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Feb 6, 2010

Tintin 'en Québecois' et ensuite...

(I started writing this post in French, but changed my mind. Do we have many French readers?)

The National Post reports that the classic French comic-series Tintin has been 'translated' into Québecois, and that les habitants de Québec are not impressed.

As a boy, I loved Tintin and his globe-travelling adventures. I guess I must have been reading the France-French version? I didn't understand then all the references and words, but devoured the books. I became so much a fan that as an adult, I've collected the whole set - again, in France-French.

Some time ago, I spent 2 years working as an Official Languages Coordinator in New Brunswick, mostly making sure that a hospital's services were available as fully as possible in both English and French. When signs and brochures were translated, one issue was whether the result was the right balance between the French from L'Académie Française and the French spoken and understood by our predominantly Acadian citizens.

Acadians are generally quite shy about the Frenchness of their French, so to speak. Some described to me times of travelling in Québec and - even worse - France, and being looked down upon since their mother-tongue sounded hickish and uneducated in the ears of others. Not so, apparently, in Québec, where there seems to be much greater pride in their version of la langue de Molière. To the point of being offended, rather than pleased, with this new version of Tintin.

Now what I really want to know is when Tintin will be available in Chiac, the French-English blend of the Maritimes...
(for more on Chiac, watch a short video clip here; or read an "I Am Acadian" manifesto here)

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting. Does the report say anything about the quality of the translation? I reckon Québecois differs a bit depending on where you live in Québec? If so, I'd find it hard to translate Tintin into this language. Maybe people are just dissatisfied with the translation, not with the fact that it's been translated into their mother-tongue? In general, I think it's a good idea to translate books into varieties of a language or into dialects. One of my English professors at uni translated the German children's book "Struwwelpeter" into various dialects of German and he also initiated its translation into e.g. Icelandic. What a fun thing to do! :)