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I have just finished listening to the audio of " The Graveyard Book" and loved it. I appreciate particularly the effort the author and narrator put in pronouncing the name "lupescu" correct ("lup" in romanian means wolf) but i am utterly disappointed by him on the fact that he made poor miss lupescu call nobody "nimini" [ˈnimini] ( utterly nonsensical in romanian) instead of "nimeni" [ˈnimenʲ] (nobody in english).Was it to much of bother to research it a bit and did he had to go for the romanians again? Blasted Bram Stoker may he never rest in peace dragged us in all the fantasy genre and is no fun and pride in it at all especially since the romanian language and culture gets used just for the dab of exotic. Disappointing from this point of view but as a whole it is a fun well written book.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: September 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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if you just listened to the book and haven't read it, then you may be wrong. "nimeni" in english it is read "nimini".
I must say that I am delighted to hear another author ( and my favorite) say things about Romania in a novel. Or just mentioning it. I think we should not pout that our country is only used because it's an exotic place. We should be proud it is used and mentioned as it is.
Sorry if I bothered you with my reply.
I am Romanian
My last name is also Lupascu
which I found delightfuly funny
Smile

This message has been edited. Last edited by: roxo,
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: September 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I beg to differ.Since when is it correct for others to miss pronounce a language in the name of delight and exotic?
And since when this logic of the word "nimeni" is read in english "nimini" has ever been applied to any language and proved anything but ignorance? If i apply your logic then i should read and speak english with a romanian pronunciation and also people should understand what i am saying and have no problem with me hacking their language. Why don't you try that and see if you feel comfortable with it and how people react to you(if they even understand your speach), until then don't patronise me for scolding ignorance, especially when it comes from people who have the pretense of being intellectual, well traveled and open minded.
The reason for why there are multiple languages is because they are pronounced and written diffrently otherwise will have one language and multiple dialects. i never knew romanian is an english dialect...

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Posts: 5 | Registered: September 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Andra, I'm Czech, not Romanian, but I totally agree with you. I would be similarly offended if a writer misspelled a Czech name/word and kept it at that just because it's an exotic language and nobody would know... I mean, it's most probably unintentional, but still it would offend me. It would offend the patriot in me, and it would also offend the language-lover in me.

By the way, how do you as Romanians feel about Miss Lupescu's food? Is it what is truly eaten in Romania, or is it just a random collection of Eastern-European food?


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Posts: 180 | Location: alternating between Bohemia and Moravia | Registered: September 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, and as to your reaction to Romania being used because of Bram Stoker - I also know what it's like. In a similar way, I'm fed up with Czech Republic being equalled with Prague!


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Posts: 180 | Location: alternating between Bohemia and Moravia | Registered: September 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Andra,

I think it would annoy me too, in your shoes, though maybe not as much as you. Smile
But you aren't the only one who has noticed, judging by googled comments about it. And maybe you could let Neil Gaiman know via his homepage? I dunno, as an author I think I'd like to have errors pointed out to me, in case there's a reprint some day or something (but obviously I am no expert).


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Posts: 15475 | Location: Bouncing round in bathrooms! | Registered: October 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nodle Girl, I think you're right, Neil doesn't seem to be offended by people pointing out mistakes of this sort.


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There is Robinson, alone on a deserted island; but they will marry.
 
Posts: 180 | Location: alternating between Bohemia and Moravia | Registered: September 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello and thanks for your posts.It is true that the patriot in me saw red behind the eyes at the mispronunciation of the word and although is trivial it proves two things: that trivial little things add up to a superficial judgment of a mostly unknwon culture in general so it's to be avoided and that Neil Gaimen is a really good writer since people pay so much attention to his written words.
I actually lived in CR for a while, i liked it a lot and it is true that Prague is different from the rest of Cr(i found people outside Prague a bit more welcoming and more cheerful but prague gets "invaded" by hoards of tourists every other day so they most probably have a really good reason to be more reticent in Prague).
I think with the exception of a few cultures who have been largely advertised, most suffer from gross superficial representation and that is a sad thing because the real beauty of a country of it's people, language, history, lie in the unadorned truth which once properly told is actually more interesting then any vampires/castles fairy tales are and can help one get a better understanding of how extraordinary diverse this world we live in is. ..but that's me , maybe i have a bit of a chip on my shoulder...
Regarding the food (i actually researched this): the romanians eat the beet-root as a salad much like in czech republic. I've only found one soup with those ingredients and it's one of those very healthy new cousine kind of soup, but i suspect that was the point that miss Lupescu will feed Bod proper healthy food.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: September 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello and thanks i should take your advice and write to him, although i have read that he is suppose to visit a book fair in Romania at the end of November so he will no doubt hear about it in there as well.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: September 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Exactly; Prague is invaded by hoards of tourists and because of that, it's no longer possible to equal it to the Czech Republic in general, I think - at least in the centre. Also, I believe many other places in the Czech Republic are just as beautiful and maybe mysterious and important, so I always feel rather sad when everything people imagine worth visiting or mentioning here is Prague. That's not to say Prague isn't special, it is, but that's another reason not to equal it with the rest of the country...

"Good food", then, is it? Smile

I think you still should write to him, because he's to come to the country and hear about it there - he'll know in advance, and I can imagine that it will be much more pleasant to him, if in the long, tiring event as a book signing or something like that is, he won't have to come up with an answer to it on the spot. Also, if you write to him and he - hypothetically - mentions it in the blog, it might save him having to hear it in Romania all the time. If it's the case.


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There is Robinson, alone on a deserted island; but they will marry.
 
Posts: 180 | Location: alternating between Bohemia and Moravia | Registered: September 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a link to send questions to Neil Gaiman via his blog I found it in his FAQS although from his latest Twitter updates it seems that he's out wandering/promoting so he may not read any emails any time soon.

But I'm with Nodles and marmota-b, I think he might like to hear your arguments.



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The brain: not always amenable to logic. ~Hive

 
Posts: 25366 | Location: under tangled yarn | Registered: August 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello all , i have wrote to Neil Gaiman some time ago on the link to his blog, he hasn't answered but i suspect not out of malice.Anyway rest assured i have made my complaint politely . Have a good day!
 
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Cool!
I think he only answers such questions via his blog, if at all. He gets too much mail! But I'm sure your email got read and noted. Smile


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Posts: 15475 | Location: Bouncing round in bathrooms! | Registered: October 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh yes, I also think he only answers via blog, because he's too busy to answer every comment - he must be getting loads of them. And recently he clearly was too busy to update the journal often.


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Posts: 180 | Location: alternating between Bohemia and Moravia | Registered: September 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm sure Neil Gaiman didn't mean to offend anyone, but I think his use of "Nimini" instead of "Nimeni" was a deliberate pun.

First of all, he chose the name for Miss Lupescu because it means wolf (or, depending which site you check, "she-wolf" or "of the wolf"). This name obviously matches an important trait in this character.

As I'm sure many European readers know, Lupescu is also the name of a famous Romanian footballer (soccer player, we would say in the U.S.) who played on a number of World Cup teams.

"Nimeni" is the Romanian word for "Nobody", so it would be fitting for Miss Lupescu to call Bod by that name. Miss Lupescu doesn't think of Bod as "a nobody", however, and I think she deliberately adjusts the name to "Nimini" - which is the name of another World Cup player: Ouro-Nimini Tchagnirou of Togo!

My theory might be a bit of a stretch, but the fact that Silas and Bod have a conversation about Bod's wish to attend a football match, and Silas says that Miss Lupescu might take him to see a game, underscores my theory.

Gaiman likes names and word play, and he is careful about words. I don't think "Nimini" is a spelling mistake. I hope Romanian readers will see this as a nod of recognition to their football hero, and forgive Gaiman for the pun.
 
Posts: 17 | Registered: November 16, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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the original poster here seems to forget that ALL dialects pronounce things differently and nobody ever complains

the French call London, Londres (looks different to me, mind you i dont really see many people from England ranting and raving about it)

what is known in English as Germany is called Deutschland to Germans, so, why don't they complain?

the list could go on forever

but my point is, that when a word from a different language is used by someone to whom that language is not their native tongue there are always going to be differences in pronunciation. you asked a question (i'm sure hypothetically) about whether when reading and speaking English, if you should use Romanian pronunciation...well, I'm sure you don't speak it without a Romanian accent when you do, so wouldn't that be the same as pronouncing it different? There's also the point of different accents and regional dialects being used even when it is the same language. Here in Ontario (Canada) the city of Toronto is pronounced Tronno, but everywhere else I've been to that speaks English they pronounce every letter. I don't get offended, I find it humourous.

I'll end with a question. If you wanted to hear the audio book with any potential Romanian word said exactly how you would say it, why did you even get an version of it read by an Englishman and read in English???



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Posts: 1630 | Location: further south than you'd assume, ON, Canada | Registered: August 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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annnnnnnnnnnnnd...

I just spent the last half hour looking through my copy and reading every line that Ms.Lupescu says, there was not a single mention of the word Nimini or Nimeni...the only things she calls him (in my copy at least...first edition hardcover bought in a shop on Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland) is "Boy" when she's speaking to him, and "Bod" when she's talking about him to others



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Posts: 1630 | Location: further south than you'd assume, ON, Canada | Registered: August 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On p. 290 in my Harper Collins hardback and p. 271 in my Bloomsbury paperback edition, Bod says, "She used to call me Nimeni." Sorry you wasted half an hour looking for it!
 
Posts: 17 | Registered: November 16, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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HAHA! yeah, sorry, i should've asked where it was before i spent all that time searching for it...thanks though

i do think my post before that still stands though



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Posts: 1630 | Location: further south than you'd assume, ON, Canada | Registered: August 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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However, MY Bloomsbury edition says "NimIni" on p. 271, not "NimEni".
I suppose they corrected it in subsequent editions.


Insidethewhiteroom, I'm afraid your counter-examples are not quite to the point. The problem was in the wrong SPELLING of the word, not its pronunciation. The pronunciation in this case was a result of the wrong spelling.
You see, we might pronounce Toronto differently from the Canadians, but we SPELL it the same way. I suppose you'd be offended as well if we spelled it, say, Tornto. (Or maybe you would not be offended per se, because you're not a native speaker of a small, hardly known langauge; but you certainly WOULD see the mistake.)

The problem, also, was that it was a single Romanian word used in an otherwise English text. So if you're going to use a foreign word, you should get it right. As in your example, you should - and did - write Deutschland, not Deutshland.
I think you have problems seeing the difference between these three things:
1. Pronunciation = the way a word is said in spoken language (dealing with sounds, NOT letters - letters are only used as a way to communicate those sounds when you're writing)
2. Spelling = the way a word is written (dealing purely with letters, NOT sounds - if there are sounds applied to letters when you're saying the alphabet or telling someone how a word is spelled, it's only a way to deal with letters in spoken langauge, but as a speaker of English you should be well aware that certain letters are a transcription for more than one sound; letters and sounds are not interchangeable)
3. (Something I do not have a word for) - the way names of places and phenomena are transferred to languages foreign to their original langague. I'm Czech. In Czech, "Czech" is "český". In German, it's "Tschechisch". In English, it's "Czech". In French, it's "Tchéque". In Finish, it's "Tšekki". However, it's all in those respective languages. You cannot claim that "Tšekki" is a Czech word. It's a Finish word: originating in Czech, but a Czech person would not use that in Czech, only as a Finish word.
In the same way, if you say the Romanian word for "nobody" in an English sentence, you're not using it as an English word, but as an example of a Romanian word.

Also, note that in many other langauges than English, the way a word is spelled and the way it's pronounced are much more similar and predictable. Therefore, what seems a minor difference to an English speaker might actually be a much bigger difference to a native Romanian speaker. (I don't speak Romanian but, as a Czech, I see quite a difference between I and E.)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: marmota-b,


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There is Robinson, alone on a deserted island; but they will marry.
 
Posts: 180 | Location: alternating between Bohemia and Moravia | Registered: September 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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