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Matts (1087)

Matts
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I work for MessageLabs [messagelabs.com] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Monday January 07, 2002
08:00 AM

Foreign LOTR

[ #1960 ]

I'm wondering if LOTR loses something in translation to foreign languages. The only people I know who weren't totally impressed with it don't have english as their first language. I know Robin Berjon loved it, but he's practically english ;-)

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  • Roper of Ebert & Roper hated it. But he also apparently hated the *story itself* (saying it was confusing, had too many characters, was stupid about a dumb quest with a silly ring), so he doesn't count.

    And Matthias Neeracher, who is very Swiss but more in tune with American history and culture than most Americans I know, loved it.
  • but he's practically english

    *cough*

    --

    -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

  • That would make sense. After all Tolkien only wrote the books so that he would have a back drop to play with inventing languages. If he hadn't felt that languages need a complete history, culture and environment to be real, there would be no LOTR.

    kellan
    • Personally I wish Tolkien had kept his languages to himself -- from what I've seen of them, they're about as exciting as tap water. They all look like Tokharian on the skids.

      There were grammars of actually interesting languages (like Native American languages) back then, but apparently it would have been too excitingly unwhite for Tolkien to have people speak anything of that sort in his (t)wee Shire.

      As to Tolkien in translation: I think it would improve him greatly.

      • I'm not qualified to comment on the beauty and/or cleverness of the grammars of Tolkien's languages (of which I know some, mainly vocabulary), and especially as compared with NA languages (of which I know very little), since I'm just a hobby linguist, not a real one, but allow me to point out that you seem to be missing the background of *why* Tolkien created these languages.

        He didn't create them "just for fun", out of the blue, for no other purpose than just linguistics, just to create "interesting langu
        • Sigh, yes, I should have previewed (more): in the 3rd paragraph please

          s/something that surely there was/something that surely there was much more of was/
        • :He created the languages (and the history intertwining them) to create an alternative history for England. Not for the Nava[j]os, not for the Lakota. For England.
          It's very alternative, if it uses Finnic linguistic influences (as it seems to, to me, what with all those odd cases on the nouns, and the restrictive phonotaxis). And then there's the writing system that looks quite un-English and un-European; it's pretty clearly an Indic script.

          :How much in the artificial language achievements arena have *y

      • You are such an idiot TorgoX!!! I respect the fact that you think that Tolkien should have kept his languages to himself. But just to let you know, he based some of his languages on latin! Latin... ok! Yah I guess you're to worried about others being "too excitingly unwhite" to even notice that Latin is spoken by south americans!!! Little reminder: USUALLY NOT WHITE!!! *OMG! idiots like you bug the hell out of me*