Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some Notes on Galoshes / Goloshes

In writing my previous post, I thought that "goloshes" looked funny (I could've sworn it was "galoshes"... Hm.)  However, both my public domain Kindle translation of Andersen and the online version that I linked to in my post used the "goloshes" spelling, so I left it that way, dismissing my suspicion as a mistake on my part.  Earlier on this blog I wrote that I was using the Erik Christian Haugaard translation for this project.   For the sake of integrity, I guess I'll come clean now and admit that I've been primarily reading the Kindle version these days for convenience - I love being able to save my little highlights as I go along and then browse through them so easily later.  Anyway, when someone else mentioned the bizarre-looking spelling of "goloshes" in my post, I decided to investigate.  Pulling my nearly-abandoned Haugaard translation (1974) from the shelf, I found that Haugaard not only uses the "Galoshes" spelling, but has also translated the title as "The Magic Galoshes," not "The Goloshes of Fortune," as so many other translators have done. The foreword of the 1974 volume mentions Haugaard's choice to make the substitution in the effort to be more accurate "in projecting the idea that the galoshes themselves were magic."  Okay.  That's not a whole lot of information.  Wikipedia yielded only that,

"'Goloshes' appears to be the older spelling of galoshes used previously in Great Britain. The spelling perhaps changed around 1920 to the present-day spelling. A discussion took place in November 2007 on the Victoria Web Discussion group."

So that explains why older translations use the 'O' spelling, and the 1974 Haugaard translation uses the more modern 'A' spelling.  Exciting stuff.  The Victoria Web Discussion Group, incidentally, requires a subscription and login to access their database (and whether or not a subscriber would be able to easily locate an obscure discussion on the word "goloshes" is yet another variable), so there ended my quest.

End the most boring blog post in the history of ever.

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