Asterix and the translation of the characters names could be the title of a book, as this subject is long and interesting. It was one of my favourite comic books when I was little and today I would love to dedicate this post to compare several translations of some of the character’s names. I used to read these comic books in Spanish, although I have seen most of the cartoon films in Catalan (the non-cartoon ones are literally awful).
Idéfix, the cute dog. The name is quite similar to the original one in most of the languages (for example, Ideafix/Ideàfix, in Spanish/Catalan). In English it was changed into Dogmatix in order to keep the essence of the original French name (idée fixe, fixed idea).
Panoramix, the druid. Both in Catalan and Spanish the name is the same as in French.
However, in Germany they chose to change the name (Miraculix). We could publish a book with the stories of the English versions: Getafix (from getting a fix), Magigimmix (in the US, it comes from Magic Gimmicks), Readymix (in the UK during the 70s, as they considered Getafix unsuitable for children) and also Panoramix and Vitamix (those ones can be heard in the movies).
Assurancetourix, the singer who is always off key. Yes, the one who always ends up hanging from a tree with his mouth shut. The name comes from Assurance tous risques (comprehensive insurance). The name in Spanish was Asurancetúrix (similar to the original one). In Catalan they adapted the word into the language: Assegurançatòrix. Other languages chose other possibilies: Cacofonix in English (although you can also find him in the films as Stopthemusix or Franksinatrix) and Portuguese or Kakofonix in Dutch and Troubadix in German.
Cétautomatix, the blacksmith. Here we have different translations: Esautomatix in Spanish or Esautomàtix in Catalan (literal translation from French), Hoefnix in Dutch, Automatix in Italian or Fulliautomatix in English.
Agecanonix, the oldest man in town. Edadepiedrix in Spanish or Edatdepèdrix in Catalan (edat de pedra o edad de piedra = stone age). Geriatrix in English (I found this one much better that the Spanish and Catalan ones), Methusalix in German or Matusalemix in Italian (in reference to the Bible character), Decanonix in Portuguese.
Abraracourcix, the village chief. In French the name comes from the idiom “tomber sur quelqu’un à bras raccourcis” (attack someone with short arms, i.e. with violence). In some languages, the name is similar: Abraracúrcix (Spanish), Abraracúrcix (Catalan. Although there is another translation as Copdegarrótix, meaning “hit with a stick”), Abraracourcix (Italian). In other languages it is completely different: Vitalstatistix (British English, comes from Vital Statistics, which are social and demographical statistics made by governments: births, deaths, etc.), Macroeconomix (American Engish), Majestix (German), Heroïx (Dutch), Matasétix (Portuguese).
Ordralfabétix, te fishmonger. I have not figured out why this name (it means “alphabetical order”) although both Catalan and Spanish chose to keep it similar (Ordenalfabétix and Ordralfabètix ). English is, again, different and he is called Unhygienix (if you remember, he was famous for the smells that came from his fish stall).
Today’s post has been possible thanks to the help of the wonderful Maria (@____Maria___ on Twitter), who gave me the main idea and some sources of information to write the article.