Saturday, 22 October 2016
Lost in Translation
So, it's farewell to the latest TV Beck episodes, which were a bit confusing as one of the main characters, Gunwald, was shot fairly soon into the series to be replaced by a very tall man with a beard you could use as a rug and a Norwegian accent.
The Nord-crime fest has been with us for so long that I now seriously believe I can actually speak Scandic ('tak ..praecis...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.
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. And only have 8 professional TV actors between them. Maybe that is why Annie, the heroine of my YA 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 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, 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 small royalty cheque.