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Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 15:29:34 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) notes on translations of TBOTNS

I do not know much about textual differences in various foreign language
translations of TBOTNS. In fact, I know practically nil.

However, I do know this: the first volume of the Japanese translation has a
lot of editorial footnotes on certain words.  I have not seen any of the
other volumes, so my guess might be wildly wrong (and, to anticipate the
next question, the answer is no, I have not read the entire volume of
Japanese--I barely thrashed my way through several of the footnotes), but
my guess is that the footnotes were cribbed from "Words Weird and
Wonderful" in CASTLE OF THE OTTER (now aka CASTLE OF DAYS), and as a result
I suppose that later volumes did not have such footnotes. The footnotes in
first volume act as a pair of training wheels, it seems to me, preparing
the reader to go on without them--a neat trick, I think, in theory at least.

But I could be wrong, and if I am, then a lexicon existed in Japanese
before I ever set out to write one in English.  (Even so: the task of
translating such a wordlist from Japanese back into English . . . well, it
would be a job bigger than writing one's own lexicon.  Or so it seems to

I wonder if any other translations adopted this clever strategy?


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