Sunday Funnies - LOL, September 10, 2017

Cidu Bill on Sep 10th 2017

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B.A.: We have the killer, but the victim’s still running around somewhere.

Filed in Bill Bickel, Bizarro, Comics That Made Us Laugh Out Loud, New Yorker, Nichtlustig, Strange Brew, comic strips, comics, humor, lol | 38 responses so far

38 Responses to “Sunday Funnies - LOL, September 10, 2017”

  1. Treesong Sep 10th 2017 at 01:38 am 1

    An excellent set. The Bunny of Exuberance seems to feel excluded in the Bizarro.

  2. Kilby Sep 10th 2017 at 02:10 am 2

    Strange Brew was a little surreal, but still rather amusing, even before I discovered that the Wordpress frame had chopped off the dialog balloon. I thought it was supposed to be a communal e-book reader session.

  3. Kilby Sep 10th 2017 at 02:19 am 3

    P.S. I didn’t even notice that the last panel was in the wrong language until I hit B.A.’s added caption. At first I wondered why it needed to be repeated. ;-)

  4. Ted from Ft. Laud Sep 10th 2017 at 05:23 am 4

    I have the feeling I’ve seen a similar gag to the one in the New Yorker cartoon someplace else, but I can’t place it, and this was well done. Overall, I agree - a good set this week. The last one did lose a bit for me due to my need to read the translated balloon and then do a retake, but that’s not the cartoonist’s fault…

  5. DemetriosX Sep 10th 2017 at 05:48 am 5

    My problem with the New Yorker cartoon is that William Tell used a crossbow. That’s the sort of pedantic detail that frequently trips my brain up.

    @Kilby (3): Happens to me all the time. When we first moved to Germany, the local Chinese restaurant had an English name. It took us six months to notice.

  6. Mitch4 Sep 10th 2017 at 10:20 am 6

    I can’t help wondering if the text being projected in the Strange Brew comes from some pre-existing source.

  7. James Pollock Sep 10th 2017 at 11:41 am 7

    “My problem with the New Yorker cartoon is that William Tell used a crossbow.”

    But the cartoon doesn’t say that this is William Tell, or that any of the other arrows weren’t shot from a crossbow, or that the next one one be.

  8. BillClay Sep 10th 2017 at 12:14 pm 8

    On the William Tell one, I’m wondering if trees grow all along their length or just from the top?

    Would those arrows be drifting upwards over time or would they stay at the same height until the tree moves for some other reason? (dies, grown shift, etc.)

  9. Ron Sep 10th 2017 at 12:52 pm 9

    @BillClay (8): Trees grow from the top only. If a branch is at
    eye level, it will stay at eye level unless your height changes.

  10. Wendy Sep 10th 2017 at 04:48 pm 10

    I’m not sure about that. I went back to the street I grew up on, and I noticed that on the trees now, all the branches were too high to reach, but I know we climbed on them and hung from them when we were kids. I assumed that the trees had just gotten taller, but maybe it’s because the trees have had all the lower branches cut off. Not sure.

  11. Bob Sep 10th 2017 at 06:57 pm 11

    The Virginia Department of Forestry states that a mark on a tree trunk will not move higher off the ground as the tree grows. http://dof.virginia.gov/infopubs/_forest-facts/FF-How-A-Tree-Grows_pub.pdf

  12. larK Sep 10th 2017 at 10:49 pm 12

    @ Kilby (3): I may have told this story here before; if so, my apologies.
    I saw the movie The Accidental Tourist at the time in the theater in Austria, where it was dubbed into German. I was abruptly brought out of the trance of the movie and reminded that I wasn’t hearing English, even though it’s a story about Americans, speaking in their native language, even though what I was hearing was German. It happened when the main character is in France, and he’s talking to some shop keeper, and at first he says <Hello, do you speak English> in English (dubbed to German), and then suddenly he says, in actual English something along the lines of “sorry, blah, blah blah”, using English, the auxiliary international language to communicate to a Frenchman, which is what a German would do if he couldn’t speak French. It doesn’t make much sense in the context of the original; I guess the character was successful in getting the French character to speak English (they so often are for the convenience of the movie), but the German dubbers felt it would have more verisimilitude if they spoke actual English instead of German supposed to be English, and BOY did that pull me out of the illusion of the movie! I was really confused about what it was that he had been speaking just prior — I mean, he was speaking English, right? So why suddenly is the English he’s speaking now so different? And why does he have an accent where he was speaking natively before? What, wha- what?? Really seized my brain up.

    Similarly around that time I was reading a lot of Asimov’s later Foundation books, and while in Austria I read German translations. So to this day I couldn’t tell you which books I read in English, and which books I read in German. Even while reading, in German, if you asked me about what I was reading, I would assume that it was in English, because, you know, it’s Asimov — he writes in English.

  13. larK Sep 10th 2017 at 10:49 pm 13

    @ Kilby (3): I may have told this story here before; if so, my apologies.
    I saw the movie The Accidental Tourist at the time in the theater in Austria, where it was dubbed into German. I was abruptly brought out of the trance of the movie and reminded that I wasn’t hearing English, even though it’s a story about Americans, speaking in their native language, even though what I was hearing was German. It happened when the main character is in France, and he’s talking to some shop keeper, and at first he says <Hello, do you speak English> in English (dubbed to German), and then suddenly he says, in actual English something along the lines of “sorry, blah, blah blah”, using English, the auxiliary international language to communicate to a Frenchman, which is what a German would do if he couldn’t speak French. It doesn’t make much sense in the context of the original; I guess the character was successful in getting the French character to speak English (they so often are for the convenience of the movie), but the German dubbers felt it would have more verisimilitude if they spoke actual English instead of German supposed to be English, and BOY did that pull me out of the illusion of the movie! I was really confused about what it was that he had been speaking just prior — I mean, he was speaking English, right? So why suddenly is the English he’s speaking now so different? And why does he have an accent where he was speaking natively before? What, wha- what?? Really seized my brain up.

    Similarly around that time I was reading a lot of Asimov’s later Foundation books, and while in Austria I read German translations. So to this day I couldn’t tell you which books I read in English, and which books I read in German. Even while reading, in German, if you asked me about what I was reading, I would assume that it was in English, because, you know, it’s Asimov — he writes in English.

  14. larK Sep 10th 2017 at 10:57 pm 14

    Well, now it obvious I’ve told this story before…

  15. Cidu Bill Sep 10th 2017 at 11:37 pm 15

    larK, I might have mentioned this before as well: When we were in Paris in 1979, we saw (for some reason) the Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn film Foul Play. It was in English, with French subtitles. Because my brain was accustomed to reading subtitles and tuning out the spoken word, I unconsciously did that and only became really aware of it when I realized my wife was laughing at different lines than I was.

  16. James Pollock Sep 11th 2017 at 01:02 am 16

    “The Virginia Department of Forestry states that a mark on a tree trunk will not move higher off the ground as the tree grows.”

    This opinion is not based on knowledge, nor am I going to to bother looking it up, but I think it might vary, depending on what type of tree.

  17. Kilby Sep 11th 2017 at 04:15 am 17

    The physics (and chemistry) of tree composition very much agrees with the hypothesis that the arrow will stay at the same level. The cellulose in the cell structure of the tree will not stretch, and it cannot grow up (by cellular insertion), because except for the outer layer, the inner structure of the wood is effectively dead tissue.

  18. Olivier Sep 11th 2017 at 04:34 am 18

    Mitch4@6 : so do I.

  19. Kilby Sep 11th 2017 at 04:46 am 19

    @ larK (13&14) & Bill (15) - I remember watching “Yentl” near the end of my first year in Germany. The movie was synchronized, of course, but the people who did the translation were intelligent enough not to try to rewrite the songs, so they left them in English, and provided subtitles (this is not uncommon for films containing musical pieces that are relevant to the plot). Unfortunately, the subtitles in the final number (at the end) contained a critical error in the subtitles, effectively reversing the meaning of the defective sentence. I’ve been suspicious of translated media ever since.

    P.S. Don’t bother reading “The Hunt for Red October” in German, the translator would be better off working for Readers Digest.

  20. DemetriosX Sep 11th 2017 at 05:45 am 20

    German literary translations are notoriously bad. There are whole websites dedicated to mocking and correcting the guy who translated the Harry Potter books (justly so; at one point the kids are playing exploding snap on the train home and the idiot translated that as (backtranslated) “Snape exploded)). And of course there are those moments where characters will suddenly pause the action for a branded cup of tea or instant soup. I think they stopped doing that in the 90s, but for a long time one of the major publishers also owned a company that made teabags and instant soup.

    Oddly enough, the translations for comics tend to be pretty good. I think we talked about Asterix translations a few months ago. It may be because there is a tradition going back to Dr. Erika Fuchs, who translated Disney comics in the post-war years and had to do an excellent job in order to contend against the strong anti-comics forces who were horrified at the dumbing-down (verblödeln) of German culture.

  21. Rasheed Sep 11th 2017 at 06:48 am 21

    The funniest part of this whole set, s the gentleman in Strange Brew wearing a giant teacup on his head

  22. ty Sep 11th 2017 at 02:38 pm 22

    I remember seeing the Strange Brew gag in a Flintstones comic book in the ’60’s.

  23. Mark M Sep 11th 2017 at 06:12 pm 23

    Apparently it’s just me, but what’s going on in Bizarro?

  24. Mark in Boston Sep 11th 2017 at 08:17 pm 24

    Not a translation error, but I read a commentary on “Ulysses” that pointed out Leopold Bloom’s thought: “French letter still in my pocket”, with a note that it was a love letter from his mistress.

    I can understand that someone translating Joyce into German or Spanish may not know what a “French letter” is, but any commentator writing in English who does not know that is not to be trusted, especially with Joyce. I’ve forgotten what he made of Medical Dick and Medical Davy, two birds with one stone.

  25. James Pollock Sep 11th 2017 at 08:31 pm 25

    “what’s going on in Bizarro?”

    They’re painting the walls that aren’t there.
    So the guy says “get a room” because their current activity requires one.

  26. Mark M Sep 11th 2017 at 11:05 pm 26

    Ah thanks James.

  27. Meryl A Sep 13th 2017 at 01:11 am 27

    I presumed that the arrows were at different heights as each had been put into a different tree when the boy was a different age.

  28. Meryl A Sep 13th 2017 at 01:24 am 28

    Some years ago we were in Montreal and Quebec city on vacation. Many of the TV channels were in French. A movie was on and we were half watching/listening to it and we heard someone speaking French. Then Spanish. It was the movie “Copacabana” with the Marx Brothers and Carmen Miranda - she plays a character in French and Spanish in the English version of the movie. We were there the shortly after Elvis died - how do I remember? Well in the remembering that Elvis died then, it is overlooked that within a few days Groucho died also - same month, same year - and this was part of a tribute to him.

    Then “the Muppet Movie” comes on - in French. Hmm, what about Miss Piggy and her French? Why, she speaks Italian of course!

    But here is something I have wondered since I saw that the movie “Born in East L.A.” was being shown on a Spanish language channel at a time I could not watch it - in the movie Cheech Marin is picked up in Los Angeles in a sweep of illegal aliens, when he was “born in East L.A.” and sent “back” to Mexico. He has a major problem - he does not speak Spanish. The rest of the movie is about his attempt to get home to LA with no money or ID. The question is does he speak English in the movie and everyone else (including those in LA) speak Spanish? Does he speak Spanish in the movie and tell people in Spanish that he does not speak Spanish? I keep hoping it will be run on a Spanish language again (it’s been years) so I could watch and see.

  29. Heather Sep 13th 2017 at 09:45 am 29

    I recently read Harry Potter in Dutch translation — borrowed from a Dutch friend who has been helping me learn the language. In his opinion, having read it in both English and Dutch, it’s actually better in Dutch. I don’t think there are any weird translation errors like in the German mentioned above! But reading Hagrid’s dialect version of a language I’m just at an intermediate level in (and that only in the ‘formal’, official version of the language, not ’street’ or slang), was rather challenging…

    If you want to get into questions of what language are characters really speaking, you just have to look at Star Trek and the universal translator.

    Or any movie/tv show where foreign characters are represented as speaking in their own language by speaking to each other in english but with their foreign accent…

    I think of the brilliant old BBC comedy Allo Allo, who lampshaded it. The french characters spoke in outrageous accents, as did the Germans. When the British airmen came on the scene, they spoke regular British english, and the french characters would be like “I don’t understand what they’re saying, I don’t speak english” — spoken in english with a thick french accent! :D

  30. Kilby Sep 13th 2017 at 12:06 pm 30

    @ Heather (29) - “it’s actually better in Dutch” -

    My standard example of a movie that is better in translation is “Star Wars 2″(*), but I recently discovered more complex effects in the animated movie “Ballerina”. We originally saw it in a German theater, but I noticed then that the animators had worked the mouth movements to be timed for the English dialog, instead of the German we were hearing. We later got the DVD, and I made sure to watch it in English first, but discovered immediately from cracks in the translation that the original screenplay had clearly been in French. Since both translations were spoken by native speakers, the nod has to go to the superior (written) translation, which definitely was the German version, despite minor lipsync differences in the final production (Germans are so used to synchronized movies that they simply cannot notice minor lip errors).

    P.S. (*) - The way the original actors deliver Lucas’s English dialog is impossibly wooden, whereas the German synchronizers made an excellent efforts to put some real expression into their voices.

    P.P.S. There’s also a classic scene in which Inspector Clouseau requests a room (or rather, in his heavy French accent it becomes a “rheum“) from the German (probably Swiss) operator of a small hotel. After multiple failed attempts to make himself understood, he finally resorts to a German dictionary, discovering that the German word for “room” is “(das) Zimmer“. The hotel operator, hearing that and finally understanding, exclaims (in his heavy German accent), “Och, you mean a rheum!”

  31. DemetriosX Sep 13th 2017 at 02:27 pm 31

    I thought Brother Bear was much better in German. Mostly because the little bear a) wasn’t so unrelentingly American and b) didn’t try so hard to sound “street”. I also thought calling the moose Benny and Bjorn and giving them thick Swedish accents was a good replacement for the McKenzie brothers schtick. Caveat: Instead of getting a German artist to sing the ballad over the closing credits, they had Phil Collins sing it in phonetic German. They chose… poorly.

    On those occasions when we watch something dubbed, I find that my brain doesn’t do a good job of interpreting the voice as coming from the actor on the screen (except for animation). It’s worst when I know what the actor really sounds like. Then my brain really won’t associate the sound with the person allegedly making them.

  32. Winter Wallaby Sep 13th 2017 at 02:44 pm 32

    Kilby #30: Re: Star Wars 2 (which I assume means Episode 2).

    I too found much of the dialogue, particularly between Christensen and Portman, to be horribly wooden, but my inclination was to blame the script, rather than the actors. Interesting to hear that it can be better with better voicing.

  33. Mark in Boston Sep 13th 2017 at 08:18 pm 33

    Caption on a James Thurber cartoon: “He’s having all his books translated into French. They lose so much in the original.”

    I’ve heard it said that Vladimir Nabokov’s Russian translation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is much better than the original, with more clever jokes.

  34. Mark in Boston Sep 13th 2017 at 08:22 pm 34

    From Casablanca:

    German man: We are speaking nothing but English now, so we will be used to it when we get to America.
    [to his wife] Liebchen, sweetness, what watch?
    German woman: [looking at her watch] Ten watch.
    German man: Ah, such much.
    Waiter: You will get along beautifully in America.

  35. pepperjackcandy Sep 14th 2017 at 11:53 pm 35

    I’ve read one and a half Harry Potter books in Chinese and have caught two translation errors (though there may be others).

    In Harry Potter and the Magic Stone (their translation), Harry and Ron are eating horseshoe-shaped chocolates on the Hogwarts Express. The translator missed that the chocolate were shaped like some species of Order Anura and, near as I can tell, instead thought that Rowling was talking about frog closures.

    In Harry Potter and the Secret Room, when Ginny is peeking out at Harry through her doorway and quickly shuts it, Ron says that Ginny almost never closes her door.

  36. Kilby Sep 15th 2017 at 06:23 am 36

    @ WW (32) - I’m sure that the text translation into German also helped to remove a lot of the “stilted” character of the dialog. The translators had the advantage that they needed to carry over the meaning of Lucas’s script, but not necessarily his writing style.

    P.S. @ MiB (33) - One neat thing about the German version of “Alice” is that Carroll took an active part in helping with the translation. I have a old copy, but it’s in “Fraktur“, so it is exhausting to read.

    P.P.S. In high school, we were told that the English version of “Crime & Punishment” was less gray and dreary than the Russian original, because it did not use the same degree of repetitive phrasing. I notice this in German text as well: there is less of a tendency to replace terms just to avoid repeating the same word, as there in in English.

  37. Mark in Boston Sep 15th 2017 at 08:59 pm 37

    There is a weird thing in Bible translations, in that there are plenty of Hebrew words with no exact English translation. There’s a word for “harp” and a word for “psaltery” but also a word for an instrument about which all we know is that it has ten strings. Thus Psalm 33:2: “Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.”

    Imagine a poem in English:

    Dance to the music
    As fast as you can, Joe,
    While Mike plays the fiddle
    And Bill plays the instrument with four strings and a drum head.

  38. Mark in Boston Sep 15th 2017 at 09:03 pm 38

    (I meant to say five strings and a drum head, but now it’s a TENOR instrument with four strings and a drum head.)

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