Monday, 22 April 2013


I'm so intrigued by how translators deal with the nonsense words in fantasy fiction. How do you encapsulate the same feel, the same sound associations, in a different language? 
To an English speaker a 'muggle' sounds like something a bit stupid, something that gets in the way, something fat and as harmless as it is useless. Finding the right collection of noises to create that sentiment in Greek or Finnish or Taiwanese must be a fascinating job.

Apparently though, Dodos say 'Plonk' in all languages. I suppose it's convenient when the kids want an international pen-pal

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