More Lost in Translation
Pg 33: CAVOR-REICHS. mmmm... mmmmm... don´t know why.
Ahhh. That would be from Professor Cavor and Cavorite (H.G. Wells) and Wilhelm Reich, the mad scientist behind the theory of orgone energy.
Pg 37: HELLION. Is there a reason for that, some allusion I can´t see? I tell you that because I´ve discovered birdman last week and I wonder if you use 'birdman' in your book for that reason and if hellion have similar allusions.
I used it as a pun on “Hellene”, meaning “hellraiser / troublemaker” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hellion) but with the idea that it suggests “inhabitant of Hell”. I didn’t think of the comics reference at all, to be honest. The “Birdman” cartoon, however, I remember with great fondness from a childhood spent watching this:
Though the main idea there was just to have Finnan use the word to trivialise the unkin that see themselves as “angels”.
pg 40: SOOTH-SIMILE. I´ve the same doubts with those names.
There’s a vague theme of the puns in this part of the book relating to myth, drama, literature and such – I was going for a hint of a metafictiony thing, I guess. So Thebes becomes Themes, Zeus becomes Sooth (as in soothsayer) and Semele becomes Simile. I’ve *no* idea how that could be translated. If there are puns in Spanish that might work in place of these, nouns that sound similar to the names, I kinda think that would work better than literal translations of the puns I use. Even if they have a different meaning, well, I was kinda trying to use the randomness of similar sounds to find new meaning in the chance associations... if that makes sense. So if there was a way to do something similar in Spanish, that would be cool. I kinda like the idea of different translations being subtly different in that respect.
But this is where my way of writing becomes a bastard to translate, isn’t it? Sorry.
pg 58: BOSCH. Dutch???
[ORIGINAL RESPONSE:]“Bosch” was British WW1 slang for the Germans. I don’t know where it came from and it might well have been a totally idiotic thing to call them, but it was pretty common. Feel free to just use “the German(s)” where appropriate or whatever Spanish term would be apt – assuming there is one.
[REVISED RESPONSE COURTESY OF HANNES*:] Turns out I was talking nonsense about “Bosch”. The proper spelling is “Boche”. I’d got the word confused with the chemical company because they had a big factory near where I grew up. So I heard it as a kid and always assumed it was the same spelling as the chemical company.
[*One of the good things about the translation process is finding out about all the little gaffes that slipped through. So when I shared my responses with Hannes he picked up on the Bosch/Boche gaff and clued me up on it. Oh well, says I. May as well expose my ignorance for all the world to see. You may now point and laugh.]