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Dance of the Puppets

Like a bat on a hot tin roof since August 2005

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Valerian project (5)

Page 8

…Valerian et Laureline quitient sans encombre l’astroport et se dirigent, mêlés ā d’autres voyageurs, vers la capitale.

... Valerian and Laureline leave the spaceport unnoticed and blend in with other travellers moving towards the capital.

Hang on a sec. Didn't it just say that they landed far away from the spaceport? If it was supposed to mean that they materialised far away and then flew to the spaceport and landed there it's a bit vague. Or did it mean to say that they materialised at an isolated part of the spaceport? That would make more sense. Though if they are supposed to be doing covert reconnaisence, landing at the main spaceport in a craft hugely more advanced than anything else there and then wandering around in their uniforms seems a bit lacking in subtlety to me.

Tout se passé bien pour le moment!

All [se passé] good for the moment!

There are half a dozen meanings of se passé and none of them seem to fit well. Any ideas? From the context I'd guess the meaning of the line would probably be the equivilent of

So far, so good!

Oui… Pas de surprise… La plupart des races sont humanoids, nous pourrons nous perdre dans la foule!

Yes... No great surprise there... The majority of the races are humanoid, so we should be able to lose ourselves in the crowd!

V: Heureusement que l’on rencontre tous les accoutrements possibles! Nous passons inaperçus…

V: Luckily that one meets all the possible getups! We pass unnoticed..

Yeah, I know that line is ugly. I'm still working on it.

L: Quel merveilleux marché! Tiens, l’allée des orfèvres! Allons jeter un coup d’oeil…

L: What a marvellous market! Wait, an alley of goldsmiths! Let's take a quick look...

L: J’ai de l’or sur moi et j’ai vu que c’était une monnaie acceptée ici!

L: I've got some gold and I noticed it was an acceptable currency here!

I'm slightly bemused by all the exclamation points. I know this dates from the early seventies but it's almost reached the stage of "I made a cup of tea!" I can't wait to find out how they denote when someone is really excited/alarmed about something. And isn't it a bit late in the day for them to be working out what is acceptable currency?

V: Oh écoute! Tu ne vas pas commencer ā acheter des tas de choses hein! …enfin

V: Now listen here! Don't you go buying heaps of things!

L: Brrr… Tous ces bijoux qu’on se fixe sur la peau sont superbes, mais je n’ai guère envie de me promener avec ces bestioles sur moi…

L: Brrr... These jewels that you set on the skin are amazing. But I don't like the idea of walking around with little creatures stuck to me...

Would it be stretching it too far to just call them 'skin jewels' here? That first sentence reads so clunky. Does it read so unlike natural dialogue in the french? And if it does, is it appropriate for me to translate it more naturalistically? Should I be improving on the original script, or be doing my best to preserve its faults?

L: Oh Valérian regarde!

L: Oh look, Valérian!

L: Une montre… Elle a l’air tres ancienne avec ces jolies decorations.

L: A watch... These decorations are pretty but it looks so old.

V: Oui… Curieux… On en voit de presque semblables au musée préatomique de Galaxity. Alors, elle te plaît?

V: Yes... Curious... It looks a lot like one I saw in the Galaxity preatomic museum. You like it?

Oh, you just know this is going to be trouble...


Anonymous David Morris said...

"Luckily people are dressed in all sorts of way." ?

5:53 pm  
Blogger Chance said...

Yeah, that's closer... there's no 'this one' referred to, it's saying that 'one' as in 'you' meet all kinds of clothing styles in this place.

9:24 pm  
Anonymous methane said...

The last line of the previous post should be 'an isolated point of the Syrtien starport' not 'isolated from'. I think it can be read both ways, but it makes more sense this way. With their advanced technology, it's quite possible their lightspeed engines are actually smaller than some other ships regular engines. Perhaps you wouldn't notice the advanced technology from the outside.

'So far, so good' is probably the best translation. 'Everything is going well right now' is more of a word-by-word translation.

You could call them 'skin jewels' if you think it sounds better. It seems like this is something they haven't encountered before, though. I think you'd be more likely to use the longer phrase 'jewels that you set on the skin' (or 'attatch to the skin') the first few times you see something like that. You're emphasizing the 'set on the skin' part of the phrase, because that's what's new to you.

In general the dialogue seems to be pretty standard French, without any really big words or complicated phrases, just like you'd expect a science fiction book appropriate for young teenagers to sound. So I think you should make the English sound similar, in a consistent voice. When I've offered translations here, I've generally just given a word-for-word translation, knowing you'd likely change it to sound consistent with the rest of your translations.

12:10 am  

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