Both Russell and I are very excited about the very-soon-to-be-published Japanese-language edition of Vortigern's Machine. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to show an excerpt from the e-mail Russell wrote to Amos Japan explaining (or at least attempting to explain) some of the concepts inherent in Harvey and Jubs' vernacular:
'I will do my best to explain.
'BREDERS – a breder is someone that copies the style of other people. Like a style biter.
BEGWAN BASHI-NA– “go away or I’ll beat you”.
Serious! Bare blaps.Ya gwoan rashness on road,boyo. - “I’m not kidding. Big punches/slaps. Go and take your foolishness and move on up the street”
Yo…member…man-dem wet up Bristol, my luvver. I merked’em bad bruv, in da nuts.Ya get mi? - “Remember when we beat up Bristol (a boy’s name), my friend. I really beat him badly in his balls (testicles). You understand me?”
Man dem blau punkt man. Bad mans is wettin’is kecks ya-know. - “Man, they are like a blue spot (stain or blemmish that you want to wipe away)”. “Check them out, the bad boys are wetting their pants” (this means they are scared)
'Please realise that you should not translate any of the above exactly. Harvey and Jubs talk in heavy slang that is impossible for anyone other than them to understand. When they talk to Rusty and Wiggs the boys have no idea what they are saying. No-one knows what they are saying. We have taken lots of different types of slang words and put them together in a way that sounds real. You need to come up with your own way of saying this stuff. Maybe go closer to Jamaican and American slang. It is hard for us to know what type of slang is used in Japan. But whatever you use you must exaggerate it so that it sounds real but makes no sense.
'Enfant Sauvage – This is a french term for a wild/savage child
luverley badger’s milk – very nice badger’s milk. (a badger is a British weasel type animal with black and white fur that lives in holes in the ground. He is talking about milk taken from a female badger)
Chuckler – This is slang for a drug/pill that will make you chuckle/laugh (These are not real. We just used words that sound like uppers and downers).
Howler – This is slang for a drug/pill that will make you cry or howl like a dog. (as above)
Screamer – This is slang for a drug/pill that will make you scream. (as above)
Laugher - This is slang for a drug/pill that will make you laugh. (as above)
a black mivvi – A strawberry Mivi was the name for a special type of ice cream (popsicle) on a stick. We made up the name Black Mivi as it sounds evil. No one will know what this is.
a medieval mandible – This was the name for a large sword used by medieval knights (looks a bit like a bone).
black turnips – Black Turnips are simply a black version of a turnip. They are supposed to be used for Black Masses when people try and summon the Devil.
I’ve got some monkey glands out black – “I have some monkey organs (part of the inside of a monkey) in the back of my van”
'Mr Spoons always offers the children things that are not right for them. He rarely offers them real ice cream or soda. The things he offers are usually very weird/odd, not suitable for children and slightly dark!
'Who put a bug up his backside – This is common used slang in the US. “Who put an insect up his ass” which means “who made him so upset/aggitated”'