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emk
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 Message 417 of 1317
21 January 2013 at 4:21pm | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
Looks like you got what I was looking for-the first Dune volume. I thought that's what I was getting, but I actually got the second half. The cover indicates this by following the title with two asterisks. No seriously, that's IT. The number two appears somewhere on the interior of the book. Trade you when you're done... ;-)


Argh, you're right! I have half a book. And I feel stupid, because the other half was sitting there on the shelf. This is one of those annoying editions from Pocket that looks like it was printed on a fax machine. And at least to my ear, the translator was struggling with some of Dune's deliberately strange and poetic turns of phrase. I'm pretty sure that "Thufir Hawat, Master of Assassins" shouldn't be translated "Maître Assassin," and Linguee seems to agree.

Still, Dune is Dune, and I'm going to enjoy it anyway. Maybe we do need to swap halves, though. :-)

songlines wrote:
Our library has the Ab irato series, - yay! Though I notice that there was a two-year gap between the publication
of Tome 1 and Tome 2 (pub in 2012).   Might this mean that readers'll have to wait till 2014 to find out what
happens next..?


Worse than that: We have to hope that Tome 2 sells enough that he's allowed to publish the rest of the story. I think I need to write to the author and beg nicely for more. This would make a good action movie, sort of a smarter cousin of Banlieu 13 with a larger cast. I'll definitely post some sample pages.

songlines wrote:
On Amazon.ca, the "Bilingual version" purports to have both French and English subtitles. - Is that the edition
you have, EMK? Or is yours the "Version française"?


- Planète terre has French audio and no subs. The narration is quite clear, but it's competing with background audio and music. In general, documentaries are even easier than news radio, which makes them great for intermediate students, or for more advanced students who want to flop out on the couch and take it easy.

- Intouchables has ACCURATE FRENCH SUBS! No English here yet. Man, do I love this movie.

- La naissance du Québec moderne en quatre temps is narrated in exceptionally clear standard French, with no subtitles. The historical footage is mostly in Quebec-accented standard French. I don't think this was ever intended for monolingual English speakers, in any case. :-) It's quite interesting, but it's definitely the Francophone version of history.

The books and BDs are all in French.

songlines wrote:
- And you're making me hanker for a trip to Montreal. Though perhaps not en plein hiver...


Mission accomplished. :-) Seriously, I love visiting Montreal and Quebec City. There's a whole francophone world hidden up there. I've been living next to it my entire life, and somehow managed to miss out on it until now.
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geoffw
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 Message 418 of 1317
21 January 2013 at 4:32pm | IP Logged 
What would you suggest instead of "Maître Assassin," based on Linguee? "Maître des Assassins" looks better to me.

So do the French have an allergy to thick books? It seems like everything over 300 pages gets chopped up into
several smaller volumes and published separately.
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Quique
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 Message 419 of 1317
21 January 2013 at 8:08pm | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
So do the French have an allergy to thick books? It seems like everything
over 300 pages gets chopped up into several smaller volumes and published separately.


I don't think it's the French, but some publishing houses. They also do it in Spain:
they sell more this way. For instance, the Cryptonomicon is split in three books, €10
each. In English is available in a single book for €7, and it's still manageable.

On the other hand, take a look at À la recherche du temps perdu and try to imagine
it in a single volume...
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emk
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 Message 420 of 1317
21 January 2013 at 8:31pm | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
What would you suggest instead of "Maître Assassin," based on Linguee? "Maître des Assassins" looks better to me.


I think we need a native speaker's opinion here. Here's the background:

- Thufir Hawat is sworn to serve a noble house, and he's bound by feudal-style obligations to his lord. His title is "Master of Assassins".

- It's unclear whether Hawat ever assassinates anybody himself. Instead, he apparently manages shadow wars of assassins and counter-assassins. The details of all this are never discussed, and it's unclear whether or not he has a staff. In other words, his precise relationship to any actual assassins is deliberately indefinite.

I think the two most promising translations are Maître d'assassins and Maître des assassins. The first is analogous to Maître de conférences, and the second is analogous to Directeur des ressources humaines. But I think we need a native speaker to make the final call, or at least somebody who's read 100 million more words of French than I have.

I can't find any evidence of French expressions that would justify translating it as Maître Assassin, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Still, this seems like a curious choice of title for somebody who may not be on the, um, pointy end of the whole business.
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songlines
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 Message 421 of 1317
21 January 2013 at 10:12pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

I think the two most promising translations are Maître d'assassins and Maître des assassins. The first is
analogous to Maître de conférences
, and the second is analogous to Directeur des ressources humaines. But I think we need a native
speaker to make the final call, or at least somebody who's read 100 million more words of French than I have.


- Definitely haven't read 100 million words of French, but I wonder if the d'Afrique/ de l'Afrique
comparison from
The French They Never Taught You, by Binamé & Socken
might be of any help here...?

Quote:


#39. D'Afrique / De l'Afrique:

Un parfum d'Afrique:
Functions as an adjective.
What kind of perfume? (Quelle sorte de parfum?)

Le climat de l'Afrique:
Indicates belonging.
Une relation d'appartenance: appartenant à, provenant de


Edited by songlines on 21 January 2013 at 10:14pm

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akkadboy
Triglot
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France
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 Message 422 of 1317
22 January 2013 at 8:36am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
geoffw wrote:
What would you suggest instead of "Maître Assassin," based on Linguee? "Maître des Assassins" looks better to me.


I think we need a native speaker's opinion here. Here's the background:

- Thufir Hawat is sworn to serve a noble house, and he's bound by feudal-style obligations to his lord. His title is "Master of Assassins".

- It's unclear whether Hawat ever assassinates anybody himself. Instead, he apparently manages shadow wars of assassins and counter-assassins. The details of all this are never discussed, and it's unclear whether or not he has a staff. In other words, his precise relationship to any actual assassins is deliberately indefinite.

I think the two most promising translations are Maître d'assassins and Maître des assassins. The first is analogous to Maître de conférences, and the second is analogous to Directeur des ressources humaines. But I think we need a native speaker to make the final call, or at least somebody who's read 100 million more words of French than I have.

I can't find any evidence of French expressions that would justify translating it as Maître Assassin, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Still, this seems like a curious choice of title for somebody who may not be on the, um, pointy end of the whole business.

I am not sure any final call is possible, but here are my two cents :

- "maître assassin" means that he has "graduated" as an assassin. Literally, you are are of "master" of your trade. No relationship with any other assassin is alluded to. You can still find this kind of title today : "maître boulanger", "maître pâtissier"...

- "maître des assassins" implies a hierarchical relationship with ohter assassins. What is unclear is wether this relationship is an actual one, meaning that he commands a staff of assassins, (this would be my first instinct) or a theorical relationship with the assassins all over the world, meaning simply that he is the best of them.

Of course, one can always say that the first meaning is somehow part of the second one : if you are master of other assassins it means that you are obviously an expert in this field...

Edited by akkadboy on 22 January 2013 at 8:49am

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emk
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 Message 423 of 1317
22 January 2013 at 2:37pm | IP Logged 
akkadboy wrote:
- "maître assassin" means that he has "graduated" as an assassin. Literally, you are are of "master" of your trade. No relationship with any other assassin is alluded to. You can still find this kind of title today : "maître boulanger", "maître pâtissier"...

- "maître des assassins" implies a hierarchical relationship with ohter assassins. What is unclear is wether this relationship is an actual one, meaning that he commands a staff of assassins, (this would be my first instinct) or a theorical relationship with the assassins all over the world, meaning simply that he is the best of them.


Thank you very much! That's almost exactly analogous to "Master Assassin" and "Master of Assassins" in English, which suggests that the translator should have gone for the literal translation here. I discussed this with my wife last night, and she also went for "maître des assassins" (she's familiar with story).

Some further finds, all from the first few chapters:

Quote:
"He says: 'The art of kanly still has admirers in the Empire.'…"

"Kanly, it it?" the Baron asked. "Vendetta, heh? And he uses the nice old word so rich in tradition to be sure I know he means it."

« Il dit : L'art de la rétribution conserve encore certains adepts au sein de l'empire…

« …Rétribution, hein ? La vendetta ? Il a employé ce terme ancien si riche de tradition afin que je sois bien certain de ces dires. »


There's a couple of artistically dubious decisions here, but I want to focus on kanly. This is not an English word at all. It appears to come from the Caucuses, and it's completely opaque to the average anglophone. Granted, rétribution usually means "compensation" in French, but it seems too transparent to accurately capture the effect of kanly in English. My opinion: The translator should have kept this word intact.

Quote:
"Others in like circumstances have become renegade Houses, taking family atomics and shields and fleeing beyond the Imperium."

« Certains, en de semblables circonstances sont devenus renégats aux Maisons et ont emporté boucliers et atomiques de famille pour fuir loin de l'Empire. »


I have no idea what's going on here, frankly, and searching for renégats aux doesn't turn up any interesting idioms that would explain why the translator made these choices. What am I missing here?

Quote:
Thus spoke St. Alia-of-the-Knife: "The Reverend Mother must combine the seductive wiles of the courtesan with the majesty of a virgin goddess…"

Ainsi parla sainte Alia du Couteau « La Révé
rende Mère
doit combiner les pouvoirs de séduction
d'une courtisaine avec la majesté d'une déesse
vierge… »


(line breaks in the original)


This looked like another bizarre mistranslation, but it's really just incredibly sloppy proofreading. Since the entire book looks like it was printed on a fax machine, this isn't really a surprise.

Now, Dune is one of the great classics of science fiction. Like The Lord of the Rings, it takes place in an invented world with lots of hidden backstory. There are all sorts of weird linguistic details. In other words, this book relies heavily on precise use of language to create an artistic effect. And since it's a major book, there really ought to be a careful French translation.

Now, translation is incredibly hard to do well, and this is not the best translation I've read of an English-language novel. But I've found similar suspicious passages in almost every translation I've read, including translations from French to English. Now, I'm probably mistaken about several of these passages, but the point stands: If you care about another country's literature or films, you'll miss an incredible amount by using translations. If you doubt this, compare the French dialog and English subs of Amélie sometime. The translators tried so hard, and they still ended up sacrificing so much.

Still, I'm enjoying Dune, despite these little niggles. It's basically a heavily mythologized version of Lawrence of Arabia, and I'm a sucker for this sort rich, created world that's revealed only in casual asides and assumptions that the characters take for granted.

Edited by emk on 22 January 2013 at 2:39pm

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iguanamon
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 Message 424 of 1317
22 January 2013 at 3:17pm | IP Logged 
I just saw where you have reached your 1,000th post on HTLAL. Congratulations, emk! Your posts are always well reasoned and helpful. Your advice is never negative or dismissive. Your votes to posts ratio serves as a testament to your immense value to this forum.

You have probably written one of the best guides there is to advancing in a second language from a practical standpoint. When anyone wants to know how to progress after a course, this log is a great place to start to see what kind of effort is needed to do just that.

I am looking forward to your next 1,000 posts! Allons-y!


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