Nadsat goes Meta

We are at last delighted to announce the publication of our latest academic journal article on the Ponying the Slovos project in the prestigious Meta journal from the University of Montreal.

Volume 63, no 3 – cover date December 2020.

This compares the Nadsat in Anthony Burgess’s original text with that to be found in the French translation by Georges Belmont and Hortense Chabrier, about which we have spoken previously.

Readers with access to a university library can access this article through their university library account, but if we get requests to read it we will try to accommodate that by sending out pre-prints of the article to interested parties.

This article is the latest of a series of outputs, all of which can be seen here. It also foreshadows our next scheduled publication, which will compare the English, French and Spanish versions of Nadsat linguistically, using parallel translation corpora techniques. We’ve already introduced some of the findings here for those interested, and in a forthcoming post we’ll be looking specifically at the Spanish translation and its curious history.

‘Cityspeak’ in Blade Runner: The talk of the town

Well, you did ask us to look at Cityspeak, the invented pidgin that appears in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). It seemed like it might be an interesting thing to try to get to the bottom of. As it transpired, that was certainly the case.

The iconic movie is a loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and features Harrison Ford as the titular Blade Runner Rick Deckard, a cop who is coerced into hunting down some escaped replicants, or androids who can pass for human.

Read more

Tiktoking Nadsat with Grammar Girl

It was really nice to get a shout out from Grammar Girl on Tiktok recently. We don’t really have a presence there, so if you made your way here via Grammar Girl’s excellent Tiktok, you’re very welcome!

There’s a lot more about Nadsat, and indeed other invented languages, on the blog, so feel free to take a spin through the archives and see what might be of interest.

If you’re new to Ponying the Slovos, here’s a post that explains what Nadsat is and how it works, and here’s an article we did on how translators deal with names in fantasy fiction, including A Clockwork Orange, Harry Potter, and the works of JRR Tolkien.

And here is our most recent post, which looks at how the translators of A Clockwork Orange translated Nadsat into French and Spanish.

But there’s lots more too. Feel free to rummage about, and do let us know what you think!