Enid Blyton

Ingmar Greil links a Welt article about the bowdlerization of Enid Blyton books, which at least in the German-speaking world is not commonly known of (I think I must have missed the news myself too). The occasion for the new reports is a biography of Blyton that has just been published.

bq. In England ist soeben ein Fall von Political Correctness im literarischen Bereich ruchbar geworden, der sich eigentlich schon vor wenigen Jahren zugetragen hat, aber erst jetzt an die breite Öffentlichkeit geraten ist. Es geht um einen Klassiker der Jugendbuchliteratur, Enid Blyton, deren Texte zum Opfer der Sanierfreudigkeit der Nachbesserer geworden sind.

Ingmar enquires whether copyright law cannot protect against this. It seems the copyright holders, Blyton’s heirs, sold the copyright (you can do that under English law but not German).

There’s a discussion in the Guardian Culture Vulture blog, which says that after all there is nothing to prevent someone publishing the originals too – but would the copyright holders not object?

I always disliked Blyton, but not on account of the racism. Something about the tone and the presumption that one would be interested in these boring characters, as far as I remember. The renaming of Dick and Fanny I suspect is for American sensibilities. The Guardian blog:

bq. Inhabited by anarchic golliwogs, thieving gypsies and slaphappy schoolmistresses, it’s hardly surprising that the desire to keep her stories in circulation has been tempered by an effort to adjust them for modern sensibilities. Even Blyton’s contemporaries thought the same (the publisher Macmillan once rejected a manuscript for its “unattractive … old-fashioned xenophobia”).

A golliwog:


10 thoughts on “Enid Blyton

  1. I have a friend who has such fingernails like this lady on the picture, and she says that it takes a bit of practising, but it does work once you’ve figured out how to tap the keys with your fingers… and she does type fast, so it does not seem to be limiting in any way.
    As for the rest, I am quite amazed that clients should actually care about that certification. To be honest, I get a lot of enquiries to use Trados, and most of the PMs or agency owners don’t have an idea of the software itself. When I tell them that I can produce the same thing with another tool, they usually tell me this cannot be possible; they have never heard such a thing. Well….

  2. I always remember my typist beng a bit gruff with me when I sent her a job after having said that there probably wouldn’t be much for her to do for a few days – she had just taken this opportunity to have a “nail job” …
    I don’t think my clients would care one iota about certification … most of my clients, and quite rightly so, don’t think much of Trados either. A couple of them have even stopped using it after getting a “real human translation from a real human” and being praised by their clients for something that actually reads not like a translation


  3. Sonja: thanks for the information. Of course, we only have SDL/Trados’ word for it that clients are thrilled.
    Paul: I use Transit, and I like to think of myself as a real human, but perhaps I have been mistaken all these years.

    It looks as if you put that gold sticker on your business card. Then it looks like a money card, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t have room on my home-made business card anyway.

  4. I note that at the “TranslationZone” site you quote, the model is seen as a mirror image and the text on the card is back to front. Does this say something about the SDLTrados translation and certification procedures?
    (Propaganda warning: I use DVX instead.)

  5. Victor: Ha ha. – If you see my next entry, it probably also changes the output in international semaphore terms. I won’t investigate it now as I have to get on with my work and see if I can finish in time to go swimming.

  6. That is a wonderful mirror image, isn’t it? It’s too small to see much, but you can certainly see that the fictitious firm name wordmasters (why not wordmistresses?) is back to front.

  7. >>For each training level, Courseware and sample files can be downloaded from our website. Candidates will then be invited to study the material to learn about and how to use the key features and functionality offered at each level, or can choose to expedite their learning process by taking an online training course based on the exam level they currently require. Once they feel comfortable with the current level, the translator will be directed to take an online exam and test their knowledge of the relevant modules of the application.

  8. That really doesn’t read at all well. And as you say, why start off in the plural and then change to the singular? I think I would have gone for ‘you can download the files’.

  9. SDL/Trados, adapted accordingly, doesn’t seem to have caught on with the legal profession.

    Maybe practising lawyers throughout the world who insist on translated word-discounts for repetition, but regurgitate piles of similarly worded legal docs. at no discount to different clients, can have themselves certificated as replication-conscious experts.

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