Welcome to the Book Nook! The weekly thread for all book nerds on The Avocado.
This is the place to talk about books you’re currently reading, discuss genres, ask for recommendations, and post serious literary criticism.
Today’s thread is all about translated books. Originally I wanted to shine a light on Max Schuchart’s translation of The Lord of the Rings (known as In de ban van de ring (Under the Spell of the Ring) here) but it turns out our favorite linguistics professor and fantasy author wasn’t at all pleased with the liberties Schuchart too, as well as the translators of other early foreign editions of the book. So much so that Tolkien wrote and published the “Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings” (1967) to help out translators.
So is the Dutch version that bad? Honestly, no. The biggest change is probably just the title. Otherwise it sticks very closely to the text itself, only translating the English phrases (so The Shire becomes “de Gouw”, Strider becomes “Stapper”) keeping in line with what Tolkien did himself. In fact, the movies’ subtitles were based on the translation inventions for the books, proving how essential they are to the Dutch translation of them. So Tolkien’s squabbles aside, I still think it’s a great translation.
Which brings me to this week’s topic: What book translation is your absolute favorite?
I would like this thread to continue to be a NO GIF/YouTube/social media embed zone as much as possible. Thank you!
Note: The covers shown above are made by Dutch artist and art history professor Cor Blok and I desperately want to own them.