Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Weird red metals, dominions, immortals, hollow planets, invisible moons, and a lot of glorified magic zeppelins. It's all here.
The Book-House: Find Mystara products, Find Known World products.

Moderators: Havard, Gawain_VIII, Cthulhudrew, Seer of Yhog

Post Reply
Mystara Way
Orc
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mystara Way » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:18 am

Hi, if there are any Italian Mystaraphiles here, could you help me out? I'm writing a Reference Guide to the AD&D Action Figures, which includes a chapter on how the toys were translated into Italian and French. I'm trying to understand some of the weird and wonderful translations of the Italian toys.

Here's some background reading: "Dungeons & Toys, La linea di giocattoli per AD&D": https://dmmagazine.blogspot.com/2016/07 ... ragment_#!

These are my questions:

1) Steadfast Men-At-Arms = I prodi combattentu (literally: "The combatant stalwarts/braves"). That Italian website says "combattentu", but is that a typo for "combattenti"?
2) Bugbear & Goblin = Andro demoni e spiriti folletti (literally: "Demon man (?) and folletto spirits"). I found a "folletto" is a particular kind of mythological being from Italian folklore, which can be translated variously as "goblin", "gnome", or "sprite." What is "andro demoni"? Is it a typo? I haven't found it in any Italian dictionaries or web searches. What is the current/official Italian D&D name for "bugbear" and "goblin"?
3) The Deadly Grell = Gli oronti mortali (lit: "The deadly Orontes" (?)) The only "oronti" I've found in web searches is the Italian name for the Orontes river in Central Asia! Did the Italian translator just make up a name? On the back of the card, it's referred to in singular as "oronte." What is the current/official Italian D&D name for the "grell"?
4) Terrible Troll & Goblin = Il terribile macropodo e lo spirito folletto (literally: "The terrible macropod and the folletto spirit"). Macropod is a scientific name for kangaroos. But I suppose the translator just picked a name which meant "big foot." What is the current/official Italian D&D name for "trolls"?
5) Bullywugs of the Bog = I rospi giganti della palude (lit: "The giant toads of the bog"). What is the current/official Italian D&D name for "bullywugs"?
6) The Neo-Otyugh = Il Mirmillo (lit: "The Murmillo"). A "murmillo" is a historical term (other English spellings include "mirmillo" and "myrmillo") for a kind of Roman gladiator, known for wearing a Gallic helmet in the shape of a fish. It is likely that this name was coined by the Italian translator, so as to give some comprensible name to go along with "Neo-Otyugh." What is the current/official Italian D&D name for "neo-otyugh"?
7) The Carrion Crawler = Il millepiedi putrido (lit: "The putrid millipede"). What is the current/official name Italian D&D name for "carrion crawler"?

Thanks for any help...

User avatar
Yaztromo
The Real Nowhere Man
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm
Gender: male
Location: My Nowhere Land

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:14 am

Yes, these translations sound very weird (sounds more like a rotten translation software). I do not know how these creatures were called in the Italian version of AD&D (I never played this ruleset), but I would be very surprised if they are all like the ones proposed.
I'm the Real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land,
making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

Mystara Way
Orc
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mystara Way » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:38 am

Well, they are all "official" Italian names from the 1983 Fantasy Adventure Figures by TSR. They didn't have translation software back in 1983. :)
However, the website I got them from might have introduced a typo or two. But I've found photos of most of the Italian packaging, and I've confirmed most of these. Even the Italian commentator says that the names are very unusual. But gotta remember that was the very beginning of D&D's translation into Italian - these toys preceded the Italian D&D Red Box translation by 3 years! And the company that was doing the translations was just a toy company - their priority was to make names that would catch the imagination of the consumer, regardless of whether it fit the existing lore.

User avatar
Sturm
Green Dragon
Posts: 4729
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Sturm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:09 am

In later italian editions, i.e. BECMI AD&D 2ed, these names were not translated mostly, so we had bugbear, goblin, and so on.
Also because there is no equivalent of bugbear in italian and the attempt andro demoni (men demons) is clearly a botched one
It's also incorrect to translate goblin as folletti spiriti because these would later be the translations of sprites, pixies and spirit (undead), but there is no really an equivalent of goblin as a kind of evil fairy being in italian.
Carrior Crawler was later translated as Verme Iena, literally Hyena Worm, which is not the same meaning but probably sounded better to the translator than the literal translation of Carrior Crawler, which would be Lombrico necrofago, sounding a little to much like a biology manual :)
Millepiedi putrido is another, never used later version, literally Rotten millipede, which is not literal but probably sounded good to the translator, and indeed may have been better than Verme Iena :)

User avatar
Sturm
Green Dragon
Posts: 4729
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Sturm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:18 am

BTW I never saw these toys in Italy, the only figures I ever had access to in the late 80s, start 90s were Ral Partha lead miniatures, but indeed I did not play before that time..

Mortis
Hill Giant
Posts: 588
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:51 am
Gender: male

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mortis » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:30 am

Sturm wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:09 am
Carrior Crawler was later translated as Verme Iena, literally Hyena Worm
GP, in my Italian help thread, mentioned that this translation dated back to the Red Box days. Could it be that BD&D and AD&D initially had different translations for the beast?

Regards
Gary

agathokles
Red Dragon
Posts: 7209
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Milan, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by agathokles » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:38 am

As the others have said, these translations are not the same as those that were used in the D&D Basic Set (Red Box) or any other. Note that in the same page the toy for Elkhorn is shown in the Italian version with the name "nanetto guerriero" (whereas the correct translation according to all editions of D&D for dwarf is nano; nanetto means "little dwarf" literally, and is not terribly appropriate). So, it is certain that whoever did the toy translation had no knowledge of D&D, so some of these translations are quite off. "Combattentu" is almost certainly a typo (likely from the compiler of the page).

Specifically, the Grell and Neo-Oytugh clearly meant nothing to the translator, who tried to make up names that would sound more familiar.
Oronte is a character from the Eneid, from whom the Syrian river is named.

The official name for most monsters is, as reported by the others, unchanged.
I haven't read the MM for the last editions in Italian, so I don't know if the names have been changed, but Bugbear, Goblin, Neo-Oytugh, Grell and Bullywug AFAIK are never translated.
Carrion Crawler is Verme Iena in BECMI, but AFAIK also in 3e.

"Folletto" is used to translated brownie, at least in BECMI.

GP

User avatar
Sturm
Green Dragon
Posts: 4729
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Sturm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:31 am

agathokles wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:38 am
"Folletto" is used to translated brownie, at least in BECMI.
I think folletto was used in BECMI to translate pixie and spiritello to translate sprite, while brownie IIRC only appears in PC1 and was never translated? (as there is no equivalent in italian, and indeed was left untranslated in unofficial translations of PC1).

User avatar
Robin
Storm Giant
Posts: 1578
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:33 pm
Gender: female
Location: Netherland Groningen
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Robin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:49 am

the same applies to the dutch translations. I still remember the Carrion Crawler being translated in a dutch game manual (i believe 1988)to "aaskruipertje"...especially the '...tje" on the end making it small and tiny, and they even made it worse by making it on other pages into 'aarskruipertje' (literally in english 'small ass crawler").. so I no longer wonder about the 'miracles' of weird translations.
we still laugh on this here; :D :lol: :D :lol: :twisted: :lol: :mrgreen: :D :lol: ^_^ :D :) ;)
Last edited by Robin on Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/

agathokles
Red Dragon
Posts: 7209
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Milan, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by agathokles » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:06 pm

Sturm wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:31 am
agathokles wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:38 am
"Folletto" is used to translated brownie, at least in BECMI.
I think folletto was used in BECMI to translate pixie and spiritello to translate sprite, while brownie IIRC only appears in PC1 and was never translated? (as there is no equivalent in italian, and indeed was left untranslated in unofficial translations of PC1).
You're right, it's pixie!

GP

Mystara Way
Orc
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mystara Way » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:14 am

Thanks for the help! So if "grell" etc. are used in Italian, then what is their plural? Do you use English plural -s, or Italian -i? "grelli", "bugbeari", "trolli", "bullywug(h)i"?

I haven't found "andro" (man?) in the Italian dictionary - why not? Is "andro-" serving as a prefix here? (man-demons)...Or is it the noun and "demoni" the adjective? (demon men)

agathokles
Red Dragon
Posts: 7209
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Milan, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by agathokles » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:18 am

Foreign loan words are immutable in Italian. So the plural of "bugbear" is "bugbear". Since articles denote gender and number, this does not generally cause ambiguity -- e.g., we say "il bugbear" for "the bugbear", but "i bugbear" for "the bugbears".

Andro is not a word in Italian. It is a prefix mostly used in compounds made from greek words, such as androgynous.
"Androdemoni" would be "man-demons" (or more likely "male demons").

GP

Mystara Way
Orc
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mystara Way » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:08 am

Ok - thanks Agathokles - it makes sense now. Grazie.

Mystara Way
Orc
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mystara Way » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:48 am

P.S. What about "roper" - does Italian use the English word?

Mystara Way
Orc
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Mystara Way » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:07 am

Nevermind - I found it: Fustigatore https://exogino.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/fustigatore/

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23744
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:15 am

Robin wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:49 am
the same applies to the dutch translations. I still remember the Carrion Crawler being translated in a dutch game manual (i believe 1988)to "aaskruipertje"...especially the '...tje" on the end making it small and tiny, and they even made it worse by making it on other pages into 'aarskruipertje' (literally in english 'small ass crawler").. so I no longer wonder about the 'miracles' of weird translations.
we still laugh on this here; :D :lol: :D :lol: :twisted: :lol: :mrgreen: :D :lol: ^_^ :D :) ;)
Small Ass Crawler is genius!

I wonder if the new 5e D&D translations will translate this monster properly, or stick with the canon mistranslation to preserve continuity.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

agathokles
Red Dragon
Posts: 7209
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Milan, Italy
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by agathokles » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:04 am

Sometimes the translations are changed. For instance, Orc and Ogre were originally translated as "Orchetto" and "Orco". This was motivated by the fact that Orc is essentially a Tolkien (re)creation, and both words would translate to Orco in Italian. Since historically Orco=Ogre, the old translators made up "orchetto" (which means "small ogre", literally), since the Tolkien and D&D Orcs are human-sized, whereas the typical Ogre/Orco is larger than a human. In more recent editions, due to the popularity of Tolkien Orcs (and similar versions) via the movies, Orc is now often translated as Orco, and Ogre is left untranslated.

In a slightly different case, Lizardman is translated as Uomo lucertola (its literal translation) in BECMI and other old editions, but as Lucertoloide (literally, "lizardoid") in 5e (and likely in 3e as well). Also, Hellhound is Mastino Infernale (literally Hell Mastiff) in BECMI, but Segugio Infernale (literal translation of Hellhound). In this case, the original translation was likely influenced by the use of "Mastino" rather than "Segugio" to translate "The Hound of the Baskerville"'s Sherlock Holmes novel.

In some cases, even though there exists an obvious translation, the monster is left untranslated. For instance, this is the case for Gargoyle. The Italian translation of gargoyle is "gargolla", but the monster name has been left consistently untranslated in all editions.

An interesting case is the Stirge. It is now translated as Strige (the Italian version of Latin and Greek Strix, from which the D&D Stirge is inspired), but in BECMI it is Uccello Stigeo ("Bird of the Styx river", literally). In the 5e SRD, both versions are kept, and the monster is denoted as "Strige (Uccello Stigeo)", due to the popularity of the original name.

Finally, I can't find in the Italian translation of the 5e SRD the Carrion Crawler, which means either it was omitted or a different name was used.

GP

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18621
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Havard » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:37 am

agathokles wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:04 am
Sometimes the translations are changed.
Fascinating to hear about these translations. The Basic and Expert Sets of BECMI were ever translated into Norwegian, but I think back in those days they were a bit more creative than they would have been today here too.

The Stirge was called Blodfugl (lit: Blood Fowl) here. Pretty interesting to see the parallells in the Italian translations.


Sorry for the slight derail of this discussion :)

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Robin
Storm Giant
Posts: 1578
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:33 pm
Gender: female
Location: Netherland Groningen
Contact:

Re: Questions for Italians: weird translations of AD&D action figures?

Post by Robin » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:48 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:15 am
Robin wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:49 am
the same applies to the dutch translations. I still remember the Carrion Crawler being translated in a dutch game manual (i believe 1988)to "aaskruipertje"...especially the '...tje" on the end making it small and tiny, and they even made it worse by making it on other pages into 'aarskruipertje' (literally in english 'small ass crawler").. so I no longer wonder about the 'miracles' of weird translations.
we still laugh on this here; :D :lol: :D :lol: :twisted: :lol: :mrgreen: :D :lol: ^_^ :D :) ;)
Small Ass Crawler is genius!

I wonder if the new 5e D&D translations will translate this monster properly, or stick with the canon mistranslation to preserve continuity.
:P :mrgreen:
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/

Post Reply

Return to “Mystara”