Being funny across borders is not always easy. Leave aside that Danes generally think, that Swedes have no sense of humour whatsoever, how would you translate the life and times of Rocky, a humanoid dog living the bachelor life in Stockholm from Swedish to Danish?
Well, it can be done. Miraculously, Politiken has run Rocky on a daily basis but as the translator explains in an interview, translating the cultural references brings one or the other problem. The strip which accompanies the interview has a number of traps: Maud Olofsson (transformed into Pia Kjærsgaard!), Café Norrköping (Eleva2eren) and last, but not least, the infamous smörgåstårta (Pizza Hawaii with extra pepperoni).1 And what, pray, would you do with lättöl and Systembolaget in Copenhagen?
Transplanting cartoons and other forms of popular culture from one country to another brings its risks. As a Dane, I’ve lost countless hidden references to French and Belgian daily life in Asterix, and even Donald Duck (known as Anders And in Danish) is a challenge.
But that the Stockholmers are so much behind the curve, that they still say “nice” … who’d have thunk?
- I would like to point out that Galna Gunnar’s Danish equivalent is Ærlige Bent, though. [↩]