Trilingual Hobbit Reread

Tri-lingual Hobbit re-read: Chapter 5 (Post 3 of a few)

When last we left our burglar, he’d just wondered what, exactly, he has in his pockets!

Wow, I’d apparently imprinted a great deal more on the Rankin-Bass edition of this story than I’d thought–because as soon as I got to the end of this chapter, I TOTALLY heard that version of Gollum screeching “Thief, thief, thief! Baggins! We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!”

Convenient for Bilbo that Gollum had such a way of blathering to himself in the dark, ain’t it?

French notes:

“Mon cadeau d’anniversaire”! Which is, of course, “my birthday present”. I recognize “cadeau” from our French site at work.

“Il m’est échu le jour anniversaire de ma naissance”–this is the translation of “It came to me on my birthday”, and as near as I can tell this more or less literally translates as “It is due me the anniversary day of my birth”. I think, anyway! But this is definitely an example of Gollum’s speech patterns being a lot more formal in the other language editions. “Naissance” is a good vocabulary word to pull out of this bit.

Ooh, “toutefois”! I actually picked this word up recently in my French studies via SuperMemo. It means “however”, and I just like the rhythm of it! 😀

I also like when Gollum’s chortling to himself about how if he finds his “birthday present”, then the Bagginses’ nasty little sword will be “useless, yes, quite”, the translator here says “parfaitement” for “quite”.

“Sa méchante petite tête–“his wicked little head”. I saw that bit leap right out at me, and I particularly recognized “méchante” from one of my favorite Charbonniers songs!

Oh here we go: « Où est-ce ? Où est-ce ? C’est perdu, mon trésor, perdu, perdu ! Malédiction, qu’on soit anéanti ! Mon trésor est perdu ! » Yeah, this bit pretty much came straight through, though I had to look up “qu’on soit anéanti”, and I’m still not entirely sure of the exact translation–just that Google Translate thinks it’s “which is destroyed”, and that doesn’t make sense! I totally recognized “perdu”, though!

And I recognize “poche” from a Le Vent du Nord song, for that matter! « Qu’est-ce que ça a dans ses poches ? » I can very much hear Gollum hissing this, even in French. All those s sounds!

“Il pagayait furieusement”–“he paddled furiously”. This leapt out at me and I was pretty sure I knew what “pagayait” must mean, even before I looked it up.

“Un anneau magique”! Such a pretty way to describe the Ring that’s going to fuck up the world very soon now. Muahaha.

Apparently “loyal” in French can mean “loyal” as well as “just/fair/equitable”. Good to know! That’s the context it gets used in when Bilbo talks himself out of killing Gollum on the grounds of it not being a fair fight if Bilbo’s invisible AND the only one that’s armed.

Thief is “voleur”, and Gollum’s last screamed line to Bilbo translates over pretty clearly: « Voleur, voleur, voleur ! Baggins ! On te hait ! On te hait ! On te hait à jamais ! » The part that’s notable for me here is that I know that “jamais” is “never”–another thing I know from songs–so sticking à in front of it apparently makes it “forever”.

German notes:

“My birthday present” comes across totally differently in German: “Mein Geburtstagsgeschenk”! How’s that for a good strong German word?

This is another good German word: “Felseninsel”, “rock island”, the little spar Gollum lives on down in the caves.

HA, and the bit where Gollum flips out has “Donner und Blitz” (thunder and lightning) instead of “curse us and crush us”. “Mein Schatz ist verschwunden!” Ha, yeah, a lot more lyrical in French.

“Magic ring” in German comes through as “Zauberring”. And “invisible” is “unsichtbar”. Neat words, both.

Gollum’s big chunk of babbling to himself is hard to follow in the German edition–several paragraphs in a row with no quotation marks whatsoever. You have to remember that you’re actually reading dialogue here, not narrative.

There’s a bit of rhythmic narrative that I’m having trouble translating, but which looks neat: “Gollum pitschte und patschte”. The English edition says “Gollum flip-flapping”. Not sure how the German would actually translate, since the English is idiomatic here.

Gollum’s last scream to Bilbo in German is: »Dieb, Dieb, Dieb! Beutlin! Wir hassen den Dieb, wir hassen ihn, wir hassen ihn für alle Ewigkeit!« Where “Ewigkeit” is “eternity”. More or less a straight translation otherwise, though.

And that’s a wrap for Chapter 5!

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