NORTH OF REALITY TRANSLATION PROJECT: THE FLINTLOCK BRAIN

by johannespunkt

Good day everybody! I’m doing a Project. The Project is this: I am translating a bunch of my favourite stories from Uel Aramchek’s North of Reality: northofreality.com. Roughly thirty of them. Biased toward the earlier archives, because it takes time to process and remember a thing. They will be translated into Swedish. However, most people who read this here blog (it’s like, a text-vlog for those uninitiated) don’t speak my musical mother tongue so this would be incredibly boring for you to read, if not for the fact that there are also translation notes for each story.

I’ve written to you about Uel’s work before: /2015/07/12/how-to-sign-a-contract/! he also helped me figure out what the words mycofreudian and mycojungian mean: /glossary/#mycofreudian

I have received permission from the author to translate these texts, but any crimes committed in the crossing of any forbidden semiotic or semantic fields are entirely on me.

I will post the first one today and the rest sometime early next year when I’ve finished them all, so I can post updates without feeling any sort of stress about this whole business. I recommend reading the whole archive at North of Reality and letting it all soak in your brainmeats, but particularly you should read the stories I’m translating before you read the translation or the annotations. Today’s story is The Flintlock Brain: northofreality.com/tales/2015/5/17/flintlock-brain

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NORR OM VERKLIGHETEN: FLINTLÅSHJÄRNAN
    av Uel Aramchek
        översättning: Johannes Punkt

En flintlåshjärna, en primitiv sorts artificiell intelligens, finns laddad inuti varje järnmannekäng. Sågspånsgelatin knyts runt koppartråd, vilken i sin tur är täckt med svartkrut. Avfyrningsanordningens hane och eldstål vilar mellan dess två lober, som vanligtvis sitter blottade utanför androidens metalliska huvud.

En enda idé eller känsla är allt vad flintlåshjärnan kan hantera, då den fullkomligt förintas i samma ögonblick som den tänds. Efter ett ursprungligt utbrott av tankeverksamhet förtärs all resterande gelé av eld. Det är allmänt vedertaget att det är omöjligt att veta vad mannekängen tänker på under dess korta liv, men mystikerna som bygger dem hävdar att tanken bestäms av konfigurationen och komplexiteten av de underliggande trådarna.

Moderna androider som har fattat intresse för sina antika bröders liv har börjat konstruera ett eld/el-gränssnitt som ska kunna tolka flintlåshjärnans explosiva synapser från ett säkert avstånd.

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Notes

I didn’t realize until translating what a nice concoction of connotations the verb “load” carries here. Two of the meanings of the verb translate directly into Swedish; the senses of upload and loaded gun, but the one meaning load up, as in fill something up (a washing machine, ship, or in this case a skull), is lost. On the other hand, some of the relevant meanings of the word “charge” are there.

I had to look up diagrams for what the parts of a flintlock pistol are called, since these words are not common enough to show up in either my large bilingual dictionaries or on services like google-translate.

In several places I had to change word order and articles to make it flow smoothly. There was a lot of opportunity to write long compound words in this one, which I appreciate. I’m a bit uncertain about the translation of interface because it’s not a word I use myself; I’d just say the English word.

The word brethren kind of loses its religious connotations for most readers here, but I’ve at least used the formal and “correct” version of the word, instead of my own dialect. I agonised over this a bit until I realised the difference between brothers and brethren is kind of reflected in the dialect/official difference.

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