Friday, October 14, 2005

Lost in translation

Although the official English and German sites for Sunshine have now gone to a better place, the Hungarian and French sites remain. On the latter, there are some photos, videos and a trailer in the "Multimédia" section.

Here's a rough translation of the profile on Valérie, from the French. The corresponding page in Hungarian is here. Compare these to the German-to-English translation from the fansite.

Young Valérie Sonnenschein/Sors 1872 - 1962 (Jennifer Ehle)

Passionate and captivating, Valérie Sonnenschein is the figurehead of this film and "its true hero", says Szabo. The only family member present from beginning to end, also the only one to listen to her heart.

"I simply adored Valérie. The woman. Very different from those we see on screen today. She is strong and, although she never bends over backwards to please others, she does everything she can to make those around her happy. She aspires to a sort of stability and balance, a difficult task in this family. She is the one who tries to keep the peace around her, without giving in to compromise. She has great moral fortitude, she is strong in her opinions but learns from everything she sees around her. And nothing escapes her."

Below is Rosemary Harris' take on the character.

Valérie 1872 - 1962 (Rosemary Harris)

Taking up the character played by her daughter Jennifer Ehle, Rosemary Harris plays Valérie in the second part of her life.

"Valérie is a great calming force, an extraordinary woman, even more so for her time. She doesn't follow the crowd, she follows her heart, her head, her feelings. With an instinctive clarity, she quickly brings others' subterfuges to light. Since I accepted this role, I have learned a lot about the history of Hungary, about the way in which the fates of men are sometimes swept by the winds of History. But Valérie doesn't let herself be so, she has her own internal compass. Sharing this character with my daughter Jennifer meant that, to ensure continuity, we didn't need much discussion."

I know, who says "subterfuges" in real life? Rough is the key word here.

This is the first of a batch of foreign language articles I'm attempting to decipher. Any help from fellow wannabe translators would be great- particularly if you know Dutch, German, Hungarian or other non-Romance languages. Drop us a line at if you're interested.

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