Saturday, 17 January 2015
Lost in Translations
So, it's farewell to the latest TV Wallander episodes, which confusingly featured a much younger version of the Diabetic 1, and hello to Spiral, fast moving and set in the grimier quartiers of Paris. The Nord-crime fest has been with us for so long that I now seriously believe I can actually speak Scandik ('tak ...alibi..') and I've almost stopped getting snagged up by the sub-titles, except where they are just plain daft.
There was a bit in the last series of The Bridge where Martin, the gloomy can't-keep-it-in-his-cargoes 'tec met up with his son.
Subtitles: Hi....Hi. Someone in the sub-title department was clearly having a laugh.
I don't know how you react, but I also find heartening to realise that there are countries where people exist in a sort of 24 hour low-level gloomy twilight, speak languages in which the consonants vastly outnumber the vowels, and spend all their lives killing each other or plotting political coups behind the scenes. Maybe that is why Annie, the heroine of my ebook Jigsaw Pieces, originates from one of the Scandi countries. I'm a closet gloomster with hidden psychotic tendencies.
I hold my hands up at this point and confess that of all the countries featured in the Nordic Noir dramas, I have a particular fondness for the Danes, because they have translated one of my books into Danish. Rodt Flojl (the o's have little lines through them, can't work out how to do it, sorry) which is the Danish version of Red Velvet, one of my children's books, has been available in Danish bookshops since 2001.
Interestingly, Rodt Flojl, the translated version, is at least a third longer than its English counterpart Red Velvet. Don't know why. Complete mystery. Maybe I have more to say in Danish. Sadly, I also don't know what it is, but every now and then I receive a royalty cheque.