February 21st, 2004


More translations from Monster Allergy issue 3

Before the story actually begins, there is some text and a couple of character bios, so I've translated these as well. They help make more sense of what's going on:

Where did we leave off?

Behind the disappearance of Sfruscio and other cats of Oldmill lies a mysterious organization. Zick and Elena-Patata investigate, but during the course of events Timothy, Zick's feline guardian, also is abducted and confined to a dismal cat prison. In the meantime, underneath Elena's house, a dreadful vegetable threat is ready to strike...

I'm not sure why they add the word for "potato" to the end of Elena's name. They do a similar thing in Timothy's name for the bios pages (which show some of Timothy's attitude; I'm looking forward to translating his scenes):

Card no. 012. From the file of the Guardian Timothy-Moth.

NAME: Theo and Tessa Barrymore, the granny-ghosts.
AGE: It would not be polite to say.
ASTRAL SIGN: Two ex-Sagittariuses.
BLOOD TYPE: They don't have a drop of it anymore.
FAVORITE FOOD: None! They're quite dead, for heaven's sake!

The parents of the human Greta Barrymore, classified otherwise as "Zick's mother", they frequent the Oasis of Detention without hampering the job of the Guardian. Reliable and discreet, they take care of the young Zick with particular affection, helping him in the preparation of the scholastic backpack, of the afternoon snack and in other activities typical of these very diffused entities known as "grandparents". The bond between them and the boy is strong. And for this reason, removal of the two ectoplasms is not in demand (in short, they can stay).

Alive or passed on, these two remain useful and capable people.

"Oasis of Detention" might just be the Italian way of saying "Purgatory" -- but I couldn't find a reference to either term, so I left it as a literal translation, in case it's actually something important to the story.

Card no. 068. From the file of the Guardian Timothy-Moth.

NAME: Magnacat.
AGE: 668 human years.
PROFESSION: President of Pyramid Inc.
DEGREE OF TUTELAGE: Exiled unguarded (unfortunately!).
TYPE OF AFFILIATION: Gorka mutaform.

Unpredictable as all those born under the sign of the Leaning Time, fully exploiting the power of Persuasion, this Gorka has succeeded in the business of involving some ambitious humans in his own delirium, turning them into Androgorka. The criminal project of Magnacat (thinly veiled as the president of a specialized kitchenware firm) is directed to the subversion of natural order, subduing Bibbur-si to the power of the Gorkas (they haven't digested the exile -- heh, heh!). The subject Magnacat is therefore to be considered dangerous both for the populace of monsters and for humankind. The hope of the undersigned is that a steamroller soon takes care of him.

Difficult to say if he is uglier in human form or in his natural state. In any case I detest him. Oh, how I detest him!

Bibbur-si is name of the monster city (in the same place as the human city of Bigburg, just unseen by all but Zick). It's fun trying to figure out what some of the words mean when neither my translation program, my Italian-English dictionary, nor babelfish has an entry for it. There were two such words in that last passage. The second was the most amusing to learn. The word was schiacciasassi. I knew that the first part meant "squish" but couldn't figure out exactly what was intended. I did a Google search on the word and came up with dozens of sports news articles! Eventually I found one hit which showed a picture of a steamroller, and finally I found an online Italian dictionary which had the word, and a description which translates as "a machine for flattening stones." Obviously, the sports sites were describing dominant performances, which even in English we describe as steamrollers. The word literally means "squishrocks".