Tuesday 23rd of July 2024


Astérix parla in latino e in greco

Giovanna Rocca – Università IULM pdf_icon_30x30


Abstract: Two translations of Astérix aux jeux olimpiques, in Latin – Asterix Olympius – and in Greek – Asterikios en Olimpia – were conceived with slightly different purposes: on a practical level, the former was realized with a precise didactic intent in order to promote the development of linguistic-communicative skills by offering a streamlined and simple language to the student; the second appears to be more like an intellectual exercise designed to show how classical Greek can easily render even everyday language. The translators had to deal with the peculiar aspects linked to the orality of the comic in the original language, managing to re-adapt in various ways the richness of puns and cultural references, such as songs or quotes, sometimes even anachronisms, idiomatic expressions, stereotyped comparisons about the peoples mentioned (‘the Greek profile’), including a subtly allusive 1960s-1970s advertising campaign for group travels. The characterization of ‘foreign’ characters appears to be homogeneous and mostly based on graphic (rather than linguistic) aspects: for example, the black lookout of a pirate ship was suggested by the lenition of / r / - a characteristic feature of an ex African colony - which was emphasized in both translations by using particular typographical characters, either a vibrating or a lateral consonant; the Latins see the Greeks speaking with a rather “squared” alphabet, typical of archaic epigraphy. Meeting the ‘linguistic’ challenge has not always been easy for translators but in these cases the goals were achieved.


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