Sunday 20 May 2012

Lost in translations

So, it's a sad farewell to The Bridge, the latest Nordic TV crime drama which reached its dramatic end last Saturday night. The Nord-crime fest has been with us for so long that I now believe I can actually speak Scandik ('takk ...alibi..') and I've almost stopped getting snagged up by the sub-titles, except where they are just plain daft. There was a bit last night where Martin, the gloomy can't-keep-it-in-his-cargoes 'tec met up with his son. Martin: Hi. Son: Hi. 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. Though I confess 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) 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. Takk.


  1. Finnish must be the worst - I hear they have 16 cases for nouns. Why, why, why? Even Russian only has 6. The Bridge passed me by (so to speak) but I loved Wallander.

    1. Any particular version? And did you read the books before or after? There's a whole debate here... I liked all the Wallanders, even the English one. But then I am a sucker for a crime drama...


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