Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Translating Wordplay and French-Language Comics

Remember how I'm trying to be better about naming names?

It's tricky, because I don't want to steal people's thunder and accidentally announce games before they've been announced.

But I've been busy the last few weeks.

Really busy.

And I've got more on my plate. Because wordplay, rhyming, and puns are hard to translate.

We've been down this road once before, too, with a game that never actually saw an English-language release. That was grueling.  There were four of us on a conference call batting ideas around for some of those cases. The project - by the way - was apparently cancelled because of the printing costs.  I'm not going to complain about the cancellation, either. Not because it wasn't a good game, but because I understand the hesitation surrounding the cost vs acceptable price point.

This current project is less grueling, but there are a few bits where I still feel like I'm beating my head into a brick wall. And it's only two pages at a time and a sentence here and a sentence there that need to be fixed/corrected/adjusted.

I've also been going back through some of the things I worked on in the past, with an eye on "What would I do differently if I had this to do again?" - It's interesting and a bit eye-opening.

Here's an interesting note which is completely unrelated:  Thanks to some of the work I've done, I've begun reading more and more French-language comics.  Not in the original French, mind you, but still.

I mean - I was peripherally aware of TinTin before this. And I was already a huge fan of Asterix the Gaul (if only there were a game that was available in English for this one ... ).  But now I've encountered Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese (which lent some understanding when working on the game), and Blake & Mortimer (which is a logical next step after TinTin, really), and Yoko Tsuno, and The Secret History, and Okko (where some of the flavor text for the game was altered after I read the books) and ...

I find myself looking for MORE.  I want MORE translated French comics.

You know what's missing from that list of comics, by the way?

Super Heroes.  I don't know if France has any unique super hero comics that have been translated into English.

I should find out.  Anyone have any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. Off the top of my head, no - I can't think of any French-made super heroes. It's more of an American trope.

    As for other translated French comics, you can't go wrong reading Valerian & Laureline (which is a great series started in the early 80's and continuing to this day), or Thorgal (I'm sure you'll love the storylines).
    If you're looking for something a bit more mature (V&L is good but light-hearted at its core, while Thorgal takes a bit to find itself, I felt), you can't go wrong with Largo Winch or XIII (spy thrillers with a dash of James Bond).

    I have to try and find out if anything more recent has been translated, as there have been some incredibly well-made comics made in France and french-speaking Europe in the past decade.