Asterix and the Linguist

Thursday, 28 Dec 2017

Oliver Kamm on the delicate translations of Asterix to English. I genuinely had no idea jokes don't translate across languages. Surely dwarf shortage would?

In Asterix and the Goths, an early adventure of the indomitable Gauls, a couple of Roman legionaries stumble across two of their colleagues gagged and bound. Mistaking them for the outlaws they’re hunting, one legionary exclaims: “Look! A fat one and a little one! Visigoths!!!” To which his comrade replies: “Visi Goths? Why the past tense?”