Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Translation awkwardness, or joke?

I'm not sure whether this is an intentional joke in the original language, or a problem of translation, but my medieval literature class found it quite funny when I inadvertantly read aloud this double-entendre from the Romance of the Rose in class:

"Moreover, I do not consider you courteous when just now you named the testicles to me; they are not well thought of in the mouth of a courteous girl."


  1. That's hysterical. What's the line number on that? I'd love to go check the OF version to see what the original is.

  2. Gail,

    The edition has been prosified, but it appears to be around line 6928, in the chapter entitled "Discourse of Reason." In this section, Reason has been talking frankly to the lover and says the word "testicles," which he finds offensive.

    I also laughed (though the class didn't find it funny) at his response when reason points out that God created testicles -- "even if God made the things that you have mentioned before here, at least he did not make the words, which are filled with villainy."

  3. Hah! Interesting perspective on the origin of language.