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Tribulations of a Translator (POTENTIAL SPOILERS) Messages in this topic - RSS

34Witches
34Witches
Posts: 57

5/20/2021
Cpt. Eructus wrote:
I've come across a mention of "bracket-gruel" when dining with one of the officers. Searching for obscure menaings of "bracket" doesn't conme up with anything remotely edible, so I assume it's a typo for "bracken"? That's my best guess.



I imagine that's talking about bracket fungi (polypores), some of which are edible.

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Ixc
Ixc
Posts: 436

5/20/2021
My guess is that it's a type of dish made up by zailors to make gruel more appetizing? While the Haunted Doctor mentions that 'the gruel is a bit too rich for my taste' I think it more of him being a terrible liar and wanting to get away from the table than indicating that there may be something like spices or fish added.


It's possible that it signifies something like brackish/brack gruel, which means slightly salty water. As gruel is typically made using water (milk is used for more luxurious gruel), it's possible that it incorporates some zee water or water from around London (brackish water is typically water from where salt and freshwater collide).


Finally, it's possible that it's supposed to mean bracket. Brackets are typically used to support weight, and this may refer to this gruel being the bare bones, designed to literally keep a zailor up throughout the day, like a staple food or emergency ration. It could also refer to a method of cooking it, like a cooking pot attached to a bracket.


However, none of these really come to my mind when I read bracket-gruel, so you should probably just translate the word bracket literally in whatever way works.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

5/24/2021
Thanks! Some food for thought (hopefully not this gruel)

Bracket fungi seems the most plausible, as most of the Neath's diet is mushroom-based. I didn't find that meaning in my search, but they have appeared in the game befoire with a different name: shelf fungi, so I may use that ("hongo de repisa"), or "Políporo" so it's just one word.

I think the Doctor excusing himself from eating more has more to do with him making excuses to avoid talking too much about his past endevours, which is a recurring thing with him, than the actual taste of the gruel.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

6/19/2021
During the whole game, the inhabitants of the Chelonate are called themselves Chelonates, but in this particular event and only there, they are referred to as Chelonians. Now I'm wondering whether I should reflect this difference in the translation, or assume it's a discrepancy due to different writers and faulty revision (which is a common enough occurrence) and use the same standarized name I've been using for the Chelonates all along. What do you fine folks think?
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 6/19/2021

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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xKiv
xKiv
Posts: 902

6/20/2021
Is the difference that *they* are calling themselves Chelonates, but a *Londoner* would could them (with disdain) Chelonians?

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https://www.fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/xKiv - a witchful, percussive, dangermous and shadowry scholar of coexplodence, hopsidirean, and walker of fallen kitties.
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

6/21/2021
xKiv wrote:
Is the difference that *they* are calling themselves Chelonates, but a *Londoner* would could them (with disdain) Chelonians?


Not really. They are always called Chelonate regardless of point of view, except for this particular event which uses Chelonians several times and never uses the standard Chelonates (that's why my guess is that perhaps it was written by a guest writer less familiar with the gane world and escaped revision). And in this one, it's just the narrator speaking, not any character.
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 6/21/2021

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

6/27/2021
You walk close enough to the Acolyte to hear the next verse. It concerns the smell of hot brick, the chime of ashes falling on the grate, and the pleasure of braiding pokers together on a winter's night when there is nothing else to do.


What does "braiding pokers" mean? Is it some idiom I don't know? Literally twisting fire pokers around each other? What's the sense in that? i'm very much lost with this sentence.
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 6/27/2021

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 270

6/28/2021
Braiding pokers is literally something impossible to do unless you're a blacksmith and the pokers are red hot (maybe appealing on a cold winter's night, though). A bit like going to sea in a sieve.
Braiding, plaiting or weaving is what you only do with hair, yarn or something equally flexible, but not very strong.
A poker is the very opposite: strong in itself, but not at all flexible.
It's a great image, though.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

6/28/2021
So do you think it has the meaning of trying to achieve something impossible or very difficult, like squaring the circle, but kind of low stakes, like when you and your mates start fixing the world's problems one beer at a time, just for the pleasure of it?

Most of the similes I can think of for those kinds of impossible tasks carry a sense of something desperate and hopeless rather than pleasant. "Building castles in the clouds" is the closest I cna think of, but to my mind it has a very different connotation

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 270

6/28/2021
It concerns the smell of hot brick, the chime of ashes falling on the grate, and the pleasure of braiding pokers together on a winter's night when there is nothing else to do.


Taking the quotation as a whole, so revising my off the cuff remark:

Clearly there is something to do with fire or furnaces or a blacksmith's hearth going on -- hence the mention of hot brick and ashes. The use of chime is poetic and unusual, because ashes make virtually no sound, certainly not that of a bell. Similarly, the combination of braided and pokers is unusual, because the first thought at the mention of poker is "cold iron bar".


But in the round, I'd assume this does relate to the work of a smith, so the pokers *would* be hot, malleable bars of iron. Wrought iron (iron which is shaped, e.g. braided) is used to make, e.g. gates or fences -- and pokers.

If you look up iron poker in a search engine and go for the images, you'll see that a lot of pokers have a decorative feature of some kind. So this may just be a way of *not* using the common term "wrought".

If I were translating this, I'd just go for the straightforward version.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

6/28/2021
Yes, the more I get into the Acolyte's story, the more she looks like a person who does metal-related work (although with bodies), so it seems the more literal option was probably closer to the mark

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Ixc
Ixc
Posts: 436

6/29/2021
First, it's pretty clear to me that there's a deliberate contrast in temperature:
Hot brick, the chime of ash (after a fire); on a winter night. Thus, it's likely that the pokers are heated as to be malleable.

Second, as to the question of impossibility or unpleasantness, the abeforementioned contrast of warmth to the cold winter night outside and the mention of "the pleasure of braiding pokers together... when there is nothing else to do" seems to raise connotations of cozy and simple contentment.

So, I also agree as to the literal translation.

--
Pleased to meet you. Ixc, spy and detective. Inventor of the Correspondence Cannon.
Are you a Paramount Presence? Record your name here. For posterity, of course.

Being poked incessantly by nightmares? Poke them back!
Vote the Viscountess for Mayor!
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