Level of language in Disney Comics (starting to be a bit off-topic)

François Willot willot.francois at ec-lille.fr
Tue Feb 26 00:50:12 CET 2002

>From: Mattias Hallin <cmhallin at algonet.se>
>I'm sure you're right, when you say that it would be difficult to find an
>exact equivalen to the specific word "gonna", or most of the other
>colloquial English words of a simliar nature which have been mentioned in
>this thread.
>On the other hand (and please correct me if I'm wrong), it seems to me that
>pretty much the same way to indicate spoken language exists in written
>French... for example by writing "j'suis" instead of "je suis", "y a pas"
>instead "il n'y a pas", "j'sais pas" instead of "je ne sais pas" and so on
>and so forth...

Yes, you're right that there is an equivalent to spoken American language
like in Gottfredson's, which is of course spoken French language. But what
I'm trying to express is that it would not mean the same in print for a
French and for an American, because spoken language is rarely seen in print.
I have never read something like "ch'ais pas" for "je ne sais pas" which is
the way we actually pronounce it (I'm not even sure how to write "ch'ai
pas"!). And I think "j'sais pas", which is hard to pronounce, is almost as
There are not simply 2 languages, "low" and "high" like in America (if I
understand well) but I would say there are three, "spoken", "normal written"
and "high". And of course, just because the spoken language is not the one
we see in print, doesn't mean that we're only using complex phrases and high
level words in publications. So I see no equivalent to "I'm gonna" in French
writing. I believe that "normal written" French is the fairest possible
translation. In this respect, with English-American having 2 languages and
French 3, I think French is richer.
And "spoken" language, of course won't be lost. We are even able to
reconstruct the spoken language of a particular region of France in the
VIIIth century, so we'll probably be able to do it for the XXth and XXIth.

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