"El gran gigante bonachón," a translation into Spanish of Roald Dahl's "The BFG." I'm learning Spanish, and have read several translations of Roald Dahl's children's books because they are just about at the right level of Spanish for me, and because they are intrinsically interesting (haven't read the originals in English).
But this one was a big mistake.
See, in the English original the Big Friendly Giant speaks comically ungrammatical English, full of mixed-up words, invented words, and bad English grammar ("How wondercrump! How whoopsey-splunkers! How absolutely squiffling! I is all of a stutter.")The translator tries to render these, so in Spanish the giant speaks ungrammatical Spanish, full of mixed-up words, invented words, and bad Spanish grammar. Furthermore, the book is full of puns. He doesn't try to translate the puns, so it's up to me to figure out that "los turcos de Turquia saben a pavo" is a translation of "the Turks of Turkey taste like turkey."
In fact, I can't really do it--I have to read a couple of pages in Spanish and then go back and read the same pages in the original English.
A really tough one was "guisantes humanos," because the usual translation of "guisantes" is "peas," particularly "chickpeas." In this case, though, it's "beans." Human beans.
Still, it's so irresistible that I'm sticking with it.
Even for a book published in 1982 I can't quite believe the chapter entitled, in English, "Frobscottle and Whizzpoppers" ("Gasipum y popotraques"). Frobscottle is a delicious carbonated beverage in which the bubbles go down instead of up, so, instead of making you belch... I need to work up the courage to ask one of my Spanish-speaking language partners just where "popotraques" falls on a sale of vulgarity, I think it's a bit more explicit than "whizzpoppers." Apparently Disney has made a movie of it, I wonder how they handle the "whizzpopper" chapter.
(A review says: "The digital effects that render both the Giant’s person and his surroundings are exquisite. Instead of flash and noise, Mr. Spielberg and his visual team (led by his standby cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski) go for shimmer and glow, with the exception of a few bouts of loud, fluorescent flatulence called forth by the bubbly home brew that is the BFG’s tipple of choice." Well, OK then.)
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.