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Translating Names

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Aodhfin

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Post January 9th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Translating Names

One of my biggest peeves is when names of characters get changed during the translation of a book. I mean, WHY? You know that you are reading a book that is set in England. Then why would you give the characters Dutch names? Are English names too hard? Really. :| Especially in Harry Potter, where people have unusual names anyway. What does it matter that kids can't relate to those names then? Some changes are genuinely stupid and pointless. First prize:

Lupin in "Dutch" is...

*drumrolls*

Spoiler: show
Lupos. *facepalm*


WHY? :?

I was just wondering if there is a logical reason behind this BS? Seriously, is there a legal reason behind it or something? Because otherwise it's just pointless and quite a shame, really. I get that some nicknames and puns don't work in other languages, but just regular names of characters? Anyone who can light a candle on this one?
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Grrarrggh

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Post January 11th, 2018, 9:48 pm

Re: Translating Names

Because without the translation people reading in that language wouldn't get the pun/joke of the name. Lupin means wolf. In Dutch you have to translate it to Lupos or it's just jibberish.
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MarsUltor

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Post January 12th, 2018, 5:54 am

Re: Translating Names

Names should not be translated. If somebody is curious about what they mean; they have Internet.
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Ponder

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Post January 12th, 2018, 10:47 am

Re: Translating Names

MarsUltor wrote:Names should not be translated. If somebody is curious about what they mean; they have Internet.


The books were first written and translated, when the internet wasn't that much of a thing, so that is a none issue.

Each translator had the job, to catch the spirit of the books, with as many hints and puns that were hidden in the books. People weren't just causally talking to other people all over the world and so the issue that names in a children book (and the first books are children books) change in different languages and people could be confused about it was just not a real thing to worry about back then.

There are other translating issues that surprise me a lit more.
For example in my German book past champions of the Triwizard Tournament had to fight basilisks and something else in the English books.
A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength. It has been universally established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal-sized billiard balls.
chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized
~ Terry Pratchett
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DanPot

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Post January 13th, 2018, 7:14 pm

Re: Translating Names

I have absolutely no problem with translation of names. If you speak other languages, you will get why. If you honestly think it's not necessary or at least very useful, you don't understand the many and varied differences between languages. I myself do speak a second language and find the translation excellent and important in that language.
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Aodhfin

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Post January 15th, 2018, 5:31 pm

Re: Translating Names

Thanks for the replies everyone! It's very much appreciated. Like I already mentioned, I don't mind that much when it comes to puns or names that have to make sense, because then it does matter. But names that work either way should really be left alone. Lupin/Lupos is one of them. Most people know that anything that starts with "lup" is usually wolf-related, and if someone doesn't know, naming the character Lupos instead of Lupin isn't going to change that.

Completely normal, English names too. Why change those? If Dutch people/kids can handle the name Harry Potter (which is obviously a very English name), why do we have to turn Hermione into Hermelien? Or Angelina into Angelique? Or Katie to Katja? It just seems so pointless.

It's (and this is a movie-problem which obviously shouldn't really count, but still) very confusing, too. I'm currently reading The Goblet Of Fire, and it took me half a book to realise that Dwaaloog Dolleman is actually Mad-Eye Moody. I get the translation of this one, but I felt stupid anyway. :P
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