[DWJ] Translations of DWJ

Emma Falconer emmajanefalconer at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 12:19:07 EST 2012


I got the Spanish versions of Witch Week and the Merlin Conspiracy because
I wanted to brush up on my Spanish. My (then) boyfriend, who is Spanish had
a look at them and compared the first few pages to my English editions, and
said that the Witch Week translation was dull but competent (same gist but
leaving out stylistic elements) but that the Merlin Conspiracy translation
seemed to be aimed at 7 year olds, and he asked me if it was a simple book
for young children. I told him that a key plot point was a character
accidentally going back in time 10 years and causing the current day chaos
by accident by answering a phone call, and he said "I have no idea what
this translator will do with that", Unfortunately I never found out,
because I didn't have time over the summer, and then I left it at his and
now I never want to see him again (and currently don't have much motivation
to improve my Spanish, strangely!).

He said that a major issue in Spain with translations of books is that all
the publishing houses are based in Barcelona, and most of their translators
are bilingual Catalan/Spanish speakers and often do translations into both
languages, and you end up with a bland netural style in the translations.

On 4 November 2012 15:32, <dwj-request at suberic.net> wrote:

> Send Dwj mailing list submissions to
>         dwj at suberic.net
>
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>         http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>         dwj-request at suberic.net
>
> You can reach the person managing the list at
>         dwj-owner at suberic.net
>
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of Dwj digest..."
>
> Today's Topics:
>
>    1.  Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life (Tina)
>    2. Re: Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life (Ellen Willcox)
>    3. Re: Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life (Kyla Mackay-Smith)
>    4. Re: Memorial cafepress store closing soon (Devra)
>    5. Re: Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life (Devra)
>    6. Re: Memorial cafepress store closing soon (Kylie Ding)
>    7. Re: Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life (Tina)
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Tina <liril at gmx.net>
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
> Cc:
> Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2012 20:20:20 +0100
> Subject: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life
> Hi everyone,
>
> this post got longer and longer, because reading Charmed Life (in English)
> I more or less noticed that I didn't reread it, but actually read it for
> the first time.
>
> Whilst I knew before that the 1981 German translation ("Wir sind aufs
> Hexen ganz versessen", Cecilie Dressler Verlag - "We're mad about
> witchcraft") I read as a kid was "abriged", i.e. missing some scenes, only
> now did I find out how far these changes went. Some of them seem randon,
> some seem to aim at making the book "softer" and some -- and that is rather
> disturbing -- take away important bits of Cat's development, and that makes
> me feel I have come to new insights about the book because I finally read
> the real book as it was written by DWJ... (BTW, there has been a new
> translation around 2001)
>
> CL (the 1981 translation) was one of my favourite childhood books, one of
> the few books available in the library that I made my parents buy as a
> present because I had to have it myself, one of the children's books I kept
> in my bookshelves (and didn't move to the attic). So when I wanted to
> reread CL before, I took my old and well-loved copy. For this reread
> however I finally got the original for the Kindle.
>
> Actually, I had found out about (some of) the missing scenes earlier, when
> I listend to the (also abriged...) audio book (read by Tom Baker -- there
> seems to be another one), but I didn't realize the extent of the changes.
> When I listened to the audiobook (more than 10 years ago, oh my), I asked
> the list about the scenes.
>
> In the list archives I found my post from March 2001
>
>
> Quote:
>
> "What was very odd, was that Tom Baker was suddenly reading something I
> didn't remember: the scene in church, when Gwendolyn makes the stained
> glass saints move. I thought it was very funny, and that it was even
> stranger that I didn't remember it as I liked it. So I looked it up in my
> old German edition, *and it's not there!*.Also missing: the whole part in
> which Cat and Janet try to run away, are found by Millie and the following
> meeting with Mrs Sharp."
>
> http://www.suberic.net/**pipermail/dwj/2001-March/**005431.html<http://www.suberic.net/pipermail/dwj/2001-March/005431.html>
>
> The cutting of the Stained Glass Saints Scene made some "retcon"
> necessary, because without this scene there is no reason not to take Janet
> to church on the next Sunday when Cat an Janet are left at the castle and
> get the dragon blood and enter the garden. Therefore the translation has to
> explain why she stays with Cat when the rest of the familiy goes to
> church...
>
> By comparing the versions I found out that not only scenes, but sometimes
> just sentences were "cut"*. Prior to the Stained Glass Saints, the
> translation also left out the scene were Gwendolyn turns Julia's skirt into
> snakes. As the main motivation for Julia to take revenge on Gwendolyn/Janet
> is missing, most of the stuff Julia does to Janet later was also cut
> (turning the stew to mud, trying to strangle her with the curtain, turning
> the marmalade to worms). Also cut are: The chestnuts that are suddenly
> ripe**, the skewer that conveniently lies "by his (Cat's) LEFT HAND", Julia
> warning Cat "Don't you interfere" when the mud is stew again as soon as it
> is in front of Cat. Consequently, whilst Euphemia gets turned into a frog
> and back and the mirror floats, in the old translation it is much harder to
> notice that Cat seems to do magic as soon as Gwendolyn is gone. This time,
> I noticed, which in turn gave new meaning to Chrestomanci saying to Cat:
> "And witchcraft will out. No one who has it can resist using it for ever".
>
>
> With these additional scenes and bits there is more preparation for Cat
> taking his powers back in the end. We also see more of Cat taking care of
> Janet, and her "clinging" to him, which may also be part of the reasons for
> him gradually changing. He even notices it himself: In the (also cut) scene
> with Mrs Sharp Cat wonders "how much he had changed inside -- and how he
> had -- enough to know all this".
>
> In the final explanation scene, there are also some cuts. Here, the
> translation seems intend to "soften" the situation by taking out references
> that confirm how worried everybody (including Chrestomanci) was and is
> about Cat's powers, e.g. Chrestomanci looking vaguely in Cat's direction
> and Cat noting this means he is "vary wary indeed" and also later the
> sentence "Everyone, even Chrestomanci, went tense." However, I find with
> these parts included, the motivation and the reasoning behind Chrestomanci
> and the other adults not talking to Cat earlier make more sense.
>
> BTW, the only person who doesn't tense is Janet, who also noticed Cat
> doing magic when he himself possibly didn't. I noticed more similarities
> between her and Cat, and a stronger bond between them. This may go some way
> to explain why Janet seems quite alright with staying (which is one thing I
> must admit I found a bit disturbing as a kid, given that she seems to be
> fond of her parents...)
>
> So, after finally reading the "real" CL, I like it even more. It was
> wonderful to discover the real story in which, I find, some things just
> make more sense. Some (also mostly new) things I found a bit odd: The
> references that witches aren't supposed to like churches, Millie (!)
> calling Gwendolyn "ungodly child", Will Suggins claiming Sunday's a bad
> time to be at witchcraft -- I never had the impression that the magic in CL
> had any "connection" to theology. However, if you look at the quoted
> sentences more closely, the narrator doesn't confirm those notions to be
> true, so maybe those are only referenced as superstitions.
>
> Some new things were just wonderful, and so I'll finish my monster post
> with the little dragon hypnotizing Janet (also cut):
> "I fetch him animals from the abyss -- old golden creatures, things with
> wings, pearl-eyed monsters from the deep sea, and whispering plants from
> long ago."
>
> Isn't that, quite literally, magic...?
>
> Bettina
>
> *This sounds a bit obsessive, but I know the translation rather well, and
> I found many of the missing sentences crucial...
>
> ** I was so excited when I spotted this neat bit, which is even confirmed
> by Janet in the end when she contradicts Chrestomanci when he says Cat
> still did no magic: "There were some fabulous horse chestnuts, and he kept
> stopping Julia" (also cut, of course...)
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Ellen Willcox <eawil3 at email.wm.edu>
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
> Cc:
> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 20:02:27 -0400
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life
> Ah, Charmed Life.  I love it.  It's one of my favorite Chrestomanci
> books.  Oddly, two of my friends who read it don't like it much
> because they feel Cat is too passive - both prefer The Lives of
> Christopher Chant.  I guess I can see Cat being sort of passive, but
> it doesn't bother me.
>
> What has always impressed me about Charmed Life is that Gwendolyn
> really is that bad.  I've always liked reading about close sibling
> relationships - maybe because my brother and I are close - and I think
> I tend to assume more affection between siblings than is on the page.
> When Cat and Gwendolyn have just arrived at Chrestomanci Castle, and
> Cat is anxious that evening, Gwendolyn plays cards with him - she's
> even the one to suggest it, though she's a bit scornful when she does.
>  So I'd been assuming that she was kind of mean, but that she loved
> her brother deep down.  So that moment where she tells her minions
> offhandedly that they'll have to kill Cat more than once both shocked
> me and gave me chills.
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Kyla Mackay-Smith <kyla at keyfitz.org>
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
> Cc:
> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 21:13:51 -0400 (EDT)
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life
> I myself love Charmed Life, too. I can't remember if it was the first one
> I read, but it was probably in the first three. It's so familiar and comfy,
> and there's such lovely, vivid description. One of my favorite bits of that
> is when Cat wakes up the first morning at the Castle and he describes the
> quiet as being like when it's snowed in the night, and I know exactly what
> he means, and it makes it so clear and real.
>
> So there's one funny thing that I only this time, after reading this book
> for probably 25 years, noticed that I had been interpreting wrong. When the
> Nostrums are introduced, Mr Henry Nostrum is described as "small and
> plumpish," and then on the next page, Mr William Nostrum is "half as large
> again as Mr Henry." So for years, I had been thinking, because large is the
> opposite of small, and Henry's height was small and his width was plumpish,
> that that meant that William was half again as *tall* as Henry. Um, which
> is a rather funny image now that I think about it clearly. No, this really
> means that Henry is plumpish and William is quite rotund, yes?
>
> And then I think this time was the first time I actually read the UK
> HarperCollins version rather than the US Greenwillow version I grew up
> reading. And in the bit when Cat goes up to his room to find things they
> can sell (p. 154 in this version, chapter 11), Janet says, "Sho' ting. I
> daren't move widdout you, bwana. But hurry up." And I don't remember what
> she says in the version I'm used to, but I'm pretty sure it was probably
> just something like "Sure thing. I daren't move without you." I think
> that's the only change I noticed, though, and I'm wondering: did the US
> publisher change it because they thought Americans would be confused?
> Because they thought it was racist/insulting/stereotyping? (I'm also a bit
> surprised that I've had this version on my shelf for years but have
> apparently never read it before.)
>
> Bettina, I'm shocked that there was that much cut out of the German
> translation! I love the church scene. And why take out the skirt snakes?
> That's just odd.
>
> On Sat, 3 Nov 2012, Tina wrote:
>
>  So, after finally reading the "real" CL, I like it even more. It was
>> wonderful to discover the real story in which, I find, some things just
>> make more sense. Some (also mostly new) things I found a bit odd: The
>> references that witches aren't supposed to like churches, Millie (!)
>> calling Gwendolyn "ungodly child", Will Suggins claiming Sunday's a bad
>> time to be at witchcraft -- I never had the impression that the magic in CL
>> had any "connection" to theology. However, if you look at the quoted
>> sentences more closely, the narrator doesn't confirm those notions to be
>> true, so maybe those are only referenced as superstitions.
>>
>
> That's a really interesting point, but I do think that it's only
> superstitions. Because pretty much the whole population of the Castle goes
> to church, yes? And plenty of them are witches, even though there are many
> stronger varieties of magic-workers.
>
> On Sat, 3 Nov 2012, Ellen Willcox wrote:
>
>  What has always impressed me about Charmed Life is that Gwendolyn
>> really is that bad.  I've always liked reading about close sibling
>> relationships - maybe because my brother and I are close - and I think
>> I tend to assume more affection between siblings than is on the page.
>> When Cat and Gwendolyn have just arrived at Chrestomanci Castle, and
>> Cat is anxious that evening, Gwendolyn plays cards with him - she's
>> even the one to suggest it, though she's a bit scornful when she does.
>> So I'd been assuming that she was kind of mean, but that she loved
>> her brother deep down.  So that moment where she tells her minions
>> offhandedly that they'll have to kill Cat more than once both shocked
>> me and gave me chills.
>>
>
> Isn't she utterly horrible? Completely without morals of any kind. It
> really is chilling. Because you can sort of see how all the other denizens
> of Coven Street would see Cat as just a tool, a means to an end, the ends
> justify the means, whatever, they don't really care. But his own sister?
> Yeeks. I'd much rather have Janet. I mean, duh, but.
>
> Now I'm wondering, what kind of relationship do Cat and Janet have? I
> mean, in my head, they're not quite regular full siblings, because they
> weren't always brought up together. They seem kind of like really close
> stepsiblings, or something like that. Anyone else have that feeling?
>
> Oh, and now science nerd questions: do Janet and Gwendolen have the same
> DNA? Probably. Do they have the same fingerprints? Probably not, because
> identical twins don't.
>
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=**-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Q: How do you play religious roulette?
> A: You stand around in a circle and blaspheme and see
> who gets struck by lightning first.
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Devra <devra at aol.com>
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Cc:
> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 21:35:54 -0400 (EDT)
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Memorial cafepress store closing soon
>
> I got the mug, but when I ordered a large tee shirt, it proved MUCH too
> small - like a 14/16 is an SL or a 2X.  *sigh* Think they will let me
> exchange it?
>
> Maybe I should just get a tote bag - size matters not...
>
> Devra, a little annoyed
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
> Sent: Sat, Nov 3, 2012 8:22 am
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Memorial cafepress store closing soon
>
>
> Sigh! It was a great promotion.  I just ordered a tote bag to go along
> with my
> eeshirt and my mug.
> Jameela Lares
> rofessor of English
> he University of Southern Mississippi
> 18 College Drive, #5037
> attiesburg, MS  39406-0001
> 01 266-4319 ofc
> 01 266-5757 fax
> _______________________________________
> rom: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] on behalf of Kylie
> Ding
> kylie_ding at hotmail.com]
> ent: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 2:17 AM
> o: 'Diana Wynne Jones discussion'
> ubject: Re: [DWJ] Memorial cafepress store closing soon
> I'm going to hold the store open for just a few more days.
> I'm really happy with the items I bought.  I've posted some pictures of me
> earing the t-shirts.
>
> https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151115073247749.442370.729337748
> type=1&l=41e6809392
> Kylie
>
> ttp://www.cafepress.com.au/guffstuff/8592205
>
>
>  Now is the time to get your DWJ memorial items, before they are gone
>  for good.  The profits made from the sale of the items will be split
>  between GUFF, the fan fund that sent me to England where I attended
>  DWJ's memorial, and the hospice where DWJ was cared for before she
>  died.
>
>
>
>  I personally bought several t-shirts and a mug from the store.  I'm
>  very happy with all of them!  I wore one of the t-shirts to the
>  memorial, as did several other listmembers.
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________
> wj mailing list
> wj at suberic.net
> ttp://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
> _______________________________________________
> wj mailing list
> wj at suberic.net
> ttp://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Devra <devra at aol.com>
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Cc:
> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 21:50:47 -0400 (EDT)
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life
>
>
>
>
>
> <<Now I'm wondering, what kind of relationship do Cat and Janet have? I
> ean, in my head, they're not quite regular full siblings, because they
> eren't always brought up together. They seem kind of like really close
> tepsiblings, or something like that. Anyone else have that feeling?
> Oh, and now science nerd questions: do Janet and Gwendolen have the same
> NA? Probably. Do they have the same fingerprints? Probably not, because
> dentical twins don't.>>
> In PINHOE EGG, all four kids (Roger, Cat, Julia, and Janet)
> seem to be getting along quite
> ell, like reasonably affectionate cousins.  And Julia and Janet
>  have definitely bonded overneeding a horse...
> Devra
>
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> : How do you play religious roulette?
> : You stand around in a circle and blaspheme and see
> ho gets struck by lightning first.
> _______________________________________________
> wj mailing list
> wj at suberic.net
> ttp://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Kylie Ding <kylie_ding at hotmail.com>
> To: "'Diana Wynne Jones discussion'" <dwj at suberic.net>
> Cc:
> Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 10:52:28 +0800
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Memorial cafepress store closing soon
> Yes they will let you return it if it's within 30 days, and I think that
> includes exchanges.
>
> I actually ordered a bag too, but they sent me an extra t-shirt instead.
>  By
> the time I discovered this it was four months later and I had no chance of
> getting things fixed.  It was delivered to the wrong house and didn't end
> up
> at the right place before I went overseas.
>
> So I have no bag, and I'll auction the t-shirt off at a fan fund auction
> sometime.
>
> Cafepress are not perfect :(  I hope you do get the right shirt in the end.
>
> Kylie
>
> >
> > I got the mug, but when I ordered a large tee shirt, it proved MUCH too
> > small - like a 14/16 is an SL or a 2X.  *sigh* Think they will let me
> > exchange it?
> >
> > Maybe I should just get a tote bag - size matters not...
> >
> > Devra, a little annoyed
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Tina <liril at gmx.net>
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
> Cc:
> Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2012 16:32:23 +0100
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life
> Ellen wrote:
>
>  When Cat and Gwendolyn have just arrived at Chrestomanci Castle, and Cat
> is anxious that evening, Gwendolyn plays cards with him - she's even the
> one to suggest it, though she's a bit scornful when she does. So I'd been
> assuming that she was kind of mean, but that she loved her brother deep
> down.
>
> Yes... She says something like "you'd need looking after" and I noticed it
> too, because it seemed quite nice and "sisterly".
>
>
> and Kyla:
>
> Bettina, I'm shocked that there was that much cut out of the German
> translation! I love the church scene. And why take out the skirt snakes?
> That's just odd.
>
>
> It really is. As I wrote I've been wondering if they wanted to take out
> stuff that could be considered nasty/icky  (the snakes, the
> marmelade/worms, the caterpillars/twigs), but they kept the all apparitions
> ("poor Sarah Jane") including the worm and the spider (There's even a big
> illustration of the spider...). Of course, if this scene was cut and/or
> made "harmless", it would get really hard explain the adults' reaction...
>
> About the Janet's and Gwendolyn's fingerprints: I would have thought
> they'd be identical, because I'd assume Janet and Gwendolyn are. You could
> certainly argue that a double that comes into existence because of a
> "split" (a person already living when two worlds seperate) would have
> identical fingerprints. Of course this doesn't apply to doubles born after
> a split. Hm. Makes you wonder what made Gwendolyn turn out so nasty. We
> don't know about the doubles (or thirds or whatever), but possibly having a
> little brother and the availability of power had something to do with it...
>
>
> Bettina
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Dwj mailing list
> Dwj at suberic.net
> http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
>
>


-- 
www.emmajanefalconer.com photos & zines
emmajanefalconer.blogspot blog


More information about the Dwj mailing list