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The origin of fish-slapping

  1. Jul 12, 2008 #1


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    I've just been watching the animated film Astérix et les Vikings. Apparently the inhabitants of Astérix's Gaulish village like to fight each other using fish as weapons!

    I'd post a screenshot if it weren't for our rule about copyrighted content.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2008 #2
    That's correct, you would lease fish for that from Ordralfabetix (Unhygenix).
  4. Jul 12, 2008 #3


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    This pic appears on a stamp (or even otherwise, is probably acceptable under fair use):

    Sadly, most folks in the US are probably unaware of the genius of Goscinny and Uderzo.

    I've only watched a couple of the animated movies, but I've read all of the comics (except, possibly, some of the most recent ones) in English. Anthea Bell does an excellent job of the translation.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  5. Jul 12, 2008 #4


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    When I was little, my mother used to recieve newspapers from France and I would always read the comics. Asterix was a favorite.
  6. Jul 12, 2008 #5
    Definitely superior humor. Had most albums in Dutch, but then there was offspring.
  7. Jul 12, 2008 #6


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    I've never thought of this before: which character names in English are mostly translated from the French names and which ones did Bell just make up out of thin air?

    If Andre (or anyone else familiar with the French version) would humor me, what are the French names for the following, and what do the names mean?


    Some names, I think are likely not based on direct translations (because they have cultural connotations or phonetic reasons). Some that come to mind are:

    Dubbelosix (Black Gold)
    Noxious Vapus (Chieftain's Shield)
    General Electric (Goths)
  8. Jul 12, 2008 #7


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    And then there is (in English version) -


    From the Wiki article cited by jtbell

  9. Jul 12, 2008 #8
    Some names, lots of (un)hidden pun

    the chief:
    English: Vitalstatistix, Macroeconomix
    French & Dutch: Abraracourix (later Heroix)
    German: Majestix

    His wife:
    English: Impedimenta
    French: Bonemine
    Dutch: Bellefleur

    the druid:
    English: Getafix
    French & Dutch: Panoramix

    The bard/singer

    English: Cacofonix
    French: Assurancetourix
    Dutch: Assurancetourix later Kakofonix

    Obélix's dog:
    English: Dogmatix
    French: Idéfix
    Dutch: Idefix

    More to come
  10. Jul 12, 2008 #9
    I thought it was the most famous french comics ! They even have several movies.

    Getafix is Panoramix in french because he can see the landscape, or bigger picture

    Dogmatix is Idéfix (fixed idea) because he has this obsession with trees

    Geriatrix is Agecanonix (canonical age), the elder

    Cacofonix is Assurancetourix : he needs an "insurance for any risk" because every end of the album, as he wants to sing for the celebration, he always ends up attached to a tree or anything else the drunken people do to make him stop.

    Fulliautomatix is Cétautomatix (it is automatic) because he complains automatically when Cacofonix wants to sing, and automatically starts all fights.

    Vitalstatistix is Abraracourcix... difficult play on words. It means something like "using short arms" which is an expression we use to describe what happens when a group of people start such a fight. And at the same time, he is the chief but is so short that he needs other people to carry him up on his shield.

    Justforkix is Goudurix, "a taste for risk"

    I have not found the other names on the list of characters in Asterix on wiki, so I can not relate them for sure to the french ones.
  11. Jul 12, 2008 #10
    I have been thinking if there is some political reason... :smile:
    The idea of a small village resisting the roman invader relates to the french WWII period, but can also relate to a more economical picture after WWII. But I guess this is innappropriate in this fun discussion :rolleyes:
  12. Jul 12, 2008 #11
    Unhygienix is Ordralfabétix, the village fishmonger (son of Unhealthix or Oftalmologix), most often is bullied by Fulliautomatix (Cétautomatix) who claims the fish smells. Unhygienix indeed thinks Lutetia's fishes are of finer quality (from Paris), although they live next to the sea in Brittany (Bretagne).

    His wife Bacteria is called Iélosubmarine in french (which is the french phonetix of "Yellow submarine")
  13. Jul 12, 2008 #12


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    Thank you humanino. I always knew having a Frenchman on the forum would come in handy some day. :tongue2:
  14. Jul 12, 2008 #13
    I was grown up with Asterix :cry:
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