Lost in Translation


Another giant has been lost to us, Anthea Bell, translator supreme, aged 82. She has a list of incredible credits to her name, but the one that I and many millions like me will respond to is Asterix the Gaul, where she and her translation partner, Derek Hockridge, produced absolute gems in creating what were, in many cases, original Asterix gags and puns to substitute for French humour that just would not translate, and in one glorious case had Rene Goscinny himself smiling and admitting wistfully, “I wish I’d thought of that.” What better tribute can any translator receive?

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