Autor Wątek: any meaning to character names?  (Przeczytany 16268 razy)

innate

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any meaning to character names?
« dnia: 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...

Deckard

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: 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.

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innate

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: 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).

Deckard

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: 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'.

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Socrates

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: 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

innate

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: 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)

Deckard

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: 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.

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innate

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: 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.

Socrates

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: 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

innate

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: 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.

Terminus

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Sierpień 15, 2005, 01:13:24 pm »
Zemsta is a comedy written by Poland's Aleksander Fredro in 1834.

wetal

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: 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.

innate

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: 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.

Socrates

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: 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
« Ostatnia zmiana: Sierpień 17, 2005, 05:59:56 am wysłana przez Socrates »

innate

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Re: any meaning to character names?
« Odpowiedź #14 dnia: Sierpień 18, 2005, 03:36:06 am »
Ah, rejected from the canon...
I should have thought of the Tichologists!