zhmort (zhmort) wrote,
zhmort
zhmort

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J. R. R. Fjarlqien

gruntinator posted his favorite three scenes from Lord Of The Rings recently, and naturally he picked good ones. Scary ones. LOTR is not the light, happy stuff of The Hobbit, so the really good scenes (of which there are many) are usually dark and intense. Of course, Tolkein does a lot to intensify the intensity just through word-choice, and that's one of the reasons the scenes are so vivid and compelling. (Better than many of the best action movies of our time, I say.)

This reminds me of another, older, favorite paragraph of fjarlq's that I have urged him to post publicly in the past. It's a plain-English, fjarlq-style translation of a potentially difficult-to-parse Tolkein excerpt. The scene is one of those that gruntinator mentions as a favorite, where Gandalf is about to confront the (unbelievably big and scary) Balrog. (**Shudder**) Originally, the Tolkein passage was part of the system message on fjarlq's old used-by-everyone BSD machine, which he had named, not coincidentally, balrog. I loved the passage immediately, even though at the time I hadn't actually read LOTR yet. Then one day, some months later, I logged on and noticed that the system message had changed, and the cool, scary, hard-to-parse passage had been replaced by a much-easier-to-parse translation. I laughed out loud for a good, long while.

At the risk of getting in trouble for plagiarism, or thunder-stealing, or gun-jumping, I am unilaterally deciding to post this paragraph here in my journal for your pleasure (or for my pleasure, anyway). It doesn't belong here, though. It belongs in one of fjarlq's public areas... in his journal, on a web page, or better yet, in a yet-to-be-written compendium titled something like Fjarlq Translates Tolkein For The Masses, which would naturally include many additional translations. I think this is yet another easy way for us all to make a million bucks each. (Yep. Fjarlq will need many editors and publishers and handlers and whores to get it done, though you're free to decide which niche you'd most like to fill for him.) If we can just get fjarlq to play ball, it's money in the bank, I tell ya. We might even decide to give some to him, if he manages to read the fine print of the first few low-ball contracts we offer him. (If not, though, of course we'll screw him over royally.) If we can't get fjarlqie to play ball, well, then we'll have to do something more sneaky and underhanded. Perhaps we can hire bogosity and pcitizen as ghost writers. On spec, naturally. But I digress...

Here's the original Tolkien excerpt:
... It came to the edge of the fire and the light faded as if a cloud had bent over it. Then with a rush it leaped the fissure. The flames roared up to greet it, and wreathed about it; and a black smoke swirled in the air. Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it. In its right hand was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it held a whip of many thongs.

'Ai, ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
And here is the Fjarlqien version. Enjoy:
... OK, so there was this scary monster on the other side of this big fire pit. The scary monster walked over to the fire pit, and then it got dark! Hey, look out for that fire pit, scary monster! But, no, the scary monster jumped right over the fire pit, and its hair caught on fire. I guess the scary monster likes fire or something. Also, it had a scary knife and a scary whip.

'Hey! A scary monster is over there!', said Legolas.
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