In the French trailer for the new Peter Jackson film, young Ian Holm (played by Martin Freeman) is called Bilbon Sacquet (not Bilbo Baggins) and this makes me mad. Not because I give a damn about hobbits, ’cause I don’t. (JRR Tolkien’s first foray into Middle-earth is also the first book I found too boring to finish.)
I’m pissed because I don’t like when character names are translated. If I actually start to think about it too much, I get downright enraged because why why why WHY?!
Nothing is gained from this practice except annoying everyone who knows better. In the original Belgian books, Tintin’s dog is called Milo. Why’s he Fluffy in English? Does that add anything to the character or to the audience’s understanding? No. What it does is create a distance between people who’ve enjoyed the original work and a poorly translated one.
Is there any good reason for this? Convince me, please!