• 05 May 2010
    Welcome to the second slab of Freaky Global Interpretations!! My books have been translated into a variety of languages (18 or 19, the last time I checked!), and while many of the names of the characters have been kept the same in the translations, some have been changed in certain countries! In some cases the changes are perfectly understandable and minor, but in others they're mind-boggling -- not to mention tongue-twisting!!!!! And a lot of fun too!!!!!!! So, in no particular order, here's what I've found in the worldwide translations of "The Vampire's Assistant" ...

    STANLEY COLLINS -- The scoutmaster who makes a brief appearance at the start of Book 2 is known as Stanley in every country except Brazil -- where they call him George!!!.

    PARIS SKYLE -- we first meet the ancient Vampire Prince in book 4 -- but he was actually first mentioned in the second book (how many of you remember that?!?). His name is the same in all the books, but I spotted something VERY strange in the French edition -- they'd completely cut out the mention of his name!!!! I thought this might be an accident -- but later investigations proved there was something far more Gallicly grisly at work!!!! You'll find out what I mean as you read on ...

    HIBERNIUS TALL -- you can find the different translations of Mr Tall in the Book 1 section of Extras -- but it was only in the second book that we learnt of his first name! Every country except Brazil stuck to Hibernius -- but in Rio it seems he likes to Samba it up as Hibernio!!!!!

    EVRA VON -- Everybody's favourite Snake-boy is known as Evra Von pretty much everywhere in the world. But in Brazil he's the entirely unrecognizable Ofidio!!!!

    SAM GREST -- Once again, Brazil is the only place where Sam Grest operates under a nom de plume, where his family prefer to call him Sam Crespo!!!!!!

    MR TINY -- Right!! This is a long one, so I hope you're patient!!! Mr Tiny was always going to be a tricky one for translators, because of the way I've used his name -- his full name is Mr Desmond Tiny, but if you shorten Desmond into Des, you get Mr Des Tiny -- or, to shorten it still further, Mr Destiny! Now, while that makes perfect sense in English, it doesn't in other languages! So my translators had to put their best, most imaginative thinking caps on. This is what they came up with!

    Brazil -- it wasn't too difficult in Brazil, where they called him Sr (Senor) Tiny to begin with, then Desmond Tino, then finally Sr Destino.

    in Germany it wasn't so straightforward. They started off with Meister Schick, then gave his full name as being Salvatore Schick, which they then shortened to Sal Schick, to finally give us Meister Schicksal.

    Netherlands -- like in Brazil, the translation was easy here. They called him Meneer Tiny, and kept his first name as Desmond. The only change was, when they were explaining about the shortened version of his name, and referred to him as Meneer Destiny, they added the extra bit of information that that meant Meneer Noodlot.

    Norway -- here he became Herr Order. His first name was changed to Matt, meaning you could refer to him as M. Order -- or Morder.

    in Indonesia they went the same way as in the Netherlands, keeping the name as Desmond Tiny, but adding the info that the name, when shortened, meant Mr Tiny -- takdir.

    Hungary went the same kind of route as Indonesia and the Netherlands. They kept him as Desmond Tiny, but included the descriptive name of Mr Vegzet where referring to him as Mr Destiny.

    in Finland matters became very complicated -- and ingenious!!! Our beloved little meddler started off simply enough as Herra Talo. Then we learnt that his first name was Kopernikus-Henrik, meaning you could also refer to him as K-H Talo, from which they got Herra Koohootalo, and finally Herra Kohtalo!!!! Phew!!!!!!

    in the Czech Republic it was only slightly less complex an operation!! He began as Pan Sudd. His first name was changed to Osmond, giving us Pan O Sudd, and ultimately Pan Osud!!

    and, finally, France. While all my other translators took brave, imaginative steps to stay true to the spirit of the text, and translated not just Mr Tiny's name, but the explanations for how and why it was shortened, my French translator took the lazy option of simply calling him Monsieur Dragor and then cutting out a huge chunk of text, to save him(or her)self the difficult job of translating it accurately!!!!! There's only one word for what I think of that -- MERDE!!!!!!!

    BRADLEY STRETCH -- after the problems of translating Mr Tiny's name (well, unless you were French and just bulldozed straight through it!!), the unfortunate Bradley Stretch was an easy one for my translators to deal with. In Brazil he became Bruno Estica; in France -- Bradley l'Elastique; in Norway -- Strekkeren Bradley; in Hungary -- Nyujto Bradley; and in the Czech Republic -- Bradleyho Kautschucka. Only in Germany was his name substantively changed, to give him the lovingly alliterative title of Lothar Lulatsch!!!!

    REGGIE VEGGIE -- R.V. -- NOP's finest (and hairiest!!) eco-warrior has a variety of names, depending on which part of the world he's protesting in!! Brazilians hail him as C.C. -- short for Chico Chicoria!! In France R.V. is short for Reggie la Verdure. In the Netherlands, if you want to find his name in the local telephone directory, you'll need to look for V.W. -- Veggie Willie!!! In the Czech Republic his passport identifies him as Erve -- Regac Vegac. And in Finland he masquerades as J.V. -- Johannes Vihannes!!!!

    CORMAC LIMBS -- the master of self-mutilation and instant regrowth keeps his first name in most countries, merely altering his surname. So, in Germany his second name is Der Vielgliedrige; in France it's Queue-de-Lezard; in Norway it's Lem; in Indonesia it's the rather lengthy si Manusia Tungkai; in Hungary the order of his names is reversed, so he's known as Vegtag Cormac; in Finland he's Mr Raaja; and in the Czech Republic his surname is Nedorost. It's only when he travels to Brazil that he (like so many other members of the Saga!!) alters his name entirely, becoming the absolutely different but equally tremendous Tuti Membros!!!!

    GAVNER PURL -- like Paris Skyle (see above), this was the book in which we first heard the name of the sniffly-nosed Gavner Purl!!! Gavner keeps his name in most parts of the world, although in the Czech Republic he's Gavner Zurk!!! (a good job Vancha March never found out, or he'd have probably called him Zurc the berk!!!!) And in Brazil, for some reason, he prefers to be known as plain old Torvelinho!!! And in France ... well, in his/her wisdom, my French translator decided to exercise his/her literary guillotine once again and cut out mention of Gavner too!!!!!!! I hope the Vampire Generals never find out where this barbaric translator lives, or he/she will be in a LOT of trouble!!!!!!!!!!

    * * *

    And that's all for now! More character names will follow, one list for each book -- so keep looking back for updates! Please note that I've only been able to include names from books with an alphabet which I can translate (which is why there's no mention of Japan, Taiwan, Israel, etc.). Also, I haven't been able to include accented letters, so in some cases names are spelt slightly differently to the way they appear in the books. Sorry!!!!!!
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