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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Possibly Moronic question...was there ever any attempt to publish Tolkien's books in 'American English'?
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malickfan
Gondor


Jul 20 2013, 6:33pm

Post #26 of 43 (143 views)
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Ah, OK thanks for clearing that up [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have anything against American English translations, but I sure feel the 'high style' of Tolkien's prose adds to the experience.

I mean imagine The Book of Lost Tales in text speak...shudder...

The Talking Purse is Awesome, deal with it.

But he isn't quite as aweome as Cirdan.


Magpie
Immortal


Jul 20 2013, 6:43pm

Post #27 of 43 (144 views)
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don't you just love discussing words and language! [In reply to] Can't Post

Word Geek!

and with me, it's skwerl. :-)

I was watching the Swedish version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and half reading subtitles / half listening the spoken Swedish.

It was interesting to catch how they were pronouncing Swedish names (of people and places) differently than those same names (used copiously across Minnesota) are pronounced here.

And you would be wrong if you called one of our main streets: Nick - oh - lay. It's pronounced Nick- oh - let, if you please. (Nicollet after the French Jesuit priest and explorer).

Try teaching reading to first graders and explain the vagaries of words in English. And I had a friend who kept telling the story of how she had spent an entire Sharpe episode discussing with her friend why wasn't Sean Bean's name pronounced either "Shawn Bawn" or "Sheen Bean."


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elaen32
Gondor


Jul 20 2013, 8:12pm

Post #28 of 43 (139 views)
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Yes- great discussion [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the point you make about names being pronounced differently. I recall visiting another British friend living in San Francisco and us coming across a French patisserie called "Boudins". In France- that would be pronounced as Boo-dan (roughly) but this place had under its name "we pronounce it the French way- Bo-deens" We had a laugh about this, but then we come from a country where we have places called Leicester- which we pronounce as Lesster, and Gloucester- which we pronounce as Glosster (and yes, we do laugh at tourists trying to find their way to Lysester Square and Glowsester Square on the London Underground) And that's before we even get on to places like Cholmondely (Chumly) or Beaulieu (Bewlee)!
As for Sean Bean- well why not Seen Bean? I read somewhere that the true Irish pronounciation of the name Sean is somewhere between Shan and Shun- so taking it to it's logical conclusion he could be Shan Ban or Shun Bun- doesn't have quite the same ring about it, does itWink


Coming soon!- The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



Werde Spinner
Rohan


Jul 20 2013, 8:42pm

Post #29 of 43 (133 views)
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Little linguists, come out to play... [In reply to] Can't Post

Now I have that song in my head.

I say 'skwerl' for 'squirrel', when I am not saying 'rat with a fuzzy tail' or 'squiggle' (long story).

It seems my comment about American English (or lack thereof on the part of many of its speakers) may have started a discussion. So...um... oops... sorry...

I probably would have phrased it better if I said, "My generation has terrible spelling and grammar and I never want to see the Professor's writings translated into that! Shame on my generation!" Because that is much closer to my original intention.

That being said, reading everyone else's responses has been quite interesting. I love words and different languages, and as someone with a love-hate relationship with the English alphabet (yes, I know it is technically the Roman alphabet) I find the differences between pronunciation and spelling fascinating and frustrating.

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jul 20 2013, 9:29pm

Post #30 of 43 (134 views)
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Americanise TH? [In reply to] Can't Post

- no, I've never heard of that. I can't imagine Tolkien's publishers wanting to do that; AFAIK publishers didn't feel the need to do that sort of thing. For one thing, it's an added expense.

I wonder when it was that this sort of thing began? Before the Harry Potter books, presumably.

.


elaen32
Gondor


Jul 20 2013, 10:15pm

Post #31 of 43 (128 views)
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Squiggles [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I sometimes call them squiggles- in my case it's a left over from when either my brother or I ( I forget who) could not pronounce squirrel properly, so it became stuck as squiggle- when it's not "tree rat"


Coming soon!- The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



Magpie
Immortal


Jul 20 2013, 10:32pm

Post #32 of 43 (123 views)
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I hadn't heard of it before HP [In reply to] Can't Post

(for whatever that observation is worth)

I think part of what drove HP to be Americanized is that Scholastic Books bought the rights for US distribution and SB specifically markets to schools.

From wikipedia: Scholastic is an American book publishing company known for publishing educational materials for schools, teachers, parents, and children, and selling and distributing them by mail order, via book clubs, book fairs and through their online store.

The great bulk of Scholastic's inventory is sold in the schools, not in book stores. HP was the exception.

So, I think it was probably determined that it might be confusing to get mixed messages within the confines of a schoolroom to have two different spellings for words. And perhaps they thought it would be more accessible to more children to use the US words for items, thus increasing the demographic that would respond to the material. (Boot, jumper, and trainers mean something completely different to US school children than to British/UK school children)

I think many children, and most in our families, can adapt to complex and/or confusing sets of parameters about the things they are trying to learn. But lots of kids can't. They just can't. They struggle with very simple rules and guidelines. Many households and many schools can provide a rich and varied assortment of reading material but Scholastic Books had a slightly different agenda than those schools and households looking beyond the basics for enrichment.

Or, at least that's my take on it - based on working with kids in inner city schools that either have what we called a poverty of language or were trying to learn English as a second language. To measure how those kids are doing, we have to codify things that aren't, in real life, so codifiable. They are swimming upstream as it is, why make it harder on them.

It was a controversial call, to be sure but I don't think anybody suffered all that much by reading the Americanized version and there might have been benefits. I don't know if that cost to benefit ratio can be determined.

That said, it was very common for British tv shows to be Americanized.
http://en.wikipedia.org/...sh_television_series

And I know of at least one Brit show that was retitled for broadcast in the US. Spooks was renamed MI5 because Spooks has a history of being a racial slur in the US (and was in fact, used in my earshot as I was growing up. So it's embedded in the memory of at least certain generations.)

And I was thrilled to find a UK copy of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" at the thrift store. :-)


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geordie
Tol Eressea

Jul 20 2013, 10:58pm

Post #33 of 43 (116 views)
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Apropos nothing much - [In reply to] Can't Post

- but your mentioning Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone just brought this to mind -

http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley/whats-on/online/magical-books/george-ripley-and-the-philosophers-stone

It's a great exhibition - I've been there once already, and I intend to go again.

.


Arandiel
Grey Havens

Jul 21 2013, 5:50am

Post #34 of 43 (109 views)
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'Grammatically ecumenical' - I love that word, 'ecumenical'!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


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Werde Spinner
Rohan


Jul 22 2013, 8:38pm

Post #35 of 43 (77 views)
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It's one of my favorites. :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I have favorite words. Wink Doesn't everybody?

I also describe favoring one sports team but being able to support their rivals on every other day of the year in which they are not playing them as 'football ecumenism'. Considering that, where I live, people take football almost as seriously as a religion (American football, that is... not soccer), it really does border on ecumenism... Shocked Laugh

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jul 22 2013, 8:48pm

Post #36 of 43 (97 views)
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Oops just noticed - [In reply to] Can't Post

quote - ' Perhaps with the Unoffical Ballatine editions in the 60's?'

Ballantines of New York were the official publishers of the paperback eds. of TH and LotR. i was Ace Books who published the naughty set.

Sorry if this has been pointed out before.
.



Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Jul 22 2013, 11:15pm

Post #37 of 43 (64 views)
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word geek [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i am indeed. : ) i'm afraid there's no getting around it.

the pronunciation phenomenon lives quite locally here. there's a town a stone's throw over from where i grew up that is also a station on a main line out of a major city. so it get's called out a lot by the train station announcers, who don't live anywhere near it. i can see how they think it would be pronounced the way they're doing it (anyone would pronounce it that way), but locals pronounce it much differently. (and the way non-locals pronounce it sounds +ridiculous+ to me, like they're calling a dog a giraffe.)

it would be the equivalent of seeing....

"thomasville" and learning from the locals that you do indeed pronounce the "th."

in london, "thames" is pronounces "tems." but not in newport, rhode island, which has a "thames street," which is pronounced "thaymes" by the locals.


cheers : )

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Jul 22 2013, 11:16pm)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 23 2013, 1:51am

Post #38 of 43 (52 views)
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Similarly [In reply to] Can't Post

It did not take long when I moved here years ago before I was informed the Thames River between New London and Groton is also pronounced exactly as spelled. Crazy

But it was natural for me to give it its British pronunciation: I was born in Worcester (Wuhster), and grew up near Leicester (Lester) (in Massachusetts, that is!).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Jul 23 2013, 1:54am

Post #39 of 43 (54 views)
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the shibboleth of boston [In reply to] Can't Post

 
kwin-see market ("mahket")

vs.

kwin-zee market ("mahket")


cheers : )


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 23 2013, 2:17am

Post #40 of 43 (49 views)
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And how do you pronounce [In reply to] Can't Post

"Faneuil"?

Wink


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Jul 23 2013, 2:21am

Post #41 of 43 (46 views)
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+exactly+ [In reply to] Can't Post

  

: )


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


squire
Valinor


Jul 23 2013, 2:30am

Post #42 of 43 (42 views)
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Fanu'l [In reply to] Can't Post

Basically Fan'l (Fan-il) but with a longer u sound thrown in to stretch it out a bit, so Fanu'l (Fan-uil). The trick is, despite the apparent diphthong possibilities, not to give a nascent third syllable any leeway - it's strictly two syllables.



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dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 23 2013, 2:30am

Post #43 of 43 (68 views)
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LOL! [In reply to] Can't Post

We'll leave everyone guessing...Angelic


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"





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