Does Dutch humour translate into English? Sure it does, provided it is done accurately (so no Dunglish) and by someone who ‘gets it’. And that’s exactly what Rotterdam comic strip artist Sandra de Haan has done, the result of which you can enjoy below.
A Dutch friend once told me that Dutch humour is roughly akin to Scandinavian humour: dry, straight-faced, a bit slow and sometimes very scatologic (see Sandra’s other English comic strips). I think it leaves you slightly perplex albeit with a smile.
Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 9:46 am
A couple of years ago a Project Gutenberg volunteer called Jeroen Hellingman managed to buy 25 public domain versions of Dutch translations of Jules Verne’s 54 “Voyages extraordinaires.” These books are working their way slowly through the Distributed Proofreaders digitization process and have started to appear at the other end, at gutenberg.org. The most recent Dutch Verne adventures posted there are:
Wonderlijke avonturen van een Chinees, followed by Muiterij aan boord der ‘Bounty’
De wonderstraal, followed by Tien uren op jacht
De Reis naar de Maan in 28 dagen en 12 uren
The last two titles have excerpts in my latest (third) Nederlandse Project Gutenberg Reader, which also contains snippets from the Dutch translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Couperus’ Reis-impressies en Jan en Florence, Cyriël Buysse’s De vrolijke tocht, Guido Gezelle’s Laatste Verzen and Johanna van Woude’s Een verlaten post.
If you want Verne in another language than Dutch, fret not. After all, the man is the third most translated author in the world (after Walt Disney and Agatha Christie), and Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection has a great number of public domain translations of his works.
Amsterdam’s rhythm & tunes band The Spinshots have just released a new video called “Désirs Mutuels”, a French version of their ballad “Mutual Desires”. I proudly attended the video release party not only to talk to some very cool musicians, but because they had asked me to translate and adapt the French lyrics, a labour of love that took me just three days. Oh and here’s a nice picture of the show they did to launch the video at the recently renovated Winston Kingdom in Amsterdam.
I also got to meet the woman who shot the video. She told me it was all done in one take and took a mere 1.5 hours to shoot. When budget is an issue, creativity is a must. That’s why I like this video. I also heard it was shot in a secret location. I can imagine that someone warning any authority about guys in turbans with equipment could be scary. Hats’ off to the Dutch singer who has a knack for languages and really does the French justice.
And the will to do something in French is part of an odd trend floating around the city whose main Dutch figure, good friend DJ Guuzbourg and his girl-ridden French compilations has something to do with. May this trend continue on in 2009.