Swedish:Luftslottet som sprängdes

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by the pensive wombat, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. the pensive wombat Senior Member

    Adelaide, Australia
    English - British & Australian

    I don't know much Swedish but can anyone give me a good English translation of the title of Stieg Larsson's third book: Luftslottet som sprängdes?

    Roughly this means to me 'The castle in the sky has burst' or 'The pie-in-the-sky has collapsed'. Both sound strange in English.

    Tack så mycket
  2. vaftrudner

    vaftrudner Member


    The literal translation would be "The castle of air that exploded". Luftslott, "castle of air", is an expression for grand fantasies without any connection to reality. People who for example have great ambition but no real abilities can be said to live in a castle of air. This roughly corresponds to the expression "pie in the sky" in English, so "The pie in the sky that exploded" would be a more figural translation.

    If you want some more tips, "The castle in the sky has burst" would in Swedish rather be "Slottet i luften har spruckit", and "collapse" would rather be the swedish verb "kollapsa". "Spränga" carries a meaning of an explosion rather than collapsing or bursting, even if the latter is close. I hope this helps!
  3. the pensive wombat Senior Member

    Adelaide, Australia
    English - British & Australian
    Many thanks. My dictionary does give 'burst, blast, blow up, explode' for 'spränga'.

    I think 'pie in the sky' is the best idiomatic English translation for 'luftslott', even if the literal meaning is 'castle in the sky'.
  4. vaftrudner

    vaftrudner Member

    I did find "castle in the air" with the same meaning in my English dictionary, but perhaps it's not that common. Maybe will-o'-the-wisp too, for something that is illusory that dissipates? I'm rather glad I'm not responsible for translating book titles :)
  5. sindridah Senior Member

    That movie sucks, If you wanna see the best Swedish movie ever then watch Låt den rätte komma in / Let the right one in! I love that film!

    Sorry for changing a subject a little!
  6. the pensive wombat Senior Member

    Adelaide, Australia
    English - British & Australian
    Like you, vaftrudner, I'm glad I do not have to translate book titles. Or film titles. There are some mysterious translations there, especially if they go through Hollywood.

    And thank you for your advice, sindridah. Sadly, we don't see a lot of movies from Scandinavia in Australia. I'm not sure that 'Luftslottet som sprängdes' is here yet where the book is called 'The girl who kicked the hornet's nest.' That may seem a funny translation but we know that it is difficult to translate the Swedish into idiomatic English.

    Thank you both. (I think we're getting a bit off the track here. The moderators will punish us. Make us write out English and Swedish irregular verbs 100 times. I don't know about Icelandic ones. I suspect they're even worse.)

    All the best.

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