The name’s the thing (in translation?)

I thought I’d share with you a difficulty of being a translator of these tales: people’s names.

So far, in the tales I’ve published, the people have quite ordinary sounding names: Emily, Anas, Jon, Ellen; and this might strike you, gentle readers, as a little odd. For were those names current several thousand years ago? 😉

Well… no. Names back then  were – to our ears – very long and very peculiar and nearly all associated with religious worship, either directly quoting God such as “God is my morning light” – a common name – or  an uplifting proverb of some sort, such as “Like water from the desert.”

A modern equivalent would be having “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (“Shamed be to he who evil thinks it“) as your name, rather than on a coat of arms (for the Queen of England.)

So these names were impossible to translate, because I would have a translation which read: “Hello,” said Honi soit qui mal y pense. And people would stop reading very quickly 🙂 .  Therefore, I’ve picked modern names on the basis of careful thought: okay, I admit it, because they sounded right for the person.

I think in the larger tales to come in 2014, I’ll include a little glossary in the back with people’s actual names, so at least readers will know what the people of the tales were really called.