Fantasy

Game of Thrones: Hodor Translation

One of my favorite characters in Game of Thrones is Hodor, the so called "gentle giant" although there are more nameworthy giants in GOT aswell. Hodor is only able to say his name, but as actor Kristian Nairn statet, he has found 70 different ways to do so. But, to be honest, his leaked script does not emphasize the one or the other way to pronounce it.

In the course of the show it became revealed, that Hodor was not always simple minded but that some incident in his past changed the stable boy to the Buddha-like Hodor we know. What happend, was revealed in Season 6 Episode "the Door". If you don't know it yet and don't want to be spoilered, you should avoid reading about GOT in the web. Otherwise you can see here a nice example of a classical translation problem: A word (the name "Hodor") reveals a hidden meaning a long time after you used it the first time so you have had no possibility to adapt the word in a way that allows to reveal the hidden meaning adequatly in the target language aswell - and now you've got to deal with this. How could one ever know, that "Hodor" is kind of an abbreviation of "Hold the door"? For languages similar to English as German, it was a comparatively easy task as the word "Hold" in German is "Halt" and the word "Door" may be translated with the related word "Tor" (which actually means "gate" but it may be tolerable to be used for doors aswell), so you can make "Hold the door = Hodor" to "Halt das Tor = Hodor" without problems. Other languages as Russian have had bigger issues with this, as you may see in this interesting overview or even hear in this "language test". 

 

Image: Kristian Nairn speaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California by Gage Skidmore

Harry Potter and Politics

While my generation was politically influenced by Benjamin Blümchens more or less sublime left wing messages, the millenials may attribute their political orientation on Hogwarts education...

Kids who grew up reading the Harry Potter books are voting in U.S. elections. And now a new study says the adventures of the young wizard might have cast an enduring spell on its fans, subtly shaping their values and political views. The Millennial Generation is actually the Muggle Generation.

io9: D​id Harry Potter Influence The Political Views of Millennials?

Anakin Skywalker was a borderliner

Sounds like they have found a perfect example:

The tragic hero of the "Star Wars" prequels displays patterns of instability and impulsivity in the second and third films that make him an obvious candidate for borderline personality disorder (BPD), according to French psychiatrists and psychologists.

Live Science: The Psychology of Darth Vader Revealed

Drug or Sci-Fi Quiz?

It is harder than one would guess, but: Can you tell if this is a fictional character/thing or the brand of a drug? Great quiz (and great text!) at Lexicon Valley

1. Alixia: Non-human female? Or cancer chemotherapy?

2. Arborlon: City? Or cream for itching?

3. Autloc: Aztec priest? Or blood pressure medication?

Lord of the Rings Astronomy

In shaping his vision of Middle-earth, Tolkien sometimes ran into "difficulties" of a scientific nature. One he frankly and openly admitted was in the area of biology: "Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring – even as a rare event: there are two cases only in my legends of such unions, and they are merged in the descendents of Eärendil." Given his mindfulness of natural laws, one may ask did Tolkien incorporate astronomical lore and fact into his universe? The answer is, in far more ways than can possibly be explored in a talk of this length. Astronomy helped, and haunted, Tolkien as he set out to develop his universe – or Eä, as the Elves would say.

Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Physics and Astronomy: Astronomy of Middle Earth

Smaugs macro economic impact

Smaug the dragon is typically viewed as a fiscal phenomenon, depressing economic activity by burning woods and fields, killing warriors, eating young maidens, and creating general waste and destruction. Yet peoples - whether elvish, dwarvish, or human - have considerable capacity to rebuild. Why did the coming of Smaug lead to a prolonged downturn in economic activity, rather than a short downturn followed by a period of rebuilding and growth?

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth

Learn Na'vi

Na’vi is a constructed language spoken by the fictional Na’vi people on Pandora in James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar. The language was created by Dr. Paul Frommer, professor emeritus of Clinical Management Communications at USC. LearnNavi.org exists to share this beautiful language with all who want to learn, as well as to promote the continued development of Na’vi.

Learn Na'vi

Star Wars™ for Wookiees

From their subtle roar of sadness to the pleasant yelp of excitement, Wookiees are a role model for companionship, loyalty and respect, and we at BioWare and LucasArts want to show our appreciation. Therefore, all text in the game will be translated into Shyriiwook, and all voice-overs will be re-recorded by authentic, native Wookiee speakers.

Shyriiwook Localization

Pages