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Asterix the Gaul

GOSCINNY AND Uderzo’s pint-sized French pugilist and nemesis of the Roman Empire was serialised on many a holiday morn, Asterix the Gaul and Asterix and Cleopatra being the two most-repeated tales (originally French cinema features, both were diced into bite-sized morsels and spread over a couple of weeks in July by the Beeb). Sadly the merry adventures of Obelix, Dogmatix, Getafix, Vitalstatistix, Unhygenix (fishmonger), Cacophonix (bard) and Fulliautomatix (blacksmith) lost something in translation. Or rather, they didn’t gain what the original English book translators (unsung heroes Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge) added, namely loads of verbal asides, quips and UK-specific references to fill in the gaps when the original French wit proved untranslatable. Thanks to the films using other hands, so not only did all that go, but the great English versions of the names went too (druid Getafix becoming Panoramix). More books were adapted into films, and still are, though with largely diminishing returns. Watchable though they are, you really can’t beat the originals.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. borgduck

    August 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    As a kid I use to be obsessed with Asterix & would regularly collect the comics! The first time I saw Asterix telly wise was on a visit to my Auntie Lisette in Paris, in the 1980’s!
    Unfortunately, The comics are more superior & funnier…..

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