Stanisław Lem - Forum

English => Forum in English => Wątek zaczęty przez: innate w Sierpień 08, 2005, 08:35:48 pm

Tytuł: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 08, 2005, 08:35:48 pm
Do the names of any of Lem's better-known characters have any particular connotation in Polish? I noticed in a dictionary that 'klapa' means 'valve', which made me wonder...
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckard w Sierpień 09, 2005, 09:42:26 am
"Klapa" is not valve in polish.
"Klapa" has two meanings:

1. It's the meaning for something that wasn't finished successfully. It's just a flop.

2. It's a cover or lid.

And, yes in some of Lem's books the names have very specific connotation to polish words. Quite often this relation has a comic overtone, which is of course intended.

CU
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Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 09, 2005, 05:06:09 pm
Wow, the dictionary wasn't even very close. And it's small, so I can't find any words similar to Pirx, Trurl, or Tichy. (I seem to recall a comment in Peace on Earth that 'tichy' is 'quiet' in Czech or something, but that sounds more like chance than comedy).
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckard w Sierpień 09, 2005, 07:57:42 pm
Czech is very similar to Polish so 'tichy' can in fact mean 'quiet'. 'Tichy' sounds just like polish adjective "cichy" which exactly means 'quiet' or 'peaceful'.

CU
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Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Sierpień 10, 2005, 09:31:18 pm
Excerpt from an old translation of Voage the 8th, "the Star Diaries".  As you can see, even the lesser-known characters have meaning in their names.

“According to accepted systematic, the abnormal forms in our Galaxy include the type Abberantia (Perverters), which is divided into the subtypes Debilitales  (Cretiners) and Antisapientitales (Unresonables).  To this last subtype belong the groups Canaliacaea (Perniciouers) and Necroludentia (Corpselikers).  Amongst the Corpselikers we distinguish in turn the Patricidiaceae (Fatherslayers), Matriphagideae (Mothereaters) and Lasciviaceae (Uglyers, or Wshiteks).  Uglyers, forms which are truly demented, we classify by splitting into Cretininae (Dumbers, such as Cadeverium Morodaz  (Deadbiter Confuser)) and Horrisimae (Griffiners, with the classic example in the guise of Retardus Uprighter, the Idiontus Erectus Gzeemsi).  Some of the Griffiners create their own subcultures; to them belong such species as Anusphilus Belligerens (Bullying Assliker) which calls himself Genius Pulcherrimus Mundanus, or, like this exotic hairless specimen, observed by Grammplus in the furthest corner of our Galaxy, Mostroteratum Furiosum (Furiotic Despicabler), who calls himself Homo Sapiens.”


Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 11, 2005, 04:24:05 am
For the lesser-known characters, it's often easy to see because the published translations feel freer to give an English name that has similar meaning to the original.                                                  
                     
I was able to get my hands on a Polish version of Cyberiada recently. I've been going through it with the aforementioned dictionary and trying to understand a little.  (I was amused to learn that King Krool is król Okrucyusz)
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckard w Sierpień 11, 2005, 09:44:49 am
Cytuj
(I was amused to learn that King Krool is król Okrucyusz)


This translation is indeed great. I admire those translators who are able to mirror specific overtone of the foreign word in their own newly formed words. It's gotta be a pretty complicated puzzle especially when translating from polish into english and vice-versa.

CU
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Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 11, 2005, 09:00:58 pm
I am surprised to see how much Kandel will stray on occasion from the original in The Cyberiad. Perhaps he did so with good reason, but sometimes there will be a couple of sentences at a time added or removed seemingly gratuitously.

Also, since I was talking about character names, I should mention that I was disappointed when I learned that, in Solaris, Snow was Snaut and Rheya was Harey (though of course Solaris in English is already bad). That seems to be without purpose. But, then, even when books by British authors are published in the US, the British spellings are usually Americanized. Apparently any slight touch of foreignness is often thought to be too much for the American reader.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Sierpień 12, 2005, 02:11:05 am
Yes, it's a pity about Solaris.  What gets me the most is the first time Kris wants to kill Harey - when he tries to bend her backwards and tie up her hands - the current English translation confuses the actions of both people and what Kris does in the original Polish version is now done by Harey herself.  How I loathe that version...
But, Kandel is a master translator, and I respect him well.  Of all the translators I studied, only the guy who translated Zemsta (since it's in verse, not prose) had a smoother and more on-target transition.  
Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 12, 2005, 06:31:38 pm
What is Zemsta? I had always supposed that translating verse was simply too hard to really do well when you have to preserve so much form along with meaning.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Sierpień 15, 2005, 01:13:24 pm
Zemsta is a comedy written by Poland's Aleksander Fredro in 1834.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: wetal w Sierpień 16, 2005, 11:00:56 am
Thank god  there`s no problems with Russian `n Ukrainian translations whre Trurl is Trurl , Tihij is Tihij.
Though Star Diaries in Russian translation is presented as a Complete of stories about Yon Tihij And plays about professor Tarantoga.
 Mr. Lem would be satisfied with the quality of Russian translation of Solaris.Here Kris just wants to get rid of Harey and sends her to the orbit of Solaris just like the other members of the staff.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 16, 2005, 11:45:59 pm
You're lucky. Nothing with Prof. Tarantoga in the title has ever been translated to English, so we only know of him from Tichy stories. Actually, to the best of my recollection, we don't have translations of any plays at all.

Speaking of Tichy, I was putting together a bibliography the other day, and I read that the first Polish edition of The Star Diaries had a "Twenty-sixth and Final Voyage".  I wonder why it was removed.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Sierpień 17, 2005, 05:57:49 am
Very simple reply.  A partial translation by yours truly of the introduction to the Star Diaries:

..."Concerning the eighth voyage, a group of Tichologists - psychoanalytics have verified - just before the printing of this edition - all the particulars that happened in Ion Tichy's dream***.  The interested reader will find in Doctor Hopfstosser's work a comparative bibliography showing the influence of dreams of such people as Isaac Newton or the Borgias on the dreams of Tichy, and vice-versa.  
     This edition does not, however, include the twenty-sixth voyage, which was deemed apocryphal.  It was proved so by the members of our institute, who gave the texts an electron compatibility analysis, and found it a fake ****.  It should be added that I have for a long time considered the so-called "twenty-sixth voyage" an apocryph because of the apparent mistakes in the script, especially concerning the Odolegows (and not Odelegows, as in the text), and also the Meopsers, Muciochs, and the species Powoluw (Phlegmus Invariabilis Hopfstoseri)...."

Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 18, 2005, 03:36:06 am
Ah, rejected from the canon...
I should have thought of the Tichologists!
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Sierpień 18, 2005, 04:18:46 am
Whoa, that's a pleasure & relief to see people really talking 'bout Lem here, just as we all should, instead of the rubbish goin on all around....
Supersweet.

As for the text Socrates quoted, the 'electron analysis of the text' just put me on the floor laughing ::) Excellent.

cheers

Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Sierpień 18, 2005, 06:51:21 am
Cheers Terminus.
By the by, I'm going to China for a year - may not be very frequently online anymore (not that I am right now).  I don't know how much online time I'll have, and what the web restrictions will be.  If you hear from me in a week, it means I'm ok.  
Cheers, Socrates
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Terminus w Sierpień 18, 2005, 01:31:45 pm
Have a nice year ::)
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Socrates w Sierpień 30, 2005, 09:28:02 am
Socrates Lives!  
Cheers to all from Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.
Socrates
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Sierpień 31, 2005, 12:00:20 am
Socrates lives!
I was just thinking that it had been at least a week and we hadn't heard anything...

As for the 26th Voyage, I saw something the other day that suggested that it contained political views that Lem no longer wished to see in print.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: nqd w Wrzesień 14, 2005, 02:55:32 pm
Cytuj
Wow, the dictionary wasn't even very close. And it's small, so I can't find any words similar to Pirx, Trurl, or Tichy. (I seem to recall a comment in Peace on Earth that 'tichy' is 'quiet' in Czech or something, but that sounds more like chance than comedy).

Only one note:
Tichy really means quite in czech and I'm pretty sure, beacuse I'm czech.  ;D

Of course, I meant QUIET. But I think that better expression would be silent, because quite is not only about loudness, but "tichy" in czech is.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Wrzesień 14, 2005, 10:12:21 pm
Quite, not quiet?
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckard w Wrzesień 15, 2005, 09:18:12 am
No innate, he ment that "tichy" means "quiet" - like in Polish. Czech and Polish are very similar - so I think we can be sure about it.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: innate w Wrzesień 15, 2005, 07:14:45 pm
Ahh, okay.

It's been enlightening to see how closely related many languages are. I was looking at some text in Russian recently, and I was surprised by how many words I could recognize from Polish (and from the slang in A Clockwork Orange). There aren't any languages close enough to English to allow me to learn any extremely easily.
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: Deckard w Wrzesień 16, 2005, 09:32:57 am
Well, as you for sure know Russian, Polish and Czech are in a group of Slavonic languages. They are all similar to each other. Nevertheless this similarity is preceived subjectively. It happens sometimes that I have a possibility to watch Czech television, and I don't have a big problem with understanding what they're talking about. Many people think that Polish is most similar to Slovak. Next is Czech and the third is Russian. This is also my point of view.

I will tell you something more! Czech language sounds really funny to Poles and vice-verca. Personally I like Czech very very much. It seems to be so positive to me...

CU
Deck
Tytuł: Re: any meaning to character names?
Wiadomość wysłana przez: nqd w Wrzesień 16, 2005, 01:41:49 pm
Cytuj
I will tell you something more! Czech language sounds really funny to Poles and vice-verca. Personally I like Czech very very much. It seems to be so positive to me...

CU
Deck

Most funny but also formidable thing about polish for czechs is written text in polish. There are so many cz, sz, rz and so on, which are in czech pronunciation extremely hard to read (almost impossible) and when somebody tries to read it, that is _really_ funny!!!

But when I replace those cz, sz, rz with č, š, ř, I can understand a lot of simple sentences.

BTW: Isn't it funny, that we're all slavonic and communicate in a germanic language?