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Old 08-03-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
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The Jules Verne Extraordinary Adventures Series.

Hi-

I have been reading some of these stories from time to time so I decided to focus on reading the entire series in order of French publication. So I am going back and starting at the beginning of list and I am on The Adventures of Captain Hatteras. I am half way through so no spoilers.....

But my question to my fellow readers is this:

Has anyone who has read these stories ever noticed significant changes between different French -> English translations? I have read that sometimes the translators would alter things. I do recall reading that someone read abridged versions of some novels that were different but that is something different all together.


Any proof would be interesting to note.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Certainly. If you want see it for yourself, take a look at two books I uploaded to the MR library:

A Journey to the Interior of the Earth

and:

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

From my description of the latter:

This is the "translation" of the 1864 Verne classic published in England by Griffith and Farran in 1871, and is still the book you'll more than likely get if you go into a book shop today and buy an English-language version of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth".

It's a good story, no doubt about it, but unfortunately it's not the story that Verne wrote. It's a complete re-write, reasonably closely following the plot of the Verne original, but all the details are different. In the original, the scientist who makes the journey into the Earth is "Professor Liedenbrock" and his nephew--the book's narrator--is called "Axel". In this version the scientist has become "Professor von Hardwigg" and his nephew is now English and called "Harry", presumably for the benefit of the book's English audience. In the original, we are shown the details of how the Professor and Axel solve the cypher document which leads to the journey; in this version we simply have:

the Professor began reading the puzzling cryptograph all sorts of ways, according to some theory of his own. Presently, rousing my wandering attention, he dictated one precious attempt to me....

... which turns out to be the solution to it.

The original is better, I think, in all sorts of ways, but this version is interesting to have to see just how much a book can be changed by a process of so-called "translation".

If you want to read a real translation of the Verne original, download the book called "A Journey to the Interior of the Earth"; this is an accurate translation of the French original, with an accurately translated title.

Last edited by HarryT; 08-04-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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There's a good essay on the English translations of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_...h_translations .

I read a derivitive of the horrid Lewis Pager Mercier translation (read: bowlderization) when I was in grade school. I recently read the excellent annotated version edited by Walter James Miller. I've also read portions of the excellent modern translation by F.P.Walter which is derived from the work he did with Miller on the annotated print version and which he released as Public Domain.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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You'll find my ebook version of Walter's translation here.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Certainly. If you want see it for yourself, take a look at two books I uploaded to the MR library:

A Voyage to the Interior of the Earth

and:

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

From my description of the latter:

This is the "translation" of the 1864 Verne classic published in England by Griffith and Farran in 1871, and is still the book you'll more than likely get if you go into a book shop today and buy an English-language version of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth".

It's a good story, no doubt about it, but unfortunately it's not the story that Verne wrote. It's a complete re-write, reasonably closely following the plot of the Verne original, but all the details are different. In the original, the scientist who makes the journey into the Earth is "Professor Liedenbrock" and his nephew--the book's narrator--is called "Axel". In this version the scientist has become "Professor von Hardwigg" and his nephew is now English and called "Harry", presumably for the benefit of the book's English audience. In the original, we are shown the details of how the Professor and Axel solve the cypher document which leads to the journey; in this version we simply have:

the Professor began reading the puzzling cryptograph all sorts of ways, according to some theory of his own. Presently, rousing my wandering attention, he dictated one precious attempt to me....

... which turns out to be the solution to it.

The original is better, I think, in all sorts of ways, but this version is interesting to have to see just how much a book can be changed by a process of so-called "translation".

If you want to read a real translation of the Verne original, download the book called "A Journey to the Interior of the Earth"; this is an accurate translation of the French original, with an accurately translated title.
Thank you Harry. I have always wanted to read an accurate version of this book.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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It's been there for years .
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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I do remember something of a thread about the topic. It's actually "20,000 leagues under the seas" for example not "20,000 leagues under the sea."
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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It's been there for years .
I had forgotten about Jules Vern until it popped up in this thread.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feed back so now I know that not all versions are the same.

My next one will be "From the Earth to the Moon". Wikipedia lists several translation. Any suggestions? I should be ready to start next week.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_the_Earth_to_the_Moon
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:49 AM   #10
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Try my version here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73942
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:51 AM   #11
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I purchased the Delphi Classic series on Verne, which includes (I would imagine) public domain translations of dubious quality. It's a huge collection, by the way.

I'm still glad I bought it for 40% off of $2.99




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Old 08-04-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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Thank you but one question: Is this epub illustrated? My ebook reader has problems with some illustrations.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
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Yes. It contains equations, which have to be represented as graphics (you can't sensibly do equations in ASCII ). Just try it and see. It's not as if it's going to cost you anything. As the description says, the equations are in Ch. 4 of "Around the Moon".

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Old 08-04-2013, 10:37 AM   #14
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Harry, you've done some amazing amounts of work, fixing up so many books for all of us. I just want to say 'thanks!'


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Old 08-04-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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Okay I shall later this week. I just know not to bother with EPUBs which have the original full page illustrations in books as reading with Libre Pro makes it slow and difficult. It will not be bad if it is a few illustrations but some are just so difficult it is not worth it.

Lately I have gone old school and have been looking at books from archive.org with original illustrations on my lap top. That is how I have been enjoying Osgood translation of The Adventures of Captain Hatteras. It is quite enjoyable with these illustrations, though I picture the Captain as Basil Rathbone and his doctor friend is Nigel Bruce in my mind!

I know many people find Verne's novels dated but I truly enjoy them, hence the reason to read the entire series. I always read them thinking how amazing they must have been to people who had them at the time they were originally published.
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