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Author Topic: Andrew/Ender in Foreign Languages
Member # 9027

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I was looking at the new Brazilian cover for Enders Game and it's titled El Jogo de Exterminador. So 'extermanidor' is the translation for 'ender.' But is that what they use for the characters name as well?

Valentine calls Andrew 'Ender' because she couldn't pronounce it when she was younger. That makes sense in English, but does it in other languages? Does EG in other languages still use 'Andrew' and 'Ender' for the characters names, or do they translate 'Ender' so that the name has the same double entendre as in English?

Just a thought that I couldn't figure out. Anyone know?

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Member # 1131

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I don't have the new version, but the old version was translated by Norberto de Paula Lima. It uses "Ender" and "Andrew Wiggin."

Valentine is still Valentine, and Peter is still Peter. Bean is still Bean and Crazy Tom is still Crazy Tom but Rose the Nose is "Rose, o Nariz."

Locke is still Locke, but Demostenes is spelled like that, with an accent over the o.

Buggers is translated as insecta, in italics like that every time. Ansible stays ansible, also in italics.

Hopes this helps!

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Do kids in other countries get weird nicknames because of baby talking siblings? What I know of Greek, Spanish and Russian names suggests that they do. I think if you're reading about another culture, it's best to simply accept such information. Sort of like in reading the Homecoming series and no one goes by their real name, and it's an alien culture.
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Member # 9027

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Thanks doc and pooka! So it makes sense that they use the same names, but I guess if foreign readers don't have a good working knowledge of English, they might miss the double meaning of "Ender." That's too bad, I really liked that little trick. I guess it just gets treated as pooka says, it's just accepted as a name, and no interest in meaning is sought, as it's an 'alien culture.'

I guess that's a lot easier than naming Andrew 'Ackstombinatorradorington' so that Valentine can mispronounce his name as 'Exterminador' to keep the double meaning going in Portuguese.

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I think sometimes the translators get to literal in their translation of names. For example, it doesn't matter where I go in the world my name is exactly what my name is. Even though every language might have a translation of that name, it would be unreasonable for them to translate it.

In the case of Professor Dumbledore from Harry Potter, the Italian translators change it to 'Prof. Silencio' or 'Prof. Selento' which ever means 'Silent' in Italian. Obviously, the got the 'dumb' part but couldn't fathom the 'ledore' part. But Dumbledore's name needs no translation. Yes, there is some obscure, but insignificant, meaning behind the name, but that meaning has nothing to do with the story. For the record 'dumbledore' is related to Bumblebee, but that doesn't come into play in the story, so there is no need to translate it.

Remus Lupin's name, for example, drops hints that he might somehow be related to wolves. I can see the translators attempting to carry that meaning forward. Remus is related to mythology of twins who were raised by wolves. And, Lupin is related also related to wolves. That reference could have been kept, if there was an equivalent word in the native language that could also act as a proper name.

Sirius, is related to the Dog Star, if that reference could have been kept in tact, then it should be translated, but if not, some vague substitute should not be used.

I think most speaker of western European languages could have and would have gotten the 'Ender' reference without translation. Even if it weren't immediately obvious, certainly someone would have got it and gradually word would have spread.

So, my whole point is that I think book translators over translate character names in books. The subtlities in names such as Remus Lupin and perhaps Ender aren't meant to be obvious. They are secret little asides that only the astute are meant to see. Making them too obvious defeats the purpose.

Just a thought.


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Verily the Younger
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Silly vonk. Ackstombinatorradorington is obviously an English name. And knowing the English, it's probably pronounced "Acksirton" anyway.


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*nods* Like Worchestershire sauce.
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Member # 9027

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Yeah, I have a habit of putting "ington" on the end of all of my fake names.

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Member # 10030

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There's also Voldemort. I always assumed it meant "green death" -- volde=green and mort=death. That made sense because the spell he used to kill everbody was green.
But the other day on Jeopardy there was a clue about it, and it said that Voldemort means "flight from death", where vol=flight, de=from, and mort=death. The translation of that makes more sense, but the meaning makes less sense. Flight from death? Unless it means that Voldemort evaded death, by remaining barely alive for so long? I guess that would make sense.

Pooey. I liked "green death."

Names are so fascinating. [Smile]

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