explaining humour,

Anyone here read Asterix and Obelix? I love those comics, I used to read them all the time (in English). (They’re better than Tintin. I will fight you on this.) The comics are an incredible work of translation – originally written in French by René Goscinny, making great comedy jokes in French and Latin, and painstakingly translated into English by Anthea Bell, who did an incredible job and is one of my translation heroes.

I loved the names – the ‘ix’ suffixes for the Gauls, like Cacofonix the bard (“cacophony”) or Getafix the druid (get-a-fix, who fixes everything), and ‘us’ suffixes for the Romans, like Ignoramus (obvious) or Magnumopus. But the jokes that were in Latin often left me confused – (another reason to study Latin!) – so this site is a godsend. It explains the jokes and still manages to leave the humour in – and as most of us know, translating humour is one of the hardest things of all.

“The drunken spy says ‘sol lucet omnibus’ and then ‘hic haec hoc’. The first means ‘the sun shines on everyone’ and the second is some latin grammar disguised as drunken hiccups. The translators are genius!”

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1 comment
  1. Petalia said:

    I adore Asterix, Obelix, Dogmatix, Getafix and all of the gang. The jokes still make me smile.

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