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Wed, Mar. 17th, 2010, 11:58 pm
Coraline cover blurbs

These are the translated cover blurbs for my Vietnamese copy of Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Front Cover:
The Magical New York Times Bestseller
Neil Gaiman

"Stand up and warmly cheer, because: Coraline is a real world." --Phillip Pullman, author "His Dark Materials.

Nhã Nam Literature Publisher

Back Cover:
"Creative, thrilling, and full of determination." --Washington Post Book World
"A contemporary ghost story with all the body-shivering details." --The New York Times Book Review
"The most original and extraordinary book I ever read. Maybe comparable to 'Alice in Wonderland'." -- Diana Wynne Jones

When Coraline stepped through the door, she saw a house exactly like her house. Only... everything seemed nicer and more appealing. In that place there was a different (version of her) mother and her father. They wanted her to stay and be their tender, little daughter. They want to change her and keep her by their side forever. But from behind the door, Coraline knew then what she really needed. She longed to return to her authentic life. By all of her cleverness and bravery, Coraline enacted an extraordinary, thrilling, and extremely unexpected journey.

(At the bottom of the back cover, there is the logo for the publisher Nhã Nam and a cute icon of a book being struck by lightning with the warning "Buying fake books kills real books". Pirating books is very common in Vietnam. And a note on the translation: it looks like the adjectives get repetitive, but the Vietnamese version uses different words that happen to mean the same thing in English. For example, "extraordinary": in the Jones quote, the word for "extraordinary" implies that it's strange, while in the description of Coraline's journey it implies that it's not at all usual.)

Inside Front Cover:
Richard Neil Gaiman, born 10th November 1960, is a British author of versatile talent and has been named the "rock star" of the world's children's literature. Not only authoring short stories and novels, he also writes screenplays. Neil Gaiman has won many valued awards and "Coraline" is the famous book of his that has reaped the most success. Recently, "Story of the Graveyard" received the 2009 Newberry Children' Literature medal that is bestowed by the American Library Association. Neil Gaiman has three works that have been made into films and they are: "Magical Starlight"(Stardust), "Coraline", and "Story of the Graveyard" (Graveyard Book). Neil Gaiman currently lives in the state of Minnesota, United States, with his wife and three children.

Inside Back Cover:
Awards and nominations for Coraline:
(A long list of literary awards with English names)

Thu, Mar. 25th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Coraline translation

Hi there,

I was wondering when you will get the next few pages of translation up? I'm really interested to see the difference in the translated text. Unfortunately, I haven't got the book to hand (it has been packed away and I'm at a loss to find it at the moment), but there is an excerpt of the first chapter here: http://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm?book_number=1103

Out of interest, I wanted to know how the names are translated. Are they repeated as phonemic sounds (Co-ra-li-n), or are they changed in any way to fit into Vietnemese culture?



Sat, Mar. 27th, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)
monkeyvrobot: Re: Coraline translation

The names aren't translated (although I think some of them should be, like Ms. Forcible). Vietnamese is rather inconsistent with foreign names. Chinese and Japanese names that actually mean something are usually translated (in the case of Chinese, sometimes it's just changed to the Vietnamese pronunciation of the Chinese characters instead of being translated to the words that people would actually use). In the present day, many foreign names that are written in a Latin alphabet are just copied over directly (and then butchered horribly in pronunciation), but in the past they were transcribed phonetically using the Vietnamese alphabet. This is most obvious when looking at the shelves in the bookstore. Modern foreign authors have their names unchanged, but older authors are transliterated. So, Neil Gaiman is "Neil Gaiman" but Alexandre Dumas is "A-lec-xăng Đu-ma"; Carl Sagan is "Carl Sagan" but Albert Einstein is "An-bơt Ain-xtain".

My copy of "Coraline" simply uses the original names (although there are a few oddities that I'll point out in notes later). I'll get the first few pages posted soon. I don't want to look at the original text until I finish translating because I want to see how close I can get.