Having grown up in Belgium and
being bilingual, I was keen to introduce my children to the French comic books of my childhood. Moving from one language
to the next, I noticed that the cries of a baby,
a wine bottle being smashed,
or a body falling into water don’t sound the same in different languages; Each culture hears it differently. So how do translators decide on the written expression of sound? Amongst interpreters, this aspect of translation is known as getting the gist, the feel, and the smell of language right. It’s not an exact science. Often, translators of comic books are hidden, invisible authors; their authorship emerging in their reinterpretation and reimagining of the original text and typography.