or similar. Even though you could probably figure it out from context.
However.
A lot of British things - particularly humour - don't often translate well, which is why so many British comedy shows failed when they were remade. And given that many of those shows seem to have a good cult following (or are, you know, fairly mainstream) it does seem a little redundant. I'm also given to understand that a good number of American fanfic writers are Anglophiles and actually employ Britpickers (beta readers) when writing HP fanfic, or just try to use a British way of writing.


What I don't get for the most part are some of the grammatical changes. They often occur in what I think would be speech, so this is valid British grammar. I just don't understand why you change 'fortnight' to 'two weeks' (don't Americans use fortnight? They do on this forum at least) or 'next day' to 'the next day'.
By changing the grammar in speech (and even in the narrative flow itself) you lose some of the charm and integrity of the characters and atmosphere. I've also noticed that, for some reason, in CS they changed a sizeable amount of narrative when Harry first sees the spiders for absolutely no reason.

Mostly I just find the changes more than a bit redundant.
Sure, change car park to parking lot, I can honestly understand why. Even though personally I think anyone who has a reasonable understanding of English would be able to figure it out - I don't see British children complaining about not knowing what a parking lot is. But mostly they're fiddly and don't really affect anything other than making it a little less British English and a bit more American English.

I read the first few chapters of l'ecole des sorcieres three or so years ago back when I was in (UK) college, and I think that book kept the Britishisms very well when translating. I don't know how to explain it except by saying that it felt very British. Probably helped that we're about twenty miles apart.

Knaight
2012-08-10, 05:05 AM
What I don't get for the most part are some of the grammatical changes. They often occur in what I think would be speech, so this is valid British grammar. I just don't understand why you change 'fortnight' to 'two weeks' (don't Americans use fortnight? They do on this forum at least) or 'next day' to 'the next day'.

Most of the other changes are really, really stupid (particularly as the American meaning for bonnet is identical to the British one, with connotations of prairie families in the 1800's) but fortnight is an archaic term here. It would fit with older characters, which in practice means most of the ghosts, but it sees next to no use in modern speech.

Avilan the Grey
2012-08-10, 05:45 AM
Most of the other changes are really, really stupid (particularly as the American meaning for bonnet is identical to the British one, with connotations of prairie families in the 1800's) but fortnight is an archaic term here. It would fit with older characters, which in practice means most of the ghosts, but it sees next to no use in modern speech.

Of course it could just be that it is time to formerly recognize American as a separate language than English :smalltongue::smallwink::smallbiggrin:

Parra
2012-08-10, 06:27 AM
Of course it could just be that it is time to formerly recognize American as a separate language than English :smalltongue::smallwink::smallbiggrin:

Then I could be considered bilingual. I approve this idea.

SiuiS
2012-08-10, 07:00 AM
Oh, that's half the fun of it. Though I dare a non-brit to interpret deep chav, or a strong Yorkshire accent without assistance :smallwink:


Hmmm.......thinking about it perhaps Chav woudl require translation.

Can't link it due to language and, well, being silly, but look up NEDS crew (or possibly krew) feat. wee Man, an tell me if that's thwart of stuff you mean. Because I can understand that, it's just the aural version of reading words here most Of the letters are garbled. I can do a pidgin thingy with it after about twenty minutes of immersion.

Sanity erodes after about seven though.


. . .
What I don't get is that in the UK you had "bobble hats", but in the American translation it's "bonnets"
This must be a serious cultural clash because over here bonnets are distinctly girly things (mostly out of fashion) with wide floppy brims for summer or Easter, and a bobble hat is a practical winter hat made of wool with a little bobble on top.
THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED A BOBBLE HAT.
Look.
Bobble hat:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tmsTXuW40DA/Sy9Okhof9xI/AAAAAAAAA4M/4DcD7OHuvZY/s640/img-thing.jpg
Bonnet:
http://toyawalker.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/childs-easter-bonnet.jpg
So seriously, Americans, what the Hell.

Some folks have heard a tam or caubeen referred to as bonnets, tams especially as blue bonnets. I can only assume someone thought "well, their British right? Roll their Rs and whatnot? They must be highlanders!" which is admittedly the intelligence version of passin the buck, as now they are justified but still stupid for something else entirely.

And I myself aren't too innocent, as I couldn't really tell you what a beret is, except my dictionary function was required to make sure I spelle it right and apparently it's a round cap of felt or cloth?


At least I finally understand why in the fanfic Dumbledore eats lemon drops and not sherbet lemons. Over here these two are very different sweets. It's a bit of a stupid change seeing as I'm lead to believe that sherbet exists in America as well as over here.

sherbet, sherbert (which isn't a word) and sorbet are not only all interchanged frequently, they are pronounced more or less the same. I am not going to disgrace myself by pretending to know anything more than my own ignorance on the subject. For this I cite being a bachelor for so long; I can make a roux, but panic when I have two pots boiling at te same time. Very specialized food knowledge.


As far as translating into American goes, I can see why, and I might even agree with parts of the idea, but not completely.
I can see translating certain slang terms - telling an American 'x has gone off his trolley' probably doesn't make sense, so I can see it being changed to 'crazy' or similar. Even though you could probably figure it out from context.
However.
A lot of British things - particularly humour - don't often translate well, which is why so many British comedy shows failed when they were remade. And given that many of those shows seem to have a good cult following (or are, you know, fairly mainstream) it does seem a little redundant. I'm also given to understand that a good number of American fanfic writers are Anglophiles and actually employ Britpickers (beta readers) when writing HP fanfic, or just try to use a British way of writing.


What I don't get for the most part are some of the grammatical changes. They often occur in what I think would be speech, so this is valid British grammar. I just don't understand why you change 'fortnight' to 'two weeks' (don't Americans use fortnight? They do on this forum at least) or 'next day' to 'the next day'.
By changing the grammar in speech (and even in the narrative flow itself) you lose some of the charm and integrity of the characters and atmosphere. I've also noticed that, for some reason, in CS they changed a sizeable amount of narrative when Harry first sees the spiders for absolutely no reason.

Mostly I just find the changes more than a bit redundant.
Sure, change car park to parking lot, I can honestly understand why. Even though personally I think anyone who has a reasonable understanding of English would be able to figure it out - I don't see British children complaining about not knowing what a parking lot is. But mostly they're fiddly and don't really affect anything other than making it a little less British English and a bit more American English.

A story.

I play video games with a headset on occasion. I don't use it unless my friends are on or it's useful, though. One day, I hear muttering from my television, and plug in my microphone to hear two blokes billeting bet my equipment choice. One of them asks why someone would even equip a yards yards yards, and I respond. They are surprised, but ask, can I blame them? Isay no, I'm using a weapons class with a melee booster equipped, even. Except I say "m(uh)lee" instead of the now commonly used "may lay". And was chided, to which I responded if I were speaking french I'd bother with the accent - its the same difference as Spain and Hispania. Cue dark humored chiding over wishing I had stayed silent, so I did.

The end of the match (and this is a team game) came and my team mates proceeded to insult and heckle me for being pretentious and talking down to people. Because I use words like extrapolate in everyday conversation, and only people who need to justify their lives bother trying so hard to sound smart. Normal people don't talk like that.


There is the clincher. Trying so hard to sound smart. Normal people do not use smart words. being dumb is culturally reinforced in several subcultures. Know your place! Your place is at the bottom with me, of course, complaining about how those smart flickers are jerks for not giving us twir money and who needs education when you can be strong and cool and know the jargon, Amirite? Just be sure to loudly declare your detractors as homosexuals and threaten to sexually assault them, and everyone nods along.

I bend over backwards, invent time travel and occasionally light myself on fire to avoid these kinds of people, but the unfortunate fact is they occasionally pass casual inspection as parents. And then you've got an entire brood which thinks reading is something you pay nerds to do, and well, it goes viral from there. Quite unfortunate, really.

Aedilred
2012-08-10, 07:26 AM
And I myself aren't too innocent, as I couldn't really tell you what a beret is, except my dictionary function was required to make sure I spelle it right and apparently it's a round cap of felt or cloth?]
A beret is a round brimless cloth hat, worn by some militaries, some schoolchildren, hipsters, artists, Cuban revolutionaries and beatniks, pretty girls, and stereotypical French people. There are a variety of styles, but normally it's worn at a "jaunty" angle.
Military beret:
http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/moxiepix/b1_1909.jpg
Civilian beret:
http://www.natashascafe.com/images/products/beretgenemk2.jpg

sherbet, sherbert (which isn't a word) and sorbet are not only all interchanged frequently, they are pronounced more or less the same. I am not going to disgrace myself by pretending to know anything more than my own ignorance on the subject.
Over here, "sorbet" is pronounced in the French fashion, so "sor-bay". I don't know what the distinction between it and American sherbet is. Sherbet lemons, though (and other sherbet sweets) are rather different, filled with the powder used to make a sherbet drink, which is sweet and fizzy. There are some sweets that are basically just sherbet powder combined with a minimalist delivery system, like flying saucers, and sherbet dips.

SaintRidley
2012-08-10, 04:13 PM
THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED A BOBBLE HAT.

Never heard of them as bobble hats before. Only thing I've ever called those is puffball hats. I'd never get that image from bonnet or bobble hat. Not sure how any American would ever get that image from bonnet, to begin with. At least bobble hat would prompt a google from the curious.




At least I finally understand why in the fanfic Dumbledore eats lemon drops and not sherbet lemons. Over here these two are very different sweets. It's a bit of a stupid change seeing as I'm lead to believe that sherbet exists in America as well as over here.

It does, but it in no way has any meaning that would lead it to be associated with the candy we call lemon drops (or, to use the brand I've seen most often, Lemon Heads).




As far as translating into American goes, I can see why, and I might even agree with parts of the idea, but not completely.
I can see translating certain slang terms - telling an American 'x has gone off his trolley' probably doesn't make sense, so I can see it being changed to 'crazy' or similar. Even though you could probably figure it out from context.
However.
A lot of British things - particularly humour - don't often translate well, which is why so many British comedy shows failed when they were remade. And given that many of those shows seem to have a good cult following (or are, you know, fairly mainstream) it does seem a little redundant. I'm also given to understand that a good number of American fanfic writers are Anglophiles and actually employ Britpickers (beta readers) when writing HP fanfic, or just try to use a British way of writing.

'Off his rocker' would generally serve in American English. I also used to be one of those Anglophile fanfic writers. I tried very hard to do things as close to right as possible, even without all the cultural tools I might need (like familiarity with the UK editions).



What I don't get for the most part are some of the grammatical changes. They often occur in what I think would be speech, so this is valid British grammar. I just don't understand why you change 'fortnight' to 'two weeks' (don't Americans use fortnight? They do on this forum at least) or 'next day' to 'the next day'.
By changing the grammar in speech (and even in the narrative flow itself) you lose some of the charm and integrity of the characters and atmosphere. I've also noticed that, for some reason, in CS they changed a sizeable amount of narrative when Harry first sees the spiders for absolutely no reason.


Well, fortnight in American English is pretty much an antiquated term and only used by, to borrow a phrase from Vernon Dursley for its appropriateness to the topic, 'swotty little nancy boys' and not real Americans. As for the 'next day'/'the next day' thing, do you mind if I ask for a context on the use of 'next day' without a definite article? Is it something like this?

Next day, Harry and Ron went down to the lake.

Because that's simply ungrammatical in American English. We also don't say 'in future' or 'in hospital' - definite article is needed there in American English or it just sounds completely off.

I'm having trouble, not being overly familiar with British English, in seeing a situation where you might have a bare 'next day' without a definite article.

Androgeus
2012-08-10, 04:49 PM
I'm having trouble, not being overly familiar with British English, in seeing a situation where you might have a bare 'next day' without a definite article.

I'm not a cunning linguist by any stretch, but I can at least give you the context from the book.

On the last day of August he thought he'd better speak to his aunt and uncle about getting to King's Cross station next day, so he went down to the living room, where they were watching a quiz show on television

SaintRidley
2012-08-10, 05:05 PM
Thanks!

I see. Even there, it calls for a definite article in American English.

Tiki Snakes
2012-08-10, 05:06 PM
Thanks!

I see. Even there, it calls for a definite article in American English.

I'm not sure, but I think in that particular case it does in English English too. Certainly reads off to me, at any rate.

GloatingSwine
2012-08-10, 05:59 PM
]
Over here, "sorbet" is pronounced in the French fashion, so "sor-bay". I don't know what the distinction between it and American sherbet is.

Sherbet has milk in, Sorbet doesn't.

Prime32
2012-08-10, 07:13 PM
I thought sherbet was a flavoured sugary substance, and sorbet was something similar to ice cream?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherbet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbet

SiuiS
2012-08-10, 07:49 PM
]
A beret is a round brimless cloth hat, worn by some militaries, some schoolchildren, hipsters, artists, Cuban revolutionaries and beatniks, pretty girls, and stereotypical French people. There are a variety of styles, but normally it's worn at a "jaunty" angle.
Military beret:
http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/moxiepix/b1_1909.jpg
Civilian beret:
http://www.natashascafe.com/images/products/beretgenemk2.jpg

And for the first time ever my mind constructs within itself the architecture of the beret and now I can see that those are the same thin worn differently. Neat!


Over here, "sorbet" is pronounced in the French fashion, so "sor-bay". I don't know what the distinction between it and American sherbet is. Sherbet lemons, though (and other sherbet sweets) are rather different, filled with the powder used to make a sherbet drink, which is sweet and fizzy. There are some sweets that are basically just sherbet powder combined with a minimalist delivery system, like flying saucers, and sherbet dips.

Oh!

Swear to Luna, those one packaged as "fizz-candies". Not the brightest name eh?


Thanks!

I see. Even there, it calls for a definite article in American English.

Not necessarily. It functions in the same way the statement next day air functions. It's perfunctory but still workable. Although I suppose in that case one would have to hyphenate next-day?


I thought sherbet was a flavoured sugary substance, and sorbet was something similar to ice cream?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherbet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbet

Orange, lime and rainbow sherbet / sherbert are an ice cream type food. Sorbet is also an ice cream type food, but is made more to cleanse the palate than to deliver sugar to nine year olds.

ForzaFiori
2012-08-10, 09:42 PM
Of course it could just be that it is time to formerly recognize American as a separate language than English :smalltongue::smallwink::smallbiggrin:

If Portuguese gets to be it's own language, why not American English? It's about as hard for Americans and Brits to understand each other as it is for the Portuguese and Spanish.

Also, SiuiS is right, in many American subcultures, seeming smart is really looked down upon, and large words are a major sign of "acting smart". Because of this, alot of our more antiquated words are falling out of fashion, like fortnight, or any other "SAT word", as they're called in America - because the only reason to know what they mean is for when you take the SAT.

SaintRidley
2012-08-10, 11:00 PM
Not necessarily. It functions in the same way the statement next day air functions. It's perfunctory but still workable. Although I suppose in that case one would have to hyphenate next-day?

I think it's a function of grammatical role. 'Next day' in 'next-day air' serves as an adjective and of course won't strictly follow rules the same way the phrase would as a noun - it's a different part of speech and therefore in purpose if not form a different phrase.

I'm also thinking there might be a larger rule regarding noun phrases denoting time. We don't say 'the tomorrow' because 'tomorrow' functions as an adverb and wouldn't take an article anyway, but we do say 'the following day' and other such combinations because they refer to specific noun concepts.

The next day
The previous day
The week after next
The third tuesday of the month
The morrow (antiquated, not a noun phrase, but notable for being most often or always part of a prepositional phrase, like 'on the morrow').

I'm not entirely sure what the origin of this is, but when it comes to noun phrases denoting periods of time, we don't seem to skip the article.

Aedilred
2012-08-11, 10:07 AM
Although the dividing line between a dialect and a language is a controversial one, there's a (much) bigger difference between Portuguese and Castilian Spanish than between Commonwealth and American English.

But then, there's an even bigger difference between Castilian Spanish and Catalan, and Catalan is still commonly considered (by non-linguists) a dialect of Spanish. :smallfrown:

Eldan
2012-08-11, 10:25 AM
German is fun in that regard.

I mean, clearly, these examples show the same language, just different dialects:

«Der Käfer an der Decke bewegt sich.»: «Dr Güegu a ner Welbi mottut schi.»

«Oben in den Bergen eine Traghutte Holzstückchen wegschmeissen.»: «Än Tschiffretta Päglette di Tschugglette ambri treellu.»

(Standard German- Highest Alemannic)

And there's dozens more of these weird dialects.

SaintRidley
2012-08-11, 12:25 PM
Although the dividing line between a dialect and a language is a controversial one, there's a (much) bigger difference between Portuguese and Castilian Spanish than between Commonwealth and American English.

But then, there's an even bigger difference between Castilian Spanish and Catalan, and Catalan is still commonly considered (by non-linguists) a dialect of Spanish. :smallfrown:
I think I spotted where the problem is.

Knaight
2012-08-11, 02:13 PM
If Portuguese gets to be it's own language, why not American English? It's about as hard for Americans and Brits to understand each other as it is for the Portuguese and Spanish.
I'd call Mexican Spanish and Castillan Spanish further apart than American and British English. Portuguese is way further away from Castillan Spanish than American English is from British English.

Nekura
2012-08-11, 06:03 PM
I thought sherbet was a flavoured sugary substance, and sorbet was something similar to ice cream?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherbet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbet


Well looking at the link explains it. Americans added dairy products to it when you’re not supposed to so it was more like ice cream while mispronouncing and misspelling it. Sure when enough asking around people think of rainbow sherbert and never heard of sorbet.

So they didn’t want kids thinking Dumbledore was wandering around eating and offering people ice cream. I don’t know why not they already have magical ice cream and Dumbledore is obsessed with sweets or at least he is as part of his eccentric old man act so it wouldn‘t be that out of place. Great now I have the image of Dumbledore wanting a truck tricked out to look like an ice cream truck like Herbert the pervert.

Aedilred
2012-08-11, 10:18 PM
There's a bit of a difference between walking around with a packet of sweets in your pocket and going out of your way to get an ice cream before turning up at the site of a major tragedy, somehow.

Cdr.Fallout
2012-08-11, 11:41 PM
I keep reading "HP" and thinking Lovecraft. anyone else having that problem? :P
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6041/6335072195_46bca56ea9_z.jpg


Also, a brief linguistic tangent.

What I don't get for the most part are some of the grammatical changes. They often occur in what I think would be speech, so this is valid British grammar. I just don't understand why you change 'fortnight' to 'two weeks' (don't Americans use fortnight? They do on this forum at least) or 'next day' to 'the next day'.


Technically, yes. Many over here understand that a fortnight is two weeks. However, many (as in all, including yours truly) prefer the much more ambiguous "few weeks."
There is a difference between "I'll have it done in a fortnight" and "I'll have it done in a few weeks." This is nothing more than a culture difference. When you give an American a defined amount of time, he will expect it to be finished in that amount of time, whereas an ambiguous amount of time will give you more legroom to work with. Sure, they will get more annoyed as time goes on, but it won't be as bad as not getting it done in the time your specified. Basically, it's the difference between landing on a sandy floor and landing on a wooden one.

All of American English (And its many, varied dialects) is a product of its history and its culture. This is true of all languages. I'm sorry if I offend you, but when you attack our language and our culture over petty reasons such as this (especially that crack I read earlier about American Sherbet. Seriously?), you come across as the same xenophobic bullies you try to portray us as.

Should we shield our language from outside dialects and mannerisms? No, of course not. That leads to isolationism and stagnation, which are no good for a society. Do we have a problem with how our young are educated? Of course. Do we need outsiders to tell us, nay, remind us of this in snarky, arrogant tones every time it's vaguely mentioned? Of course not. (Most of us) wouldn't tell you how to run your Olympic Games, eh? :P

Anyway, The OP's question has been answered, and nothing good/new/insightful can come out of discussing this anyway, so, we might as well just let this topic die.

Goosefeather
2012-08-12, 12:18 PM
When you give an American a defined amount of time, he will expect it to be finished in that amount of time, whereas an ambiguous amount of time will give you more legroom to work with. Sure, they will get more annoyed as time goes on, but it won't be as bad as not getting it done in the time you specified.

Um, this is hardly something exclusive to the US, and would be exactly the same in the UK, plus many other countries.

Anyway, I don't really get it as an argument - by the same logic, you would never use the terms "three weeks" or "four weeks". "Fortnight" is simply a replacement for "two weeks", and is not any more or less vague. You don't use it in the US because it sounds archaic and has fallen out of use, which is fine and enough reason in itself, but this whole 'vagueness' issue is kind of irrelevant.



And no-one's trying to attack American English, or anything in the culture beyond this mentality of homogenising adaptation, the implication of which is that Americans don't want to, or are unable to, understand or appreciate a work from a different cultural background unless it's carefully adapted for them.

It comes across as a lack of respect, even if not intended as such, and is actually kind of insulting to the original culture involved (and to the US consumers being patronised to!). And it is in our capacity as the original culture that we complain. No-one's trying to be 'snarky' or 'arrogant' or insult the US in any way; we just kind of resent that US publishers (or producers, etc) feel they have to modify our cultural output in this way.

On a lighter note, reading Harry Potter is probably one of the more fun ways to study the differences between our varieties of English! And it could be worse - many countries in South America use a different word for 'you' to peninsular Spain, and the verbs it takes all conjugate differently as well. Imagine if on one side or the other of the Atlantic everyone used forms like 'thou canst' as standard, and you kind of have the idea!

Adlan
2012-08-12, 02:29 PM
Although the dividing line between a dialect and a language is a controversial one, there's a (much) bigger difference between Portuguese and Castilian Spanish than between Commonwealth and American English.

But then, there's an even bigger difference between Castilian Spanish and Catalan, and Catalan is still commonly considered (by non-linguists) a dialect of Spanish. :smallfrown:

I've always found the guide line to be quite simple.

Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect Have a Flag?
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect have a separate identity?
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect have an Army?


Only the last one is important for determining if you speak a Dialect, or a Separate language.

-Old joke from my English Teaching Grandparents.




I think one of the reasons the British in particular, wouldn't modify an american work to English is that English already has easily more than a dozen dialects within just England, then theres a few different welsh, scottish and Irish dialects, and we are all used to at least getting by in communication. America, with much fewer broad accent groups, and much closer accents, is less used to people having to deal with strange sounds.



All of American English (And its many, varied dialects) is a product of its history and its culture. This is true of all languages. I'm sorry if I offend you, but when you attack our language and our culture over petty reasons such as this (especially that crack I read earlier about American Sherbet. Seriously?), you come across as the same xenophobic bullies you try to portray us as.

If you think the comments in this thread about sherbet were attacks on your culture, then I think you are playing into another american stereotype of not getting other peoples jokes. It's not an attack to question why a word was replaced without knowing the context of how the word has changed.



Should we shield our language from outside dialects and mannerisms? No, of course not. That leads to isolationism and stagnation, which are no good for a society. Do we have a problem with how our young are educated? Of course. Do we need outsiders to tell us, nay, remind us of this in snarky, arrogant tones every time it's vaguely mentioned? Of course not. (Most of us) wouldn't tell you how to run your Olympic Games, eh? :P

Well... (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/28/london-2012-nbc-opening-ceremony) clearly you would. Or at least, your broadcasters think you would. I'm actually very glad Americans I know spoke up about this, because it was very silly, but is symptomatic of the problems that produce the edited Harry Potter.




Anyway, The OP's question has been answered, and nothing good/new/insightful can come out of discussing this anyway, so, we might as well just let this topic die.

You may not need reminding, but I found this a very interesting topic, as I had no idea that the changes went so deep. I'd heard about the 'we don't think american kids know what a philosopher is', but it struck me that it was more about the idea that american parents wouldn't be able to answer when their kids asked, because I'm sure lots of the British Kids had to ask their dad when they were first given the book.

I'm a big fan of foot notes, the only way to improve your vocabulary is by finding words you don't know and looking them up, or learning their meaning, so why didn't the American publishers use Foot Notes

Eg: packet of crisps isn't changed to bag of chips, but instead, the first time it comes up, Packet of Crisps*


*Bag of Chips is at the bottom of the page.


Going back to the problem of sherbet, that was explained in this thread, I knew about it before admittedly, but that's only because I saw in Austin Powers a Tub of Orange Sherbet, and I was amazed Americans could get sherbet in tubs like that. If this discussion can explain other such differences, or promote an enjoyable conversation, I don't see that we should just abandon it because you feel your heritage is being attacked when we discuss changes to the most popular British English Literature of our times. After all, our book is the one getting changed.

Cdr.Fallout
2012-08-12, 03:02 PM
If you think the comments in this thread about sherbet were attacks on your culture, then I think you are playing into another american stereotype of not getting other peoples jokes. It's not an attack to question why a word was replaced without knowing the context of how the word has changed.

I was actually referring to this comment:

Well looking at the link explains it. Americans added dairy products to it when you’re not supposed to so it was more like ice cream while mispronouncing and misspelling it. Sure when enough asking around people think of rainbow sherbert and never heard of sorbet.
That is incredibly insulting, because at its base, it's basically saying that we can't have our own cuisine, whether it be original or modified. This isn't just an American thing, if you were to replace that with any other nationality and a food they like, it would be just as insulting, if not more so.


Well... (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/28/london-2012-nbc-opening-ceremony) clearly you would. Or at least, your broadcasters think you would. I'm actually very glad Americans I know spoke up about this, because it was very silly, but is symptomatic of the problems that produce the edited Harry Potter.


That was actually the event I was referring to. I didn't want to expressly mention it, because that would be branching into political discussion.

I, too, like discussing language, but I hate culture bashing in any form, so you can imagine my feelings when the culture being bashed is my own (as it often is in these discussions).

Aedilred
2012-08-12, 03:07 PM
I've always found the guide line to be quite simple.

Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect Have a Flag?
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect have a separate identity?
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect have an Army?


Only the last one is important for determining if you speak a Dialect, or a Separate language.

-Old joke from my English Teaching Grandparents.
Ah yes. I've also heard it as "a language is a dialect with an army".

As far as I understand it, and although there is no universal rule, and often a matter of national pride how a given tongue is defined, that dialects tend to be limited principally to differences of vocabulary and spelling, whereas languages have more significant grammatical differences. I'd consider the various English tongues to be dialects of the same language - with the exceptions of stuff like Panglish and Hinglish which are, I guess, languages (if still basically pidgins).

You are right about the regional diversity of British dialects, although it seems to be on the decline, which I've always thought is a bit of a shame. Even if I can't understand proper Geordies without an interpreter.

(FYI, you've mis-attributed a number of quotes to me in the previous post. :smallwink:)



That is incredibly insulting, because at its base, it's basically saying that we can't have our own cuisine, whether it be original or modified. This isn't just an American thing, if you were to replace that with any other nationality and a food they like, it would be just as insulting, if not more so.
I'm pretty sure that was meant as a joke. Also, we British have to put up with the rest of the planet telling us how rubbish our food is all the time (see the "cuisine" thread(!)); I don't think it's worth taking it seriously...

Omergideon
2012-08-12, 03:48 PM
Ah footnotes. Probably the best way to explain and introduce cultural differences in a work with a different dialect. When reading Shakespere I honestly found the annotated and footnoted versions to be fantastic for this as 1600s English is very different to modern. But learning that is very helpful.

(My favourite example is the phrase "I'll Let that man" meaning, I will stop him then and I will allow him now. Lot's of fun in that)

Nekura
2012-08-12, 04:27 PM
I keep reading "HP" and thinking Lovecraft. anyone else having that problem? :P
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6041/6335072195_46bca56ea9_z.jpg


Also, a brief linguistic tangent.


Technically, yes. Many over here understand that a fortnight is two weeks. However, many (as in all, including yours truly) prefer the much more ambiguous "few weeks."
There is a difference between "I'll have it done in a fortnight" and "I'll have it done in a few weeks." This is nothing more than a culture difference. When you give an American a defined amount of time, he will expect it to be finished in that amount of time, whereas an ambiguous amount of time will give you more legroom to work with. Sure, they will get more annoyed as time goes on, but it won't be as bad as not getting it done in the time your specified. Basically, it's the difference between landing on a sandy floor and landing on a wooden one.

All of American English (And its many, varied dialects) is a product of its history and its culture. This is true of all languages. I'm sorry if I offend you, but when you attack our language and our culture over petty reasons such as this (especially that crack I read earlier about American Sherbet. Seriously?), you come across as the same xenophobic bullies you try to portray us as.

Should we shield our language from outside dialects and mannerisms? No, of course not. That leads to isolationism and stagnation, which are no good for a society. Do we have a problem with how our young are educated? Of course. Do we need outsiders to tell us, nay, remind us of this in snarky, arrogant tones every time it's vaguely mentioned? Of course not. (Most of us) wouldn't tell you how to run your Olympic Games, eh? :P

Anyway, The OP's question has been answered, and nothing good/new/insightful can come out of discussing this anyway, so, we might as well just let this topic die.

As far as fortnight goes yes many people in the US know what it means. It might not be as common as it used to be but is still used often in fantasy works so no need to change it for the intended audience. If JKR wanted it to be ambiguous she could have made it ambiguous, the change they did use didn’t make it ambiguous anyway.

No one was attacking American culture or language. They questioned publishers who seem to think American kids are too dumb to understand things. That in itself is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t expose kids to new words and culture how do you expect them to learn them? People are arguing that American kids are smart enough and that it is belittling for them to “translate” or dumb it down for them.

Some of the changes are ok. However changing Happy Christmas to Merry is unneeded. Whether you use mom, mum, or ma people tend to know what you are talking about, I hear them used in the USA fairly interchangeably. Some changes can be expected but they go overboard. As someone mentioned they could have used footnotes to help or trust people to understand what it means using the context. If all else fails with the availability of the internet nowadays it’s not hard for people to look things up and learn something new.

If it was my comment about the sherbet first I am sorry you got offended. Second I was born and raised in America. I like American Sherbet but that doesn’t change the fact that we took another culture’s dish to made it less healthy and mangled the name. Guys I know pronounce it “sure burt”. I don’t know where that extra R came from. Come to think of it I never saw it spelled out before. I have eaten it and know what everyone called it but never saw the name written out.

The only way I might understand is if it’s about money. I am perfectly happy watching British shows like Blackadder and Red Dwarf on the BBC channel. However if my fellow Americans remake the British show Being Human to create jobs for us I suppose I can’t begrudge them that. I will however complain about it being advertised as an all new original Syfy series. You can’t just take a British show, remake it, and claim it as your own original idea. If you want to “translate” or remake things to create jobs and make money that’s one thing but to try to pass of someone else’s idea as your own is stealing.

Eldan
2012-08-12, 04:29 PM
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect Have a Flag?
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect have a separate identity?
Do the speakers of the Language/Dialect have an Army?


Ooh. So Swiss and Austrian are languages now? Good to know! :smalltongue:

Now we just have to agree on a written language. We tried for centuries and never managed that.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2012-08-12, 09:54 PM
... Swiss German actually is considered a seperate language, afaik.

Lord Seth
2012-08-12, 09:57 PM
The only way I might understand is if it’s about money. I am perfectly happy watching British shows like Blackadder and Red Dwarf on the BBC channel. However if my fellow Americans remake the British show Being Human to create jobs for us I suppose I can’t begrudge them that. I will however complain about it being advertised as an all new original Syfy series. You can’t just take a British show, remake it, and claim it as your own original idea. If you want to “translate” or remake things to create jobs and make money that’s one thing but to try to pass of someone else’s idea as your own is stealing.All right, you're missing what the term "original" is supposed to mean. Cable channels often broadcast shows that didn't originate on their channel. For example, USA shows House and NCIS a lot, neither of which started on their channel. To separate the programming that did come from their channel (e.g. Monk, Psych, Burn Notice) they advertise those shows as originals. And the US version of Being Human did originate on SyFy, so calling it "a SyFy original" is being accurate. Even if it's based on a show that wasn't on SyFy, their version of Being Human is original to their channel. And that's what "SyFy Original" means, it separates it from shows they air that didn't originate on their channel, e.g. The Twilight Zone or Star Trek Enterprise.

I'm also unsure exactly how it can be "stealing" when it's all done with permission...

Eldan
2012-08-13, 05:58 AM
... Swiss German actually is considered a seperate language, afaik.

Nope, we aren't. We are just part of the High Alemannic and Highest Alemannic dialect family.

Psyren
2012-08-13, 10:33 AM
2) I also wondered it the first time it came up, but it was fairly obvious what it meant within the context.

This.


I personally see it as a educational disservice to the American audience to "localise" the language. When a book is very, very, clearly set in England/the UK it is useful to introduce an audience to some of the local customs/grammar and the like.

This, this, this. It's the same reason I get positively enraged when 4Kids bastardizes anime by photoshopping out onigiri (riceballs) and replacing them with sandwiches and donuts. God forbid American children learn some culture; you don't see them removing the burgers and fries from japanese versions, do you? Or calling soba "spaghetti" etc.

It may sound petty but it just reeks of more serious underlying problems - cultural imperialism, executive meddling, Viewers are Morons etc.

Knaight
2012-08-13, 12:23 PM
This, this, this. It's the same reason I get positively enraged when 4Kids bastardizes anime by photoshopping out onigiri (riceballs) and replacing them with sandwiches and donuts. God forbid American children learn some culture; you don't see them removing the burgers and fries from japanese versions, do you? Or calling soba "spaghetti" etc.

This is still completely different than localization. Localization is a matter of using different words to refer to the same thing, which is simply translation writ small. This is the purging of foreign influence from a work and a coverup, it is naked cultural imperialism to its core.

SiuiS
2012-08-13, 02:56 PM
Um, this is hardly something exclusive to the US, and would be exactly the same in the UK, plus many other countries.

Anyway, I don't really get it as an argument - by the same logic, you would never use the terms "three weeks" or "four weeks". "Fortnight" is simply a replacement for "two weeks", and is not any more or less vague. You don't use it in the US because it sounds archaic and has fallen out of use, which is fine and enough reason in itself, but this whole 'vagueness' issue is kind of irrelevant.

You misunderstand, friend. Admittedly, so did I at first, and had to reread it. He didn't say a number, he said few. A fortnight is always 14 days. A few weeks is 1.5 - 3.5 weeks. That's a huge difference in leeway, there. Just like you'll have smart alecs counting when you say "I'll only be a minute" (and makin quite the ruckus when you get to sixty seconds and aren't ready!), whereas saying a few minutes or a few seconds give the general idea without any commitment.



And no-one's trying to attack American English, or anything in the culture beyond this mentality of homogenising adaptation, the implication of which is that Americans don't want to, or are unable to, understand or appreciate a work from a different cultural background unless it's carefully adapted for them.

Yeah, I found that more insulting than any notion of an stack on our language. I also, admittedly, took umbridge to the "Americans cooked it wrong and then misattributed it's name" bit, but it's true to a degree. Sherbert (still not sure if that second R is supposed to be there, or if it's like the R in Dalek...) is a specifically candy/dessert thing, just for the sale of having a flavored substance to nom. It's origins had an actual purpose other than face stuffing. The transformation cannot really be seen as anything other than a bastardized ion I'm afraid

Omergideon
2012-08-13, 03:38 PM
still not sure if that second R is supposed to be there, or if it's like the R in Dalek...

Since when did Dalek have a missing R in it? I havel always thought of it pronounced as "Dah-Lek" if anything, with an extended a sound. Genuinely wondering what accent uses a pronunciation with the sound (I assume) "dar-lek".

VanBuren
2012-08-13, 04:07 PM
Since when did Dalek have a missing R in it? I havel always thought of it pronounced as "Dah-Lek" if anything, with an extended a sound. Genuinely wondering what accent uses a pronunciation with the sound (I assume) "dar-lek".

Pirate, I believe.

And yeah, I didn't really feel attacked by that one comment. The "when you're not supposed to" felt more playful than anything--and technically, it's true. Especially when you're dealing with an already established recipe.

Besides, you should never get offended by a Brit criticizing your food. They clearly don't know what they're talking about. It's OK though, we know how to fix your cuisine. You guys just need to start putting salt on things. You're in luck, by the way. We like to think of ourselves as something of an expert in that category. :smallbiggrin:

Knaight
2012-08-13, 04:25 PM
Besides, you should never get offended by a Brit criticizing your food. They clearly don't know what they're talking about. It's OK though, we know how to fix your cuisine. You guys just need to start putting salt on things. You're in luck, by the way. We like to think of ourselves as something of an expert in that category. :smallbiggrin:
They've already got it figured out. It's called "borrow the cuisine of former colonies, with a focus on curry".

Goosefeather
2012-08-13, 04:36 PM
You misunderstand, friend. Admittedly, so did I at first, and had to reread it. He didn't say a number, he said few. A fortnight is always 14 days. A few weeks is 1.5 - 3.5 weeks. That's a huge difference in leeway, there. Just like you'll have smart alecs counting when you say "I'll only be a minute" (and makin quite the ruckus when you get to sixty seconds and aren't ready!), whereas saying a few minutes or a few seconds give the general idea without any commitment.

I know he didn't say a number. I was just saying that his argument for preferring 'a few weeks' over 'fortnight' for the extra leeway and lack of commitment it provides can be equally applied to using 'a few weeks' instead of 'three weeks' or 'four weeks'. Those last are used, as is 'two weeks', so the argument of leeway is kind of irrelevant to why 'fortnight' isn't used in the States. If 'a fortnight' is always 14 days, so is 'two weeks', after all.

This is leaving aside the fact that, to me, 'a few' implies 'not many but more than two' - i.e. three to about eight or so. Dunno if that's a British/US thing though, but it does mean that 'a few weeks' is at least a week longer than a fortnight anyway.



Yeah, I found that more insulting than any notion of an stack on our language.

I'm not sure whether by 'that' you're referring to what I said as a whole or to the phenomenon I was describing. Just in case, and to clarify, I was merely explaining that this is how it often comes across, how the American reading public are in danger of being perceived abroad, thanks to this tendency of adaptation.

Publishers adapting works in this way are doing just as much disservice to the American public as to the original culture which produced them. It insults both. It creates an unflattering perception abroad of American readers, in addition being highly patronising, treating them as 'not wanting to, or unable to, understand or appreciate a work from a different cultural background unless it's carefully adapted for them', as I first put it.

The danger is that if you treat someone in a certain way, they can end up internalising it, creating a vicious circle - hence the necessity of exposing readers to cultural difference, and sooner rather than later. I know that personally I'd much rather be given the chance to learn new expressions and vocabulary instead of spoon-fed literature specifically edited so as not to cause me to encounter anything outside my immediate circle of cultural experience...


Footnoting, as mentioned above, is an incredibly easy and elegant solution, preserving the original as it was written and simultaneously explaining unfamiliar terms. Even a glossary of Anglicisms/Americanisms would work.

Joran
2012-08-13, 04:44 PM
. . .

What I don't get is that in the UK you had "bobble hats", but in the American translation it's "bonnets"
This must be a serious cultural clash because over here bonnets are distinctly girly things (mostly out of fashion) with wide floppy brims for summer or Easter, and a bobble hat is a practical winter hat made of wool with a little bobble on top.
THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED A BOBBLE HAT.
Look.
Bobble hat:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tmsTXuW40DA/Sy9Okhof9xI/AAAAAAAAA4M/4DcD7OHuvZY/s640/img-thing.jpg
Bonnet:
http://toyawalker.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/childs-easter-bonnet.jpg
So seriously, Americans, what the Hell.


As people have said before, bonnets are the same here as they are in England. I think of Little House on the Prairie whenever I hear "bonnet".

I'd call that type of hat a "ski cap". Unfortunately, there's no word to describe the difference between a ski cap with the little ball of yarn at the top and one that does not. "Bobble hat" is a nice name for it.

On Localization:

I'm kind of wishy-washy on it. I'm okay with some localizations and not with others.

For instance, I'm okay with localizing names in some instances, like Detective Conan. The main characters' names were all changed: Shinichi Kudo (Jimmy Kudo), Ran Mori (Rachel Moore), and Kogoro Mori (Richard Moore), along with the names of victims, bystanders, and perpetrators. I'm okay with this because it doesn't affect the story at all, and mainly gets the names to something we feel comfortable with, so we can focus on the story/mysteries.

No okay localization: I hate it, absolutely hate it, when they localize the honorifics. Anyone with a passing familiarity with anime/manga know what they mean and they add some needed context between social interactions. Dropping them is bothersome, but it feels so awkward when they use something like "Miss" to replace it.

I am a huge fan of subtitles and footnotes to explain anything that a person not from that culture won't understand.

Emmerask
2012-08-13, 04:49 PM
Nope, we aren't. We are just part of the High Alemannic and Highest Alemannic dialect family.

Well its definitely a fringe case though, I mean pretty much everything as far as I can see has a different word and overall as a german its easier to understand dutch then swiss german.

You could make a case that the swiss actually talks german and the germans talk some other later invented language though :smallbiggrin:

Then again if a Bavarian starts to talk I only understand every second word maximum too :smallbiggrin:


As for the localization, we also have to keep in mind that these books are also meant for kids, while giving them a broader cultural understanding would be a very good thing having tons of words they just don´t understand would be a huge obstacle for the enjoyment...
hack most parents would be extremely happy if their kids would actually enjoy reading so I think this should be overlooked in the case of "kids" literature.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-13, 04:55 PM
Since when did Dalek have a missing R in it? I havel always thought of it pronounced as "Dah-Lek" if anything, with an extended a sound. Genuinely wondering what accent uses a pronunciation with the sound (I assume) "dar-lek".

Broad Derbyshire. (E.g. muggins.)

Or Yorkshire.

SiuiS
2012-08-13, 04:56 PM
Since when did Dalek have a missing R in it? I havel always thought of it pronounced as "Dah-Lek" if anything, with an extended a sound. Genuinely wondering what accent uses a pronunciation with the sound (I assume) "dar-lek".

Rose Tyler and the 9th Doctor both say "Darlek". It's not in the word, but that's my point. I don't know if Sherbert is supposed to be sherbert, or if I just spoke to a bunch I lisping nine year olds. It's been about 18 years since I've cared to hear the word after all.


I know he didn't say a number. I was just saying that his argument for preferring 'a few weeks' over 'fortnight' for the extra leeway and lack of commitment it provides can be equally applied to using 'a few weeks' instead of 'three weeks' or 'four weeks'. Those last are used, as is 'two weeks', so the argument of leeway is kind of irrelevant to why 'fortnight' isn't used in the States. If 'a fortnight' is always 14 days, so is 'two weeks', after all.

This is quite true, but his point still holds; if you say three weeks I will count down twenty one days. Sometimes I will count down exactly 504 hours, with a bit of leeway based on when the statemen was made, when it was received and wether the person operates on a business schedule. If you say a few weeks I understand that it is by design a soft deadline.

This is leaving out that three weeks, four weeks, and two weeks are never used colloquially. They are only ever add in a definitive sense. That is the point he was making - that culturally one is understood as concrete and the other is by its nature abstract. The point was, I think, to be absolutely clear on whether the definite or indefinite article, with no confusion based on cultural differences. Can't remember exactly though...


This is leaving aside the fact that, to me, 'a few' implies 'not many but more than two' - i.e. three to about eight or so. Dunno if that's a British/US thing though, but it does mean that 'a few weeks' is at least a week longer than a fortnight anyway.

Several is understood to be three, and few is understood to be less than three but also inclusive of several. It is not quite four however, as four is a definite which is large enough to require explicit statements.

It all relies on how people process things. There is in fact an exercise regime which specifically uses only four minutes a day, because five minutes, due to our base 10 understanding of time, spuds and feels in the mind like a significant portion of your time, and is thus valuable and can be rationalized as wasted on exercise. Four minutes, just shy but still plenty long, is a compromise.

This is probably entirely cultural, but few is by its nature a variable, where two, three, four are definite integers.

Am I making any sense or does it sound like I'm just enumerating the same point again and again?




I'm not sure whether by 'that' you're referring to what I said as a whole or to the phenomenon I was describing. Just in case, and to clarify, I was merely explaining that this is how it often comes across, how the American reading public are in danger of being perceived abroad, thanks to this tendency of adaptation.

Publishers adapting works in this way are doing just as much disservice to the American public as to the original culture which produced them. It insults both. It creates an unflattering perception abroad of American readers, in addition being highly patronising, treating them as 'not wanting to, or unable to, understand or appreciate a work from a different cultural background unless it's carefully adapted for them', as I first put it.

The danger is that if you treat someone in a certain way, they can end up internalising it, creating a vicious circle - hence the necessity of exposing readers to cultural difference, and sooner rather than later. I know that personally I'd much rather be given the chance to learn new expressions and vocabulary instead of spoon-fed literature specifically edited so as not to cause me to encounter anything outside my immediate circle of cultural experience...


Footnoting, as mentioned above, is an incredibly easy and elegant solution, preserving the original as it was written and simultaneously explaining unfamiliar terms. Even a glossary of Anglicisms/Americanisms would work.[/QUOTE]

Androgeus
2012-08-13, 04:57 PM
They've already got it figured out. It's called "borrow the cuisine of former colonies, with a focus on curry".

The Empire was actually just a clever scheme to trade the laws of Cricket for local recipes.

Emmerask
2012-08-13, 05:02 PM
Footnoting, as mentioned above, is an incredibly easy and elegant solution, preserving the original as it was written and simultaneously explaining unfamiliar terms. Even a glossary of Anglicisms/Americanisms would work.

Yes because there is nothing kids love more then to read footnotes or a glossary :smallwink:

For adult literature I´m all for keeping the original work intact,
but really for kids literature it should be easy for them to pick up and enjoy so that they may learn the enjoyment that is reading a good book, you don´t need to put bonus obstacles in the way of that.

Goosefeather
2012-08-13, 05:27 PM
This is leaving out that three weeks, four weeks, and two weeks are never used colloquially. They are only ever add in a definitive sense. That is the point he was making - that culturally one is understood as concrete and the other is by its nature abstract. The point was, I think, to be absolutely clear on whether the definite or indefinite article, with no confusion based on cultural differences. Can't remember exactly though...

I still don't really see the relevance, but oh well. To mean 'more or less a fortnight/three weeks but with a little bit of leeway', we'd probably just use a term like 'about'. Or 'roughly'.




Several is understood to be three, and few is understood to be less than three but also inclusive of several. It is not quite four however, as four is a definite which is large enough to require explicit statements.

Understood by whom, exactly? Those seem like entirely arbitrary definitions. Here (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/a_few), for example, a few, 'while small, is not zero, more than two'. Various other online dictionaries define it as 'small, indefinite, and more than one'. There is nothing whatsoever limiting it to being less than three, four, five, six or even more.

'Several (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/several)' being restricted to three is just as arbitrary. Just like 'a few', it can refer to any small, indefinite number.





This is probably entirely cultural, but few is by its nature a variable, where two, three, four are definite integers.


No, that's true everywhere.





Yes because there is nothing kids love more then to read footnotes or a glossary :smallwink:

For adult literature I´m all for keeping the original work intact,
but really for kids literature it should be easy for them to pick up and enjoy so that they may learn the enjoyment that is reading a good book, you don´t need to put bonus obstacles in the way of that.

To be clear, it was me who said that about footnotes/glossaries, and SiuiS was quoting me.

I dunno, it's hardly a big deal to look at the bottom of the page and read 'parking lot' or 'elevator' or 'bag of chips'. They aren't going to be long footnotes. It'll take like a second. And Terry Pratchett's *extensive* footnotes never put me off his work as a kid.

A glossary is a bit more of a pain though, I admit.

Gnoman
2012-08-13, 05:45 PM
Thing is, footnotes really are not popular with most kids. Especially for kinds who aren't that great at reading in the first place (a section of the populace that HP was extremely popular with), it breaks the flow of the narrative, which can be rather disruptive. For most kids, it's much easier to read "Harry got a sweater from Mrs. Weasley for Christmas" than it is to read "Harry got a jumper* for Christmas."

In concept, it's no different from translating Dickens or Twain for modern audiences.




*In British English, this is a sweater, not a short dress

Goosefeather
2012-08-13, 05:55 PM
In concept, it's no different from translating Dickens or Twain for modern audiences.

Wait, people do that? :smalleek:


I don't think I've ever seen a 'modern translation' of anything originally written in English and more recent than Shakespeare!

Androgeus
2012-08-13, 06:00 PM
Wait, people do that? :smalleek:


I don't think I've ever seen a 'modern translation' of anything originally written in English and more recent than Shakespeare!

You're welcome (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1283674/Oi-mate-gimme---Charles-Dickens-classics-translated-yoof-speak.html), although that does seem more like a joke translation than anything real.

SiuiS
2012-08-13, 06:17 PM
I still don't really see the relevance, but oh well. To mean 'more or less a fortnight/three weeks but with a little bit of leeway', we'd probably just use a term like 'about'. Or 'roughly'.

Yeah, "a few weeks" and "about two weeks" or "three weeks, roughly" are about the same.


Understood by whom, exactly? Those seem like entirely arbitrary definitions. Here, for example, a few, 'while small, is not zero, more than two'. Various other online dictionaries define it as 'small, indefinite, and more than one'. There is nothing whatsoever limiting it to being less than three, four, five, six or even more.

'Several' being restricted to three is just as arbitrary. Just like 'a few', it can refer to any small, indefinite number.

Going for a definition really misses the point of my explaining how I was loose slang. I think that's why we're having this disconnect; few weeks is intended to be undefined (as the guy who darted this bit said).

And several being three is something I've gotten from every American I've ever spoken to, present company possibly excluded. Though if you didn't bother to b accurate in the count, I probably not hold it against you when you told me several and there were four or five. :smallsmile:

Gnoman
2012-08-13, 06:25 PM
Wait, people do that? :smalleek:


I don't think I've ever seen a 'modern translation' of anything originally written in English and more recent than Shakespeare!

It's not usually called "translating". It's "adapting," and often "for young readers" or "for modern audiences." It's extremely common, especially with writers who, like Dickens or Twain, are well-known for difficult writing.

Knaight
2012-08-13, 06:29 PM
On Localization:

I'm kind of wishy-washy on it. I'm okay with some localizations and not with others.

For instance, I'm okay with localizing names in some instances, like Detective Conan. The main characters' names were all changed: Shinichi Kudo (Jimmy Kudo), Ran Mori (Rachel Moore), and Kogoro Mori (Richard Moore), along with the names of victims, bystanders, and perpetrators. I'm okay with this because it doesn't affect the story at all, and mainly gets the names to something we feel comfortable with, so we can focus on the story/mysteries.

No okay localization: I hate it, absolutely hate it, when they localize the honorifics. Anyone with a passing familiarity with anime/manga know what they mean and they add some needed context between social interactions. Dropping them is bothersome, but it feels so awkward when they use something like "Miss" to replace it.
I'm pretty much the opposite. I think the honorifics are useful, but in that case at least you can talk about how that is legitimate translation, with the problems translation always has. Names though? You never need to localize names. They refer to a character, you can tell which character they refer to, and as often as not what they actually mean as words is largely irrelevant. I'd consider localizing character names as bad as localizing the names of places by completely replacing them, and I'm pretty sure everyone in the thread has nothing but disdain for the "Oh, they won't know where Kyoto is, so lets just call it Oregon" school of thought.

I'm not even sure that outright replacing names can really be called localization in the same sense. It's a very different thing from translation light, to the point where we are looking at the other definition of localization. Specifically, the one that is a subset of bowlderization.

Gnoman
2012-08-13, 06:34 PM
Even names are a bit tricky at times. Consider the great playwright Anton Chekov Chekoff Checkov Checkhoff. All those spellings have been used at some point. There are times where consistency makes translating more practical than transliterating, especially when dealing with languages that not only use different orthography, but don't have 1:1 phoneme matchups.

Goosefeather
2012-08-13, 06:58 PM
It's not usually called "translating". It's "adapting," and often "for young readers" or "for modern audiences." It's extremely common, especially with writers who, like Dickens or Twain, are well-known for difficult writing.

Huh. I wonder if it's more common across the Atlantic, or I've just managed, by happenstance, not to really come across it here in the UK.

I guess I can maybe see the reasoning with Dickens, but then again, many of his books aren't really for younger children in the first place. Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol might be exceptions, though both can be pretty dark.

I don't remember either Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn being especially hard to read, but it has been a while.


I worry though, might this not just be promulgating a vicious circle?
'Children find these books hard to read, because they don't know a lot of the words and expressions, because they have never come across them before, because we haven't exposed them to books containing them, because that kind of book is hard to read', and so on.

I might be biased, however, given that young me loved coming across new words and expressions. Then again, learning new things is kind of the point of childhood...

Aedilred
2012-08-13, 07:01 PM
Pirate, I believe.
"Pirate" is basically an exaggerated version (and sometimes not even that) of West Country accents, which is where most pirates originated from. They all have the distinctive rhotic "r". Billie Piper (who plays Rose) is from the area.

There is a difference between "Dalek" with just a long "a" and "Darlek", though. Ecclestone certainly says the former. I can't find a clip with Rose to check, but I expect she does the same. Even in deepest Devon, I'd be surprised to hear "Darlek", because there's no "r" in it to pronounce.

If you're not used to hearing long "a"s - and they're less common in the US than here, I can see how they'd sound similar. But they are distinct.

I've never used "fortnight" to mean anything more ambiguous than "two weeks". If I wanted to introduce ambiguity I'd say "about a fortnight" just as I'd say "about two weeks". It really does have exactly the same meaning.

Emmerask
2012-08-13, 07:13 PM
I'm pretty much the opposite. I think the honorifics are useful, but in that case at least you can talk about how that is legitimate translation, with the problems translation always has. Names though? You never need to localize names. They refer to a character, you can tell which character they refer to, and as often as not what they actually mean as words is largely irrelevant. I'd consider localizing character names as bad as localizing the names of places by completely replacing them, and I'm pretty sure everyone in the thread has nothing but disdain for the "Oh, they won't know where Kyoto is, so lets just call it Oregon" school of thought.

I'm not even sure that outright replacing names can really be called localization in the same sense. It's a very different thing from translation light, to the point where we are looking at the other definition of localization. Specifically, the one that is a subset of bowlderization.

Well yes and no, for example I´m fairly happy that Bernard Cornwell uses the modern name for england instead of englaland or Northumbrien instead of Norohymbraland which would be the terms used during the era it plays in.

As for names, as long as I´m able to pronounce them (even if completely incorrect) I´m absolutely fine with, however if its a name I just have no chance whatsoever with it would irk me to no end to read what "Qwqawpaka" (lets pretend that is a name in some language) has for breakfast ^^

Overall though yes changing Kyoto to Oregon is pretty much unacceptable for me too.

Gnoman
2012-08-13, 07:13 PM
Huh. I wonder if it's more common across the Atlantic, or I've just managed, by happenstance, not to really come across it here in the UK.

I guess I can maybe see the reasoning with Dickens, but then again, many of his books aren't really for younger children in the first place. Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol might be exceptions, though both can be pretty dark.

I don't remember either Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn being especially hard to read, but it has been a while.


I worry though, might this not just be promulgating a vicious circle?
'Children find these books hard to read, because they don't know a lot of the words and expressions, because they have never come across them before, because we haven't exposed them to books containing them, because that kind of book is hard to read', and so on.

I might be biased, however, given that young me loved coming across new words and expressions. Then again, learning new things is kind of the point of childhood...

First, it's not purely a kids thing, though that is much more common than the adult version.

With Twain, much of it is his heavy use of dialect. A lot of data entry tests involve typing three or four paragraphs of Huckleberry Finn because it's so wrong that it's hard for people not to automatically change "larned" to "learned' or "taught," (In situations where you need to type something exactly as written, the natural tendency to type correctly is a serious liability.)

Goosefeather
2012-08-13, 07:30 PM
With Twain, much of it is his heavy use of dialect. A lot of data entry tests involve typing three or four paragraphs of Huckleberry Finn because it's so wrong that it's hard for people not to automatically change "larned" to "learned' or "taught," (In situations where you need to type something exactly as written, the natural tendency to type correctly is a serious liability.)

Heh, I'd tend towards 'learnt' personally, but that's a whole other kettle of fish! :smalltongue:

VanBuren
2012-08-13, 08:30 PM
And several being three is something I've gotten from every American I've ever spoken to, present company possibly excluded. Though if you didn't bother to b accurate in the count, I probably not hold it against you when you told me several and there were four or five. :smallsmile:

Consider this present company excluded, I suppose.


"Pirate" is basically an exaggerated version (and sometimes not even that) of West Country accents, which is where most pirates originated from. They all have the distinctive rhotic "r". Billie Piper (who plays Rose) is from the area.

There is a difference between "Dalek" with just a long "a" and "Darlek", though. Ecclestone certainly says the former. I can't find a clip with Rose to check, but I expect she does the same. Even in deepest Devon, I'd be surprised to hear "Darlek", because there's no "r" in it to pronounce.

If you're not used to hearing long "a"s - and they're less common in the US than here, I can see how they'd sound similar. But they are distinct.

I've never used "fortnight" to mean anything more ambiguous than "two weeks". If I wanted to introduce ambiguity I'd say "about a fortnight" just as I'd say "about two weeks". It really does have exactly the same meaning.


Interesting. Funny though, since I was basing my response on the idea that a pirate would be prounouncing it as dAAAAAARRRRRRRRlek" so it's weird that something factual came out of that.

Lord Seth
2012-08-13, 10:15 PM
Names though? You never need to localize names."Need" to? No; technically, you don't "need" to localize anything. But in some cases it works well. Pokemon is a great example. Do you honestly think it's a bad thing that Fushigidane, Zenigame, and Hitokage are called Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander in English?

Similarly, I have no problem with the name changes in the Ace Attorney series, considering that half of the names were some kind of a pun in Japanese, and localizing them for English retains the joke instead of it being lost.

Knaight
2012-08-13, 10:39 PM
Well yes and no, for example I´m fairly happy that Bernard Cornwell uses the modern name for england instead of englaland or Northumbrien instead of Norohymbraland which would be the terms used during the era it plays in.

True, though I'd consider this part of translation light, just as changing Brasil to Brazil would be. On the other hand, if you decide to change Prussia to Germany or similar there are likely problems, and given the size and location of Prussia at some points Germany could be described as a modern equivalent.

Goosefeather
2012-08-13, 10:52 PM
"Need" to? No; technically, you don't "need" to localize anything. But in some cases it works well. Pokemon is a great example. Do you honestly think it's a bad thing that Fushigidane, Zenigame, and Hitokage are called Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander in English?


The French also localise the names, but the Spanish don't.

Consequently, a couple of years ago, I spent a good hour or two, slightly inebriated and at stupid o'clock in the morning, trying to explain to a fascinated Spanish friend whose English was pretty minimal the puns inherent to pretty much each and every one of the names.

It was actually a pretty good test of my level of Spanish, trying to remember/guess how to translate words like 'growl' and 'lithe' or 'dew' and 'dugong' on the spot!

On the other hand, the 'Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres' thing had obviously clicked instantly for her as a child, whereas it had taken me a while (perhaps longer than it should have... :smallredface:)

Anyways, yeah. There was a layer to it all that had just completely passed her by.

Bringing this discussion full circle, the same applies to Harry Potter, to a certain extent. 'Hogwarts' is left untranslated in Spanish, and just looks like a funny English word. The French, however, translate it to 'Poudlard', meaning something roughly like 'hog's lice' (pou de lard).

Actually, it'd be really interesting to see how other languages handle the many puns and connotations found in the names in Harry Potter!

SaintRidley
2012-08-14, 12:07 AM
Bringing this discussion full circle, the same applies to Harry Potter, to a certain extent. 'Hogwarts' is left untranslated in Spanish, and just looks like a funny English word. The French, however, translate it to 'Poudlard', meaning something roughly like 'hog's lice' (pou de lard).

Actually, it'd be really interesting to see how other languages handle the many puns and connotations found in the names in Harry Potter!

I think Voldemort's anagram in particular is a great bit of fun for the translators. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter_in_translation)

A snippet:

Areas in which anagrams are present do not make the transition easily into other languages. The name "Tom Marvolo Riddle", first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is rearranged to spell "I am Lord Voldemort". This has required translators to alter Riddle's name to make the anagram work. Sometimes translators manage to alter only one part of the name. For example, Tom Riddle's middle name of Marvolo was changed to Marvolodemus in the Serbian second edition; the first edition had lacked the anagram and the original name Tom Marvolo Riddle had simply been copied. In the Bulgarian translation his middle name becomes "Mersvoluko" so the whole name forms an anagram for "And here I am, Lord Voldemort" (instead of "I am Lord Voldemort" as in the original English). Analogous alterations of the middle name Marvolo have been made in several other languages; for example; it became Servolo in Brazilian Portuguese, Vandrolo in Hebrew, Marvoldo in Turkish, Vorlost in German, Narvolo in Russian, Sorvolo in Spanish, Rojvol in Czech, Marvoloso in Slovak, and Orvoloson in Italian.
In other languages, translators replaced the entire name to preserve the anagram. In French, Riddle's full name becomes Tom Elvis Jedusor (i.e. phonetically "game of fate") which forms an anagram for "Je suis Voldemort" ("I am Voldemort"). In Norwegian, his name is Tom Dredolo Venster, an anagram of "Voldemort den store", which means "Voldemort the Great". In Greek, his name is "Anton Marvolo Hurt" (Άντον Μαρβόλο Χέρτ), anagram of "Άρχον Βόλντεμορτ" which means "Lord Voldemort". In Icelandic, his name is Trevor Delgome, which becomes "(Ég)Eg er Voldemort" ("I am Voldemort"), but his middle name is not used for the anagram and stays as Marvolo. In Finnish his name is "Tom Lomen Valedro"; the corresponding anagram is "Ma(ä) olen Voldemort", "I am Voldemort". In Dutch, his name is "Marten Asmodom Vilijn", an anagram of "Mijn naam is Voldemort", or "My name is Voldemort". In Swedish, his name is "Tom Gus Mervolo Dolder", an anagram of "Ego sum Lord Voldemort", where "ego sum" is Latin, not Swedish, for "I am".

Nekura
2012-08-14, 02:18 AM
You misunderstand, friend. Admittedly, so did I at first, and had to reread it. He didn't say a number, he said few. A fortnight is always 14 days. A few weeks is 1.5 - 3.5 weeks. That's a huge difference in leeway, there. Just like you'll have smart alecs counting when you say "I'll only be a minute" (and makin quite the ruckus when you get to sixty seconds and aren't ready!), whereas saying a few minutes or a few seconds give the general idea without any commitment.



Yeah, I found that more insulting than any notion of an stack on our language. I also, admittedly, took umbridge to the "Americans cooked it wrong and then misattributed it's name" bit, but it's true to a degree. Sherbert (still not sure if that second R is supposed to be there, or if it's like the R in Dalek...) is a specifically candy/dessert thing, just for the sale of having a flavored substance to nom. It's origins had an actual purpose other than face stuffing. The transformation cannot really be seen as anything other than a bastardized ion I'm afraid

The argument was that Americans given a set amount of time expect it to take that set amount. That might be a good argument for the change if the change was fortnight to a few weeks. However the change was fortnight to two weeks which is the same amount of time giving no extra leeway. So it didn’t make it any more ambiguous and as some also stated other cultures can also expect it to take the time you said if you didn’t make it clear it was an approximate amount. That kind of makes it a non argument and not particularly relevant to whether the change that did happen is justified or not.

I already apologized about my sherbet comments offending people but as I said I am American so it wasn’t an example of other countries being xenophobic of the US. I am fine with people taking other recipes and adapting them to their own particular tastes. But with too much of a change you might as well call it something else especially if you are not going to bother to pronounce it correctly.

I am from the USA and part of what being American is all about is that I have the right to be annoyed at some people’s ideas just as they can be annoyed at my stance on topics. Calling other countries xenophobic for a complaint about a mispronunciation of a foreign word is going overboard. Even more so when there are much more legitimate examples of a few American companies being xenophobic already listed. It’s not like all American editors do this so people (no matter what country they are from) are allowed to bring up complaints about the ones that do.

One thing I learned from these forms is that many other countries are perfectly happy with having foreign shows in subtitles. I also tend to prefer subtitles over dubbing. It’s just another example of a few Americans being so against other cultures whether hearing or reading it. That’s actually of the big arguments I hear against subs is that they don’t want to hear another language. 4kids being one of the worst examples of stripping and editing out things pertaining to other cultures.

SiuiS
2012-08-14, 06:01 AM
The argument was that Americans given a set amount of time expect it to take that set amount. That might be a good argument for the change if the change was fortnight to a few weeks. However the change was fortnight to two weeks which is the same amount of time giving no extra leeway. So it didn’t make it any more ambiguous and as some also stated other cultures can also expect it to take the time you said if you didn’t make it clear it was an approximate amount. That kind of makes it a non argument and not particularly relevant to whether the change that did happen is justified or not.

I know it's not a justified reason to change the words. It just seemed like the person's comment was taken off because of a word substitution.


I already apologized about my sherbet comments offending people but as I said I am American so it wasn’t an example of other countries being xenophobic of the US. I am fine with people taking other recipes and adapting them to their own particular tastes. But with too much of a change you might as well call it something else especially if you are not going to bother to pronounce it correctly.

Xenophobic never came from my fingertips.


I am from the USA and part of what being American is all about is that I have the right to be annoyed at some people’s ideas just as they can be annoyed at my stance on topics.

as am I and as do we all. I stated that I found the comment on Americans getting it wrong more insulting than the other; I also said I was more or less
Correct. I think (and it may be the hour coupled with a difference in our reading/writing styles) you are attributing more upset to me than intended. My points were completely academic, as was the mention of "Darlek".


One thing I learned from these forms is that many other countries are perfectly happy with having foreign shows in subtitles. I also tend to prefer subtitles over dubbing. It’s just another example of a few Americans being so against other cultures whether hearing or reading it. That’s actually of the big arguments I hear against subs is that they don’t want to hear another language. 4kids being one of the worst examples of stripping and editing out things pertaining to other cultures.

That I'll give you. In fact, I can't think of any reason for it other than xenophobia. I wonder, has anyone ever tried to ask them on an official capacity why they behave this way? I'd be interested in knowin the thought processes behind 4kids.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-14, 06:12 AM
I'd be interested in knowin the thought processes behind 4kids.


thought processes behind 4kids.


thought processes

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

Good one.

Oh, SiuiS, sometimes you kill me. Metaphorically, obviously.



...

Yeah, okay, I do have to balance that by saying that the first eight seasons of Pokemon were a bit better dubbed (from what I've seen, I haven't caught up all the way) when they were in charge.

On the downside, they were also mostly behind the early "burger not riceball" and "sliced fruit is a sandwich" things, so...

Eldan
2012-08-14, 06:20 AM
Ah, Pokémon names. The German version used a very wild and seemingly random mixture of English, Japanese and Germanized names. It was really weird.

Nekura
2012-08-14, 06:22 AM
Xenophobic never came from my fingertips.


Sorry I didn’t mean you there but my sherbert comment was called as xenophobic as the some of the American editors people are complaining about. Even if I was from a different country I wouldn’t consider what I said anywhere near as bad as some of the other examples. Then again if I was being xenophobic you have to weigh one person against the editor, their supervision, the fact they have been doing it for some time, and that they are getting paid to do that.

Omergideon
2012-08-14, 06:29 AM
I am personally very much in favour of keeping proper names in the original form as much as possible. The only exceptions I am OK with are for name changes to preserve a joke (such as in all the Asterix and Obelix stories) into a new language or when the original would be completely unpronouncable in the original. And even then I am not especially fond of the second, but some sounds don't even exist in different alphabets so it may be permissable. It's just a personal hang up of mine where Proper Names are not changed regardless of language.

Probably comes from lots of people trying to insist my name in French was "Pierre" and not Peter. I insisted vehemently that my name was Peter in whatever language. This irritated me more than it should have as a kid.

And it must be said that an extended a sound is often similar to an "ar" sound. And an "ah" sound depending on accent.

Finally, I prefer Subs to Dubs as I personally find preserving the original performance to be preferrable. And I never minded reading the subtitles. And whenever I have compared the 2 the original performance was somewhat better, though I am sure exceptions exist.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-14, 06:51 AM
Finally, I prefer Subs to Dubs as I personally find preserving the original performance to be preferrable. And I never minded reading the subtitles. And whenever I have compared the 2 the original performance was somewhat better, though I am sure exceptions exist.

I prefer dubs myself (feel free to throw things) - competant dubs, mind you, with only the necessary changes made for lingusitic translations (such as language humor, which doesn't often translate directly) - for the mostly practical reason that I tend to be eating1 or something when I watch things (or more correctly, I tend to watch things when I eat), and you kinda can't take your eyes off the screen with a sub.

It is a testament to Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth in that is one of the vanishing few shows I watch subbed (the only other one that springs to mind was Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.)




1Yes, Spirit-Bound Liches don't need to, but can eat, where consumed matter is broken down and then re-radiated on ethereal plane as energy, because there was no way I was giving up chocolate or cerial in death and I'm saying this because if I don't, someone will inevitably comment, because they always do...!

Manga Shoggoth
2012-08-14, 06:59 AM
Interesting. Funny though, since I was basing my response on the idea that a pirate would be prounouncing it as dAAAAAARRRRRRRRlek" so it's weird that something factual came out of that.

Am I the only person who immediately thought of a pirate dalek. I mean, where would it put the patch?

Eldan
2012-08-14, 07:04 AM
I'm a sub person for a simple reason:

Firstly are almost no German dubs of Japanese stuff anyway. If they exist, they are godawful low budget affairs.

Second, English is a second language to me anyway. If I can, I have the subtitles on in English as well, because accents and fast talking are still difficult to me.

So, really, it comes down to sub and one language or sub and another. Then, I take the original one. Same for Spanish, French, Swedish or whatever else I happen to be watching.

Joran
2012-08-14, 12:03 PM
I am personally very much in favour of keeping proper names in the original form as much as possible. The only exceptions I am OK with are for name changes to preserve a joke (such as in all the Asterix and Obelix stories) into a new language or when the original would be completely unpronouncable in the original. And even then I am not especially fond of the second, but some sounds don't even exist in different alphabets so it may be permissable. It's just a personal hang up of mine where Proper Names are not changed regardless of language.


I'm wishy-washy about it. I think the reason I was okay with Detective Conan was because I saw the dub before I watched a sub, so I was ready for the adventures of Jimmy, Rachel, and Richard, rather than Shinichi, Ran, and Kogoro. Also, for a mystery show, with new bystanders/side characters all the time, having a background character who you will never see again having his name be Harry rather than Hideo, doesn't much matter and may make it easier for Americans to keep track of all of the characters.

For a game like Trauma Center, I enjoyed how they localized it by putting well-known TV show doctor and nurse names as the characters. It added a neat feel to the game.

Props to Lord Seth for the Pokemon example. That's a great example.

P.S. My brother points out in one of the movies, one of the important clues is "Shin-ichi", with ichi meaning one, so localizing it did lose an important part of a mystery. It can be patched by giving Jimmy Kudo a middle name (something Japanese people don't have) or by trying to force Kudo->Uno.

Aedilred
2012-08-14, 12:53 PM
As far as I'm concerned, a film, or TV show, is fundamentally a work of art, and the original language should be preserved because if it's taken out you're missing a fundamental part of the intended artwork. With dubs, you're only getting part of the performance of the actor, the scene won't be shot for the rhythm of the dialogue you're getting, and that's before you even get into issues with lip-syncing, which can damage your immersion in the experience.

So it's subtitles all the way for me.

I feel the same way when it comes to opera. I enjoy the work of the ENO, but I'd rather they sang in the original language, especially since it gets surtitled anyway.



When it comes to long "a"s - there is indeed a similarity between "ah" and "ar", and most accents in the UK don't make the distinction. But where they don't it's a case of the "r" in "ar" being dropped, rather than an "r" being added in. I suppose as a Westcountryman I am sensitive to it, even though I don't speak with a rhotic accent myself. In the US, where most accents are rhotic but short "a"s are common, I can see how confusion arises.

Over here, it would seem strange for "Dalek" to be pronounced with a short "a" (my phonetic alphabet-fu and my forum-fu are too weak to display it properly). You'd expect that to be rendered "Dallek".

Emmerask
2012-08-14, 01:10 PM
Problem is that especially comedy in movies does not translate well into subs.
So if its not a comedy that mostly relies on visual jokes then I would very much suggest to use a dub if you don´t know the language.

Furthermore with mainstream films especially of the action genre... the dialogue is completely meaningless with some of them anyway dubbing or not really does not take much away from the overall experience which mostly is the visual artwork.

I mostly watch ov movies but there are actually some (where I watched both) I think are much better in the german dubbed version for example
all Bud Spencer & Terence Hill movies (sry my italian friends ^^),
Fear & Loathing

VanBuren
2012-08-14, 01:35 PM
"Need" to? No; technically, you don't "need" to localize anything. But in some cases it works well. Pokemon is a great example. Do you honestly think it's a bad thing that Fushigidane, Zenigame, and Hitokage are called Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander in English?

Similarly, I have no problem with the name changes in the Ace Attorney series, considering that half of the names were some kind of a pun in Japanese, and localizing them for English retains the joke instead of it being lost.

In that case, you do need to localize it, otherwise you've lost part of the experience. It's the same reason why "Tina" was changed to "Terra" when they translated FF6.

(Tina was considered something of an exotic name in Japan, which obviously didn't work here. Terra was considered a touch less common, and also carried connotations of Earth which set her name up as a foil to Celes).

Ted Woolsey, folks. Give 'im a hand.

mangosta71
2012-08-14, 02:09 PM
Furthermore with mainstream films especially of the action genre... the dialogue is completely meaningless with some of them anyway dubbing or not really does not take much away from the overall experience which mostly is the visual artwork.
If the experience is mostly the visual artwork, I would say that subs detract from that more than dubbing.

SDF
2012-08-14, 02:12 PM
I think some people are exaggerating the reasons for the change in language. The cultural implications of this behavior are interesting, but they are an aside. Harry Potter is a billion dollar industry, and therefore every distributor will pander to the lowest common denominator to make it appeal to the widest audience.

Aedilred
2012-08-14, 04:29 PM
If the experience is mostly the visual artwork, I would say that subs detract from that more than dubbing.
Maybe it's just me, but I find that after about the second subtitle of the film, I stop noticing them directly and can concentrate on the picture, while still picking up the subtitle content. Especially if they are projected onto the surround of the film, rather than over the top of the picture.

I really do prefer subtitles in absolutely every (film/TV/etc.) context, although I'm aware that some people disagree.

I agree that humour does often require idiomatic translation rather than a literal one. Asterix is a good example, where relatively few of the original verbal jokes or names are preserved, but it's been done with great attention to detail, and the whole thing works very well.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-14, 05:07 PM
Asterix is a good example, where relatively few of the original verbal jokes or names are preserved, but it's been done with great attention to detail, and the whole thing works very well.

Yes, other translators should take note. That's how it should be done.

Agincourt
2012-08-14, 09:49 PM
I think some people are exaggerating the reasons for the change in language. The cultural implications of this behavior are interesting, but they are an aside. Harry Potter is a billion dollar industry, and therefore every distributor will pander to the lowest common denominator to make it appeal to the widest audience.

You've put the cart before the horse there. When Scholastic bought the rights to Harry Potter, it was a relatively obscure book. It was a best selling children's novel in the UK, to be sure, but not many people had heard of it on this side of the pond.

SiuiS
2012-08-15, 02:39 AM
Probably comes from lots of people trying to insist my name in French was "Pierre" and not Peter. I insisted vehemently that my name was Peter in whatever language. This irritated me more than it should have as a kid.

This was a phenomenon that always fascinated me. Michael. Mikhail. Mishka. Miguel. Did they all come from The same roots? Maybe, sure.

Ireland, Eru, Hibernia, etc., some come from Romans renaming things, others from other languages. But why? When you go to their land, and mix and mingle, how does that survive? Did they just go "no, you're from Spain, Hispania just won't do, sorry." and if so, why did the Spanish buy it?

Conceptual puzzle for me that I've not yet found a satisfactory answer for.


And it must be said that an extended a sound is often similar to an "ar" sound. And an "ah" sound depending on accent.

To be fair, I think it's the long A going into an L. L an R are so similar sound wise, it's easy to mix them in your brain.

Omergideon
2012-08-15, 05:41 AM
This was a phenomenon that always fascinated me. Michael. Mikhail. Mishka. Miguel. Did they all come from The same roots? Maybe, sure.


Aside from deliberate renamings of things from language to language I do not know. In some specific cases there are explanations.

For instance in the NT, Peter's name is properly given as Cephas (Kep-Haas I think, my aramaic is worse than my Hebrew). Petros was the equivalent name in Greek that had the same meaning, i.e. Rock or stone. This then got changed via regional accenting to Peter in Medievil english. so here we have several elements coming together.

Sometimes the 2 languages independently developed names with equivalent meanings and so, culturally, you used the appropriate form for your audience. So we get Paul/Saul depending on if his audience was Latin or Jewish.

Sometimes different pronunciations come from the same root. Iago, James and Jakob are all equivalent names in different languages. As I understand the theory Yakub was the original (spelt very different in Hebrew of course). But in different regions the Y sound was localised to J or I depending on if the dominant language was germanic or romantic in basis. Continue the process for a few centuries and the names become very different.

Sometimes different countries would happily conquer each other and purposefully suppress the original language. The use of a new name was then intentional to beat down the society and exert dominance. I do not know of any examples right now, but I am sure it happens.

Of course I am happy to be corrected by a proper linguist.



And as a fast reader, with good peripheral vision I honestly barely notice needing subtitles. Unless they are flashing up the equivalent of a sermon I can read through subtitles within a couple of seconds. Though I can see how they might break the flow of a show for some people.

Mauve Shirt
2012-08-15, 05:43 AM
This thread doesn't seem to be about Harry Potter anymore, but I just found this (http://www.gregpalast.com/harry-potter-jo%E2%80%99s-other-ending/) again and wanted to post it for people who didn't like the ending of Deathly Hallows.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-15, 05:50 AM
This thread doesn't seem to be about Harry Potter anymore, but I just found this (http://www.gregpalast.com/harry-potter-jo%E2%80%99s-other-ending/) again and wanted to post it for people who didn't like the ending of Deathly Hallows.

Well then, I, for one, am glad she used the ending she did. I thought that was a bit pants, myself.

Emmerask
2012-08-15, 07:49 AM
This thread doesn't seem to be about Harry Potter anymore, but I just found this (http://www.gregpalast.com/harry-potter-jo%E2%80%99s-other-ending/) again and wanted to post it for people who didn't like the ending of Deathly Hallows.

Wow, that ending was TERRIBLE!

Why would Voldemorts Parents come back as ghosts, loving each other and their son when it was very clear that the father doesn´t want anything to do with him or the wizarding world.

Why would he become a ghost when it was established that only wizards can?
If its the resurrection stone ghosts... why can harry summon them? why can they be seen by others then harry?

Why would Harry become Headmaster when he is a very mediocre wizard (except for defense against the dark arts) and his greatest triumph is forgotten by all?

Why would it all "start again" when the very circumstances of Tom Riddles birth and lineage made him what he was.

Why would the reporter say that the deathly hollow ending was made with a movie in mind when the actual movie ending has very little to do with the book ending?

Why the stupid cliffhanger at the end?

If this would have been the ending I would have raged pretty hard it is very very bad :smallbiggrin:

Agincourt
2012-08-15, 08:53 AM
Sometimes it takes someone trying their hand at writing a bit to make me appreciate how well most of Harry Potter was done. What a sickeningly maudlin ending.

Aedilred
2012-08-15, 11:23 AM
This was a phenomenon that always fascinated me. Michael. Mikhail. Mishka. Miguel. Did they all come from The same roots? Maybe, sure.

Ireland, Eru, Hibernia, etc., some come from Romans renaming things, others from other languages. But why? When you go to their land, and mix and mingle, how does that survive? Did they just go "no, you're from Spain, Hispania just won't do, sorry." and if so, why did the Spanish buy it?

Conceptual puzzle for me that I've not yet found a satisfactory answer for.

It's an interesting question, although I think it largely boils down to cultural assimilation. Whatever the native Iberians called themselves, after centuries of Romanisation, they'll have come to adopt "Hispania" as a name for that territory. (I think "Iberia" was an older exonym for the peninsula). It's possible they didn't even have a name for the whole peninsula before the Romans turned up, because, well, why would you? Most of the modern names for Spain derive from "Hispania".

Sometimes, where an endonym exists, it is preserved. "Ireland" is just an anglicisation of "Eire", for instance, and "Hibernia" is rarely used. The Franks did a great job of getting everybody to use their name for their country. The various Goths, not so much. I wonder why England ended up derived from the Angles and not the Saxons - possibly to distinguish it from the emerging mainland Saxon kingdom? Sometimes, usually where a people end up on the receiving end of conquest, you get an endonym confined almost entirely to that population - like the Welsh or the Basques (Cymry and Euskaldanak respectively).

mangosta71
2012-08-15, 11:44 AM
Some of the reorderings of things are pretty bad, but it looks to me like most of the changes aren't to make it understandable for American audiences, but to make it conversational.
I've been thinking about this for the past couple days, and I've come to the personal conclusion that I don't like such localisation. Sure, you've made the work more conversational for the audience, but you've made it less conversational for the characters in the setting. The purist in me rages at the break in verisimilitude.

Of course, I acknowledge that I'm much wider-read than many of my peers, so such things bother me far more than they do most people. Still, if I ever reread the HP series, I'm gonna have to get my hands on original UK English copies of the books now.

Lord Seth
2012-08-15, 12:31 PM
This thread doesn't seem to be about Harry Potter anymore, but I just found this (http://www.gregpalast.com/harry-potter-jo%E2%80%99s-other-ending/) again and wanted to post it for people who didn't like the ending of Deathly Hallows.One ending being subpar and another ending being even worse doesn't somehow mean the first ending wasn't subpar.

Though considering the alternative ending listed there has never been, as far as I know, confirmed, I do have my doubts as to its authenticity.

Emmerask
2012-08-16, 06:58 AM
One ending being subpar and another ending being even worse doesn't somehow mean the first ending wasn't subpar.


I have read my fair share of fantasy series and overall the Harry Potter ending is above par (the book ending atleast, the movie ending was BAD), it ties most plot strings pretty neatly together and explains a lot of the stuff previously unexplained.
Yes it has some minor holes in it but really nothing so bad that it would make it subpar... heck I´ve read series where the ending was literally a deity comes and makes everything good again :smallbiggrin:

Lord Seth
2012-08-17, 08:56 PM
I have read my fair share of fantasy series and overall the Harry Potter ending is above par (the book ending atleast, the movie ending was BAD), it ties most plot strings pretty neatly together and explains a lot of the stuff previously unexplained.I'm not saying it was subpar. Just pointing out that saying "it could have been worse" doesn't mean it was good.

Harry Potter's ending as a whole was decent. The epilogue was kinda bad though.

Emmerask
2012-08-17, 09:31 PM
I'm not saying it was subpar. Just pointing out that saying "it could have been worse" doesn't mean it was good.

Harry Potter's ending as a whole was decent. The epilogue was kinda bad though.

Yeah the epilogue was a letdown I agree.

SiuiS
2012-08-18, 07:02 AM
It's an interesting question, although I think it largely boils down to cultural assimilation. Whatever the native Iberians called themselves, after centuries of Romanisation, they'll have come to adopt "Hispania" as a name for that territory. (I think "Iberia" was an older exonym for the peninsula). It's possible they didn't even have a name for the whole peninsula before the Romans turned up, because, well, why would you? Most of the modern names for Spain derive from "Hispania".

Sometimes, where an endonym exists, it is preserved. "Ireland" is just an anglicisation of "Eire", for instance, and "Hibernia" is rarely used. The Franks did a great job of getting everybody to use their name for their country. The various Goths, not so much. I wonder why England ended up derived from the Angles and not the Saxons - possibly to distinguish it from the emerging mainland Saxon kingdom? Sometimes, usually where a people end up on the receiving end of conquest, you get an endonym confined almost entirely to that population - like the Welsh or the Basques (Cymry and Euskaldanak respectively).

Interesting. A lot f that makes sense.

What confused me was the seeming notion that, say, the Greeks, the Romans and a third entity all exist relatively peaceably at once. And they all interacted, traded, bu no one could agree with what to call each other. Names being based of of meanings makes the mos sense I've ever heard though.

Eldan
2012-08-18, 07:31 AM
There's also, of course, different languages being associated with different levels of education. Latin is the language of the church. Greek was the Common Language of the Roman Empire, but a kind of High Greek was also the language of learning. So you have native names, but also sort of "official names", and names you only use when you want to sound extremely educated. Like calling England "Britannia" or "Albion" today.

Goosefeather
2012-08-18, 09:38 AM
So you have native names, but also sort of "official names", and names you only use when you want to sound extremely educated. Like calling England Great Britain "Britannia" or "Albion" today.

French newspapers seem to love referring to us as 'perfidious Albion'...

AtlanteanTroll
2012-08-18, 11:40 AM
I think it stopped with the fifth book but I could be wrong. The sixth definitely used the word snogging.

I know that confused the Hell out of me when I was ... 11? Also, having just been in Britain and mistakenly referring to trousers as pants and getting laughed at quite a bit, I think those little changes are perfectly reasonable.

Aotrs Commander
2012-08-18, 11:53 AM
I know that confused the Hell out of me when I was ... 11? Also, having just been in Britain and mistakenly referring to trousers as pants and getting laughed at quite a bit, I think those little changes are perfectly reasonable.

Given that, though, I think it's even more important for cross-cultural linguistics to be experienced, so that people stand a greater chance of knowing and avoiding confusion and embarrassment. Things like, e.g. asking for "an eraser" not "a rubber" in America in the stationary shop, or knowing that "cheap" generally is more commonly used in the sense of "inexpensive" rather than "tawdry" in the UK, as opposed to parts of America (that one is from family experience).

If you are raised to think everyone in the world that speaks the same language exactly the way you do, you're liable to get much more confused (and/or offended) when you run into people that, y'know, don't.

Goosefeather
2012-08-18, 12:22 PM
I know that confused the Hell out of me when I was ... 11? Also, having just been in Britain and mistakenly referring to trousers as pants and getting laughed at quite a bit, I think those little changes are perfectly reasonable.

Much amusement is also derived from the differing meanings of 'fanny'... :smalltongue:

Omergideon
2012-08-18, 03:54 PM
Much amusement is also derived from the differing meanings of 'fanny'... :smalltongue:


To an American I believe a "fanny sack" is merely an outdated type of belt held bag.

Refer to an Englishmans "fanny sack" and you probably deserve what is coming to you :smallbiggrin:

Knaight
2012-08-18, 04:41 PM
To an American I believe a "fanny sack" is merely an outdated type of belt held bag.

Refer to an Englishmans "fanny sack" and you probably deserve what is coming to you :smallbiggrin:

A fanny pack is a modern belt held bag, "fanny sack" is meaningless nonsense.

Parra
2012-08-18, 05:03 PM
"fanny sack" is meaningless nonsense.

Leathery purse?

.......

....what??

Omergideon
2012-08-18, 05:06 PM
Sack, Pack I hope the intent was clear.

Besides over here in the UK we call them Bum Bags. Or did. Haven't seen one in years.

Androgeus
2012-08-18, 05:13 PM
Besides over here in the UK we call them Bum Bags. Or did. Haven't seen one in years.

Which amuses me greatly. :smallbiggrin:

But enough of this fannying around.

AtlanteanTroll
2012-08-18, 05:28 PM
Given that, though, I think it's even more important for cross-cultural linguistics to be experienced, so that people stand a greater chance of knowing and avoiding confusion and embarrassment. Things like, e.g. asking for "an eraser" not "a rubber" in America in the stationary shop, or knowing that "cheap" generally is more commonly used in the sense of "inexpensive" rather than "tawdry" in the UK, as opposed to parts of America (that one is from family experience).

If you are raised to think everyone in the world that speaks the same language exactly the way you do, you're liable to get much more confused (and/or offended) when you run into people that, y'know, don't.

Eh. I learned. The people who laughed at me were my friends anyway. It was far more funny when I said my favorite snack was goldfish and they thought I meant actual goldfish.

Aedilred
2012-08-18, 05:55 PM
Interesting. A lot f that makes sense.

What confused me was the seeming notion that, say, the Greeks, the Romans and a third entity all exist relatively peaceably at once. And they all interacted, traded, bu no one could agree with what to call each other. Names being based of of meanings makes the mos sense I've ever heard though.
Some of the oldest and most basic meanings boil down to "us" and "them". The two endonyms I mentioned, for instance, mean something along the lines of "people like us" or "people who speak our language". One of the most ancient European exonyms is something along the lines of "Wlach", meaning "foreigner" - this has given us names for Wales, Wallachia, Wallonia, and possibly Gaul and the Galatians of Anatolia.

With Greece, I believe that "Greece" comes from Magna Graecia, the area of Italy inhabited by Greek-speakers, where the Romans first came into contact with them. Having identified that people as "Greeks" they then applied that name to all of them, even though they called themselves "Hellenes" (or similar). An older name is "Achaeans" (or Ahiyyiwa in Egypt) - I don't know if that's preserved anywhere or whether it died out with the Dark Ages and the Doric migration.

I'm intrigued by Germany - most of our names for them derive from specific tribes (the Germani, the Teutones, the Alemanni) even though many of those tribes were wiped out centuries ago, but there's no universal use of the same tribal name across Europe. The German endonym is only used as an exonym, in English at least, when talking about a small and specific group of them who no longer consider themselves the same people or speak the same language (the Dutch). Mightily confusing.

When it comes to propagating those names, I imagine that what tends to happen is that Group A meets Group B and gives them a name, whether based on a distinguishing characteristic (like the Saxons), the first tribe they encounter (Greeks) or just "them lot" (the Welsh). Then when Group A comes into contact with Group C and they ask them who lives yonder way, or where did they get that trinket, or whatever, they tell them the name they made up for Group B. Group B's exonym thus gets spread around without their ever having direct contact with Group C, and by the time they get there that name is ingrained. In an era where communication is patchy and contact is difficult, there might be a couple of competing names (as with the Greeks, as you mention). I expect the only time the endonym gets used as an exonym is where the group propagates it themselves through trade or conquest (like the Romans). Even then it might not work (the Phoenicians probably didn't refer to themselves as "purple people", especially since it might result in being eaten (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9H_cI_WCnE).)

That turned into a bit of a wall of text; sorry. I get carried away sometimes.

There was a very memorable scene in The Office (UK version) outlining the transatlantic translation of "bumbag" to "fannypack". I won't link to it, but it's easy to find on YouTube.

Rockphed
2012-08-18, 11:31 PM
Besides, you should never get offended by a Brit criticizing your food. They clearly don't know what they're talking about. It's OK though, we know how to fix your cuisine. You guys just need to start putting salt on things. You're in luck, by the way. We like to think of ourselves as something of an expert in that category. :smallbiggrin:

No, what they need to do is cover their food in a mixture of sugar, vinegar, and tomatoe puree. Also to drive enormous SUVs, but that is a different story.:smalltongue:

VanBuren
2012-08-19, 12:20 AM
No, what they need to do is cover their food in a mixture of sugar, vinegar, and tomatoe puree. Also to drive enormous SUVs, but that is a different story.:smalltongue:

They have to get to McDonald's somehow.


Hey-oh!

Eldan
2012-08-19, 04:43 AM
Some of the oldest and most basic meanings boil down to "us" and "them". The two endonyms I mentioned, for instance, mean something along the lines of "people like us" or "people who speak our language". One of the most ancient European exonyms is something along the lines of "Wlach", meaning "foreigner" - this has given us names for Wales, Wallachia, Wallonia, and possibly Gaul and the Galatians of Anatolia.

Also Wallis, Vals and Welshland, three areas in Switzerland.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2012-08-19, 11:35 AM
Of course, the Welsh exonym for the English is the OLD endonym: Sachsenach, or Saxon.

Aedilred
2012-08-19, 12:41 PM
I guess the Britons would have needed a specific identifier for the Saxons to distinguish them from other foreigners - Irish, Romans, Greeks, various other travellers under Rome, and possibly the Angles, Jutes etc.. They might as well have adopted the name the Saxons used themselves.

That said, it might be that "Saxon" was originally an exonym that the people adopted to distinguish themselves from the rest of the German tribes, named after their distinctive knives. It's a very old name, so there's probably no documentation either way.

I'm still intrigued as to why the English are, well, English, rather than Saxons, especially considering it was Saxon (or debatably ethnically Jute) kings that ended up unifying England. Maybe it's Offa's doing. The Welsh call us Saxons, but they still call England Lloegyr, which seems to mean something like "that place over the border".

Avilan the Grey
2012-08-19, 12:49 PM
Which amuses me greatly. :smallbiggrin:

But enough of this fannying around.

I believe you mean Fannying about. :smallbiggrin:

SaintRidley
2012-08-19, 01:51 PM
I'm still intrigued as to why the English are, well, English, rather than Saxons, especially considering it was Saxon (or debatably ethnically Jute) kings that ended up unifying England. Maybe it's Offa's doing. The Welsh call us Saxons, but they still call England Lloegyr, which seems to mean something like "that place over the border".

Bede's Ecclesiastical History provides one possible story. Augustine of Canterbury was tasked by Pope Gregory I in the late 6th century with converting the Anglo-Saxon people to Christianity, since one of their kings had made it possible by marrying a Christian princess and reopening some of the churches with the clergy her family sent over.

Bede records a story of Gregory seeing fair-haired Anglo-Saxon slaves on the Roman slave market, and when he saw that even such beautiful people were pagans, he was inspired to convert them. When he inquired as to who these slaves were, he was told they were Angles from Britannia. His reply was that these slaves were not Angles, but Angels.

My guess, if Bede's account here can be taken as having any value, is that the Romans generalized Angle to refer to the whole of the people in what would become England, that as they moved toward unification of their kingdoms, they adopted the name for their nation form Latin, and so the country came to be called Anglaland and then Engelund, and finally England.

Interesting point of fact: angel is, for all practical purposes, cognate in Latin and Old English. In Old English you have engel and in Latin angelus, so the story Bede records is entirely possible.

Aedilred
2012-08-19, 03:34 PM
That makes a lot of sense. I'd heard the St. Augustine story before but never joined the dots. Thanks!

Omergideon
2012-08-19, 04:40 PM
Once when looking up about English translations of the Bible I came across one "joke" objection that is quite amusing.

"The Scripture was intended for the Lingua Angelica, not the Lingua Anglica". Ok it was 12th Century, but the similarity in spelling between names for the English and Angels is not unqiue to Bede it would seem. Though admittedly at the time the only socially acceptable languages for academia in England were French and Latin, so it was meant to be ironic humour.

Aedilred
2012-08-19, 05:04 PM
It's a fairly obvious pun, when you speak Latin, I suppose.

VanBuren
2012-08-19, 05:12 PM
Once when looking up about English translations of the Bible I came across one "joke" objection that is quite amusing.

"The Scripture was intended for the Lingua Angelica, not the Lingua Anglica". Ok it was 12th Century, but the similarity in spelling between names for the English and Angels is not unqiue to Bede it would seem. Though admittedly at the time the only socially acceptable languages for academia in England were French and Latin, so it was meant to be ironic humour.

For some reason, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I discover something ancient that contains some kind of wit, be it a pun, sarcasm, or what have you.

I can never understand why. I mean, it's not like a sense of humor just came into being in the 20th century.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2012-08-19, 10:33 PM
For some reason, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I discover something ancient that contains some kind of wit, be it a pun, sarcasm, or what have you.

I can never understand why. I mean, it's not like a sense of humor just came into being in the 20th century.

It's cuz old people aren't funny.

*sage nod*

I always thought Lloegyr meant something more along the lines of "lost land"
*googles*
No, no idea where I would have heard that. Aw well, I always kinda liked it. It was almost romantic, the notion that the very Welsh language would mean that they would never forget that they were driven from all of England.

SaintRidley
2012-08-19, 11:43 PM
It's cuz old people aren't funny.

*sage nod*

I always thought Lloegyr meant something more along the lines of "lost land"
*googles*
No, no idea where I would have heard that. Aw well, I always kinda liked it. It was almost romantic, the notion that the very Welsh language would mean that they would never forget that they were driven from all of England.

That is a pretty romantic folk etymology. I rather like it.

Adlan
2012-08-20, 10:01 AM
Aw well, I always kinda liked it. It was almost romantic, the notion that the very Welsh language would mean that they would never forget that they were driven from all of England.

It is a very romantic ideal, considering that the 'welsh' weren't driven from all England. Cultures drive out one another, but the least 'Brythonic' Places in England are Norfolk and Yorkshire, and they are still about 50% Brythonic Y-Chromosomes.

The old idea of one group completely replacing another is being left behind as we understand our own genetic history. Languages die out, Cultural Identities change, but the people generally stay, intermarry and then a few generations down the line you can't tell them apart.

It's not the Welsh's lost land, the cultural groups that used to rule it (for example, the Iceni) were destroyed by and then adsorbed into the Groups that came after, not displaced into wales in any significant amount (Some noble ancient Britons may have fled into wales away from the Saxons, but no mass exodus).

Rockphed
2012-08-20, 03:36 PM
It is a very romantic ideal, considering that the 'welsh' weren't driven from all England. Cultures drive out one another, but the least 'Brythonic' Places in England are Norfolk and Yorkshire, and they are still about 50% Brythonic Y-Chromosomes.

The old idea of one group completely replacing another is being left behind as we understand our own genetic history. Languages die out, Cultural Identities change, but the people generally stay, intermarry and then a few generations down the line you can't tell them apart.

It's not the Welsh's lost land, the cultural groups that used to rule it (for example, the Iceni) were destroyed by and then adsorbed into the Groups that came after, not displaced into wales in any significant amount (Some noble ancient Britons may have fled into wales away from the Saxons, but no mass exodus).

Conquering armies tend not to want to settle down and farm immediately after slaughtering their foes. They prefer to take over the upper classes and have lots of slaves to do hard labor.

Aedilred
2012-08-21, 08:48 AM
It's not the Welsh's lost land, the cultural groups that used to rule it (for example, the Iceni) were destroyed by and then adsorbed into the Groups that came after, not displaced into wales in any significant amount (Some noble ancient Britons may have fled into wales away from the Saxons, but no mass exodus).
That's all very true and sensible, but not the way that cultural memory tends to work. The Welsh (inc. Cornwall) would see themselves as the last remaining outposts of a people who once ruled the whole island, and therefore the land now ruled by the Saxons is "lost". After a few generations of Saxon rule the people living there, although ethnically Brythonic, would probably consider themselves Saxon anyway.

See also, for instance, the various conquests of Spain. The actual genetic makeup of the population of Spain probably hasn't changed much since pre-Roman times, but it was considered "lost" to the Visigoths, and the rump kingdoms of northern Spain (only one of which probably had anything to do with the Visigoths at all) considered it lost in turn to the Muslims. Hence the Reconquista, when the northern kingdoms drove the Moors out again a few hundred years later.

The whole King Arthur myth pretty much speaks to the idea that the Welsh/British saw the Saxons as conquerors who took "their" land, no matter what the truth of it.