Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tom Elvis Jedusor? Give me a break!

Well they sure fooled me. I've looked in every French dictionary I can find, I've asked French-speaking friends at work, and I can't find any proof that "jedusor" is, actually, "riddle" in French. Which means that either I am a terrible researcher or Google translation is wrong and the translator of The Chamber of Secrets is too clever.

So Tom Jedusor is a made up name that has no relation to Rowling's original Tom Riddle. That kind of stinks, I think.

And imagine my surprise when I turned the page and found out that the French Voldemort's full name is Tom Elvis Jedusor (which, by the way, turns out to be an anagram of the sentence "Je suis Voldemort", the French version of "I am Voldemort"). I actually snuck a peek at the end of the book to confirm this.

Now, in the original English, his name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, which is an anagram of "I am Lord Voldemort", with Marvolo representing his grandfather's name. Does that mean that the French grandfather is actually Elvis Gaunt (or however they translated Gaunt into French; my dictionary says it's "Decharne"). So maybe Riddle's grandfather will turn out to be "Elvis Decharne".

I know, some of you have already read the rest of the books in French and know what Marvolo Gaunt's name turns out to be but don't tell me. "Elvis" was a bit of a shock but fun nonetheless.


  1. Actually, Jedusor is pronounced just like "jeu du sort", which means something like "twist of fate". When Voldemort says, “You think I was going to use my father’s filthy Muggle name forever?” the French version says, “Tu crois donc que j’allais accept le ‘jeu du sort’ qui m’avait donné ce nom immonde de ‘Jedusor,’ légué par mon Moldu de père?”. In English, that means, ”You thought I would accept the twist of fate that gave me the filthy name Jedusor, handed down from my Muggle father?” A pretty good way of dealing with the translation, I think.

    It works on a few levels, too, as "sort" can also be translated as "magic spell".

  2. Thanks for this fantastic comment! I never knew any of that and now feel much better about the use of Jedusor. Thank you. As I mentioned, I am trying to learn French in part by reading the Harry Potter books in French so it's great to have help like this from fellow Potter fans like you. Any other clarifications would be welcomed!

  3. And actually, "Gaunt" stays Gaunt. We've translated some names that let us play with words like Longbottom who becomes Londubat (Long du bas, ici "bas" meaning "posterieur/fessier" whatever)

  4. And that means that when you type "jedusor" into google translate and it translates to "Riddle," that it is literally translating in the context of Harry Potter. Which makes Google that much more awesome!

  5. Marvola Gaunt is named Elvis Marvolo Gaunt. Also, they've translated Slytherin as Serpentard

  6. And I think they explain that Gaunt Sr. Preferred to use his second surname "Marvolo" (which sounds a bit like "The Magnificent/Marvelous" to French ears) because "Elvis" sounds too common for him.