Tolkien Gateway

Letter 190

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{{letter|190}}
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{{letter infobox
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| #=190
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| to=[[Rayner Unwin]]
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| date=[[3 July]] [[1956]]
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| subject=[[Translations]]
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}}{{letter|190}}
 
==Summary==
 
==Summary==
This fragment of a letter, dated [[July 3]], [[1956]], was written to [[Rayner Unwin]]. Tolkien had been sent a list of [[Translated Names|translations]] to the nomenclature for the first translation of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', into Dutch by [[Max Schuchart]]. Tolkien writes that he objects to translations of personal nomenclature; [[the Shire]] is based on (or, as he calls it himself, "a parody of") rural England; plus, the toponymy of the Shire is wholly different from that of the Netherlands.
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Tolkien had been sent a list of [[Translated names|translations]] to the nomenclature for the first translation of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', into Dutch by [[Max Schuchart]]. Tolkien wrote that he objected to translations of personal nomenclature; [[the Shire]] was based on (or, as he called it himself, "a parody of") rural England; plus, the toponymy of the Shire was wholly different from that of the Netherlands.
  
Concerning the map "''A Part of the Shire''", Tolkien thinks translating it to "''Een deel von 'The Shire<nowiki>'</nowiki>''" sufficient. By not translating the [[Appendices]], the Translator (this word is capitalized throughout the letter) got himself into problems; Anglo-Saxon is not like Dutch, as Schuchart had translated, it is related to English.  
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Concerning the map "''[[A Part of the Shire]]''", Tolkien thought translating it to "''Een deel von ''(sic)'' 'The Shire<nowiki>'</nowiki>''" sufficient. By not translating the [[The Lord of the Rings Appendices|Appendices]], the Translator (this word was capitalized throughout the letter) got himself into problems; Anglo-Saxon was not like Dutch, as Schuchart had translated, it was related to English.  
  
Tolkien sent back a letter containing a detailed commentary, and suggests leaving the maps untranslated, and leave personal nomenclature alone as much as possible. He could provide a list of etymologies that could be included.  
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Tolkien sent back a letter containing a detailed commentary, and suggested leaving the maps untranslated, and leave personal nomenclature alone as much as possible. He could provide a list of etymologies that could be included.  
  
Tolkien's most important demand is that the word [[Hobbits|hobbit]] stays unaltered; no more "[[Åke Ohlmarks|Hompen]]".  
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Tolkien's most important demand was that the word [[Hobbits|hobbit]] stayed unaltered; no more "[[Hompen]]".
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He closed this letter with an apology for his rigidity, but translations into French of [[wikipedia:Beatrix Potter|Beatrix Potter]] had turned out not so well. For example, [[wikipedia:The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle|Mrs. Tiggywinkle]] became ''Poupette à l'épingle''.
  
He closes this letter with an apology to his rigidity, but translations into French of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter Beatrix Potter] turned out not so well. For example, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_Mrs._Tiggy-Winkle Mrs. Tiggywinkle] became ''Poupette à l'épingle''.
 
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 
* Schuchart did translate the placenames.
 
* Schuchart did translate the placenames.
 
* ''Poupette à l'épingle'' means as much as "Puppet on a pin".  
 
* ''Poupette à l'épingle'' means as much as "Puppet on a pin".  
* To show that translating Shirenames is not necessary, Tolkien translates several Dutch cities into English. There are two puzzling forms: ''Hedge'', a translation of ''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s Gravenhage'', instead of *''Count'shedge'' (this city is commonly known as The Hague), and ''Applethorn'', a literal translation of ''Apeldoorn'', where *''Appledores'' would be more correct.   
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* To show that translating Shirenames was not necessary, Tolkien translated several Dutch cities into English. There are two puzzling forms: ''Hedge'', a translation of ''<nowiki>'</nowiki>s Gravenhage'', instead of *''Count's Hedge'' (this city is commonly known as [[wikipedia:The Hague|The Hague]]), and ''Applethorn'', a literal translation of ''[[wikipedia:Apeldoorn|Apeldoorn]]'', where *''Appledores'' would be more correct.   
 
{{letters}}
 
{{letters}}

Latest revision as of 10:55, 11 June 2011

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 190
RecipientRayner Unwin
Date3 July 1956
Subject(s)Translations

Letter 190 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien had been sent a list of translations to the nomenclature for the first translation of The Lord of the Rings, into Dutch by Max Schuchart. Tolkien wrote that he objected to translations of personal nomenclature; the Shire was based on (or, as he called it himself, "a parody of") rural England; plus, the toponymy of the Shire was wholly different from that of the Netherlands.

Concerning the map "A Part of the Shire", Tolkien thought translating it to "Een deel von (sic) 'The Shire'" sufficient. By not translating the Appendices, the Translator (this word was capitalized throughout the letter) got himself into problems; Anglo-Saxon was not like Dutch, as Schuchart had translated, it was related to English.

Tolkien sent back a letter containing a detailed commentary, and suggested leaving the maps untranslated, and leave personal nomenclature alone as much as possible. He could provide a list of etymologies that could be included.

Tolkien's most important demand was that the word hobbit stayed unaltered; no more "Hompen".

He closed this letter with an apology for his rigidity, but translations into French of Beatrix Potter had turned out not so well. For example, Mrs. Tiggywinkle became Poupette à l'épingle.

[edit] Notes

  • Schuchart did translate the placenames.
  • Poupette à l'épingle means as much as "Puppet on a pin".
  • To show that translating Shirenames was not necessary, Tolkien translated several Dutch cities into English. There are two puzzling forms: Hedge, a translation of 's Gravenhage, instead of *Count's Hedge (this city is commonly known as The Hague), and Applethorn, a literal translation of Apeldoorn, where *Appledores would be more correct.