Having become a huge fan of BBC’s Sherlock I was eager to re-read the Holmes Adventures. I had read most of them when I was 13, and a few in the original version. In fact, it was my sister who lent me The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in English for the first time, and got me hooked on original versions (as opposed to translations). I remember lying on my bed and being completely immersed in Victorian London, with its fog, black coaches, smoking trains and invisible telegraph wires. Somehow the stories seemed more real, entertaining, Holmes far more quirkier and Watson more gentlemanly. Something was indeed lost in translation.
Today, as I read the mysteries again, I feel the magic once more and I realize what has been lost in translation – the Victorian speech. The interjections “The game’s afoot!”, the politeness both kind “Pray take a seat (…) I shall be happy to do anything that I can to serve you” or down right insulting “You [Lestrade] do not add imagination to your other great qualities…”. And with each sentence, reply, exclamation Holmes, Watson and Lestrade materialize.
Capital! isn’t it?