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Old January 21 2011, 01:41 AM   #30
Zulu Romeo
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Re: Favorite children's books

Holdfast wrote: View Post
Actually, in much the same vein, I remain impressed to this day by the Asterix comics. They are so brilliantly written (or perhaps I should say, re-written, during thier English translation), with a wonderful array of jokes and allusions to appeal to just about any educational and maturity level. Just occasionally, even now if I re-read them, I get a subtle joke that I never did before. They are that intelligent. The translators (Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge) are/were remarkably well-read and witty (I'm willing to bet they had Oxbridge educations, based on the nature of the jokes), in some ways much more so than the original writer (I've read a couple of the comics in the original French), and introduced a lot more layers to the humour.
We were introduced to Astérix in secondary school Latin, if only for an added appreciation of the Latin in-jokes in the Bell & Hockridge translation, and also reading special versions translated entirely into Latin. I remembered reading somewhere about how they would try and fit in jokes as close to the spirit of the French original as possible, admitting that in in some cases the English version's humour worked better than the French, while in a select few other cases the translation lost a little of the humour. I still read the albums today.
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