Kalevala, again!

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Wed Jan 26 15:02:35 CET 2000

I hope we can return to an old issue for a moment?
I just received a copy of the German version of my Kalevala story. They
colored the special "interior cover" that I did for them *splendidly*!
Beautiful computer-color effects! And they have a spectacular background
display of red sky and yellow lightning on each page of the story, with my
comic panels "hovering" over the surface and casting shadows back onto it.
It really looks great.
The special font for the Kalevalian dialogue is also quite nice. But as a
German reader pointed out to me, the German translator misinterpreted a key
moment of my dialogue... it was the most important dialogue in the story to
*me*, though I suppose it was not really so important to the Kalevala-quest
plot. Let me describe it briefly...
In my original dialogue, Vainemoinen tells $crooge that he knows $crooge
has a love of a land of ice and snow and grandeur, and $crooge correctly
realizes he means the Yukon of his youth. Then comes the key moment --
Vainy, seeking to make $crooge realize what's important in life, makes
$crooge the offer: "Then COME WITH ME to where I go! Have prosperity
eternal! FORSAKE your OWN Kalevala where a lost love still awaits you!"
(that being Goldie.) This $crooge realizes is not worth eternal wealth, and
he says "no", to which Vainy says "RIGHT CHOICE!"
Now, the German version seems to say something like "Come with me and I'll
take you back to the Yukon where your true love awaits you"... to which
$crooge says "no". Which is absolutely the total opposite of what I wanted,
and seems to make little sense. It was a tiny slip, perhaps the translator
did not understand the English word "forsake" which is an old-fashioned,
seldom-used word. And the Kalevalian phrasing is surely also confusing. But
now I need to ask you folks in Finland and Norway and Sweden and Denmark
and Iceland -- did your version of my dialogue have this same
misinterpretation of my key instant in the story? Or is it okay? (I'm
probably just going to make myself miserable. Ignorance is bliss. But I
really need to know.)

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