Level of language in Disney Comics

Mattias Hallin cmhallin at algonet.se
Mon Feb 25 19:27:55 CET 2002

[If this message appears twice on the list, please excuse me; I'm not sure,
but I fear that I used an old address the first time round; if not... well,
'tis sorry I am for repeating myself! /MH]

At 16.19 2002-02-25, François Willot wrote:

>I think I would have a hard time if I were to translate Gottfredson's or
>Barks' slang language in French. Words like "gonna" or expressions like "I
>don't" aren't correct AFAIK, and I would not know how to reproduce it,
>except for using familiar but still correct language.

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... It appears to me (from reading other comics in French than
just Donald Duck) that these kinds of written conventions of all sorts are
as frequent in French language comics as in comics of any other language...
conventions to indicate that the person speaking is a child, or drunk, or
just talks like the average guy in the street. And (unless my considerably
less then perfect understanding of French is playing tricks on me) that's
pretty much the same thing as the language used by Barks and others --
"gonna" etc. -- a way to reproduce in writing the way average people
actually talk. Or? Am I wrong?

>Of course there is a spoken language, different from the writing one. But
>that language is seldom used in print. Celine did it, but in a Disney comic,
>that would just look very strange. I think I prefer it the way it is.

That is, of course, a perfectly valid opinion; if one wanted to argue with
it (which I really don't), one might say that this is more a question of
what you're used to than of what's possible... Or?

All the best,


*** Mattias Hallin ** Brussels ** Belgium ** <cmhallin at algonet.se> ***
*                                                                    *
*             "Oh bury me thar! With my battered git-tar!            *
*************      A-screamin' my heart out fer yew!"    *************

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