Swedish: Lilla snippaboken

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Feronique, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Feronique New Member

    UK
    Polish
    << Topic phrase: Lilla snippaboken >>

    Hi all,

    The above is a title of a book by Dan Höjer. In my native languge (Polish) it got translated as what in English could only be expressed as 'A book of little c*nts' (basically the translator picked the most offensive word you could use to describe female genitalia). I found it very strange, considering that it is a book addressed to kids and there are equivalent (obviously still informal rather than strictly scientific) terms that could have been used.
    What I was wondering was the exact nature of the word used in the original - what is its standing in Swedish. Is it a word that some people would find abusive or offensive? Or is it a word you would normally use when talking to children about their bodies? Or maybe it is something you would comfortably use with teenagers but not necessarily when talking to very small kids?
    (Interestingly enough, the 'boys' equivalent of the book - Lilla Snopp-Boken - was translated using a word which is a baby-talk way of referring to a penis and is not in the least offensive.)
    I'm asking out of curiosity, as it really buggs me - both as a professional translator and as a mother.
    Thank you in advance for any help!

    << Mod note: Please include the topic phrase in the post itself, as well as the title. >>
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  2. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I don't know the incriminated word, but I know the one you describe as used in the book for boys. It's not an offensive word as far as I know, but quite informal. I guess that the translator is to blame here. If he used the Polish word beginning with "p" and with a 'z' in, then it is a miserable piece of translator work.
     
  3. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    I would say "snippa" is the least offensive word for the female sex, it's a new word (or perhaps an older dialectal word), from the early 21st century, into the Swedish Academy word book in 2006. It's the female equivalent of "snopp", usually used when talking to young children. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/snippa I doubt teens would use it, as it's much considered as baby-talk, unless they are talking with parents or other older people.
     
  4. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes. I agree with Benjamin. The translator is totally at fault. It should have been translated into child-like language, because it is is how it is used in Swedish. It is a book for children, after all. Maybe they could not find an appropriate word, or Machine Translated it.
     
  5. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    Do English have a generally accepted children's name for the female genitals?
     
  6. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    I don't know about the English audience, AutumnOwl, but at least for the Polish audience (which I know quite well) it should have been translated a "Little Girl's Secrets", or something like that because all the words related to the female parts sound slightly vulgar in Polish. As for English, there are many words, but I am not sure which one could be used on a book cover intended for little girls. I would personally translate the title as Little Girl's Secrets or Secrets for Little Girls.

    I am just surprised that they were successful in publishing the book in translation in such a low quality form -- totally senseless. :D

     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  7. Feronique New Member

    UK
    Polish
    Thank you all for your comments, especially AutumnOwl.

    Ben Jamin - They used the C word. I completely forgot about the P word - I have a feeling it has gone out of fashion lately :)

    LilianaB - I do agree but I guess they wanted to match the title of the book for boys which used a completely harmful word. And that's fine, but there really are other words that they could have used, even if their meaning would not be as blatantly obvious (well, the book cover is explicit enough, if anyone had any doubts). I think they would have even been better off coining a new term than using that one. But that's my opinion only.
     
  8. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, I agree. I have seen the title in Polish since, and it is really ridiculous.
     
  9. kakelotten New Member

    Swedish
    Names like Little Girl's Secrets or Secrets for Little Girls would be problematic because the book is written (probably if it's coherent with current Swedish cultural debate) not only for girls and not to mystify the sex.
     
  10. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Hi -- I meant in Polish. In Polish this might really be one of the few options that would be right. The whole book may not really be appropriate for some cultures -- I don't know. I did not read the book. The word they used in Polish is definitely low life and very offensive, even in the diminutive form. It sounds normal in Swedish.
     

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