Tintin in Quebec
The National Post saw fit to run this article about the Quebecois verion of Herge's Coke en Stock on its front page Saturday. It's not exactly an earth-shaking front-page style story, but hey, it was the weekend. The lowdown? The book was supposed to be the first "regional" translation of the Tintin adventures for Quebec. Even though French-speaking people in Quebec have been reading Tintin in the original Franco-Belgian for decades, the new version included a title change and the addition of Quebec slang or "juoual", and even though the book is a nominal bestseller in the province, with 10,000 copies sold to date, the critical response has ranged from indifference to outrage.
If your French is up to it, you might want to read this Le Devoir article from 2008 which touches on the same points but also includes a Michel Rabagliati quote. There is a discussion and specific criticisms of the language of the book at the tintologists site. I also enjoyed this post by Eric Bouchard on the Monet bookstore's blog, which mentions the use of joual and Tintin in the comics of Valium and of Luc Giard. One of the major criticisms is that the characters in the book don't sound like themselves. No longer individuals (ie, swearing sailor, polite boy reporter, spoiled Arab brat), they all talk like working class French-Canadians.
Herge published Coke en Stock in 1958 the English translation, in print since the 70s, is known as "The Red Sea Sharks" --the original title being a play on words that referred, I think, sharks, as well as to the Coke used as fuel on boats and also a codeword used by the slavetraders in the book. ("Colocs" translates as "Roommates" as far as I can tell. A little help?) I expect people are generally baffled more than angered, but what do I know.
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