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King Ottokar's Sceptre
This message is about : how can languages loose easily their
natural "look and feel", or how can it be possible to disguise
a language very simply ?
The following example is a good illustration of this situation.
If it has be mentioned previously ... well, let's forget it.
The example is to be find in the albums :
The adventures of TINTIN - King Ottokar's sceptre
(published by Casterman)
Let's start with the French (Belgian) original version :
Le sceptre d'Ottokar.
On pages 24 and 25 (pages have the same numbers in the English edition)
two Syldavian peasants speak a language that seems to be
"Syldavian", but when examining attentively the alledge
Syldavian text, a Belgian, especially a native of Brussels
will detect rapidly that this language is in fact : Brussellois,
that is a variety of French seasoned with a Flemmish Flavour !
Outside Brussels, this fake Syldavian text is generally unnoticed,
and taken for an artificial Syldavian Language ....
The English translator who translated the album into English
did not detect it apparently - or made as if ..- , except for the last
gendarmaskaia (in the French version) becomes politzski (English
To the best of my knowledge, The Brussels Language is a spoken language,
not a written Language, so it is the easy to develop a special spelling
with the purpose of confusing the reader !
I am also a bit puzzled by the Syldavian Manuscript presented on page 21
But the text in the mouth of the man with the crown is clearly marked by
Flemmish : eik bennet ein braver
What is more, about the Spoken Brussels Language : it is very difficult
to understand for people who are not native of Brussels, even for
For those who can, try an evening at TOON in La petite rue des Bouchers.
Toon has puppet shows, and some of them are in Brussellois!