Saturday, March 16, 2013

Izzy / Inky the Indigo Fairy (Rainbow Magic #6: The Rainbow Fairies #6) by Daisy Meadows


This book deviates from the formulaic storytelling of previous books in the series. Instead of finding a fairy somewhere on the island, the girls are magically transported to the Land of Sweets. There, they meet all sorts of candy characters, which makes for fun reading. The goblins are there, too, and this time, they even get so far as to carry Izzy / Inky off!

What really interested me about this book, though, is that the version published in the US, Inky the Indigo Fairy, has a different name from the original version published in the UK, Izzy the Indigo Fairy. Izzy is not an uncommon name in America, so why the change? I got to wondering how else the books might differ...

Our local library carries the American version, and a sister library had the UK version. We put in a request for the UK version, and we borrowed both books at the same time. Isabelle and I had great fun comparing and contrasting the two books! I had thought that maybe there would only be a handful of changes in the whole book, but as it turned out, there were several, sometimes many, changes on each page!

Some word choices had obviously been changed to sound more American. A British "rucksack" became an American "backpack"; "on holiday" became "on vacation"; "I trod on a twig" became "I stepped on a stick". Even the definition of "indigo" differed: the British version called it "bluey-purple", but the American version called it "purplish blue". Many candy references were changed, e.g., "toffee" to "caramel", "sweet shop" to "candy store". Even "lemon sherbet" - which isn't really uncommon in America - was changed to "cocoa powder", a completely different substance!

Spelling was also country-specific. British "colour" versus American "color", "realised" versus "realized".

But, oftentimes, I couldn't figure out why the wording was changed. The British version used words like "gleaming", "beside", "odd", and "little" - all perfectly acceptable words - but the American version replaced those words with synonyms like "shining", "next to", "strange", and "small", respectively. Why!? It seemed so arbitrary. These type of seemingly inexplicable changes were very common. It was fascinating.

Very frequently, the American version changed or added words, presumably to make the text more descriptive. Over and over, the original British version had "they", but the American version specified "the girls". Other changes include:
  • British version: "dusty, old books"
    American version: "dusty old books that looked like they hadn't been read in a long time"
  • British version: "Let's get out of here!"
    American version: "Let's get out of here before they realize that Inky is free!"
Oddly, sometimes the American version simply dropped words - even whole sentences - from the original British version for no apparent reason at all.
  • British version: "They sound too sweet and soft to be goblins' voices."
    American version: "They sound too sweet to be goblins' voices."
  • British version: "Rachel and Kirsty stared at each other in delight."
    American version: "Rachel and Kirsty stared at each other."
Finally, punctuation - particularly, the use of commas - frequently differed between the two versions as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment