miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2016


Submitted by Emma Robertson
To what extent has the author demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales and offered new insight into the topicality and cross cultural relevance of these? 
Sandra this is a really wonderful re-telling of The Snow Queen. I love how you've brought it into a modern context but kept it very trippy with lots of references to 60s pop culture. The intertwining of Shakespeare is very cleverly done. You show in-depth knowledge of the fairy tale and have updated it nicely. 
To what extent are the author’s reflections clear and coherent 
Your reflections are clear and coherent. The only thing that I would suggest is that you need to lengthen this fairy tale as we are bouncing too quickly from scene to scene. Remember the original is about 16 pages long. Although you have simplified the seven stories and totally removed the first background story, there just isn't enough of the scene set. That being said, it's a great ride! I love your re-working of the characters and the more adult theme you have given it. I like the fact that throughout, the idea of childhood is more of a 60s hippy idea than an actual stage of development. 
To what extent has the author provided evidence to support his/her analysis? 
As this is a re-worked fairy tale, you haven't technically provided evidence. However, you have included many themes and references in a competent and engaging manner. A thoroughly enjoyable read, thank you!


Submitted by
To what extent has the author demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales and offered new insight into the topicality and cross cultural relevance of these? 
quite a lot 
To what extent are the author’s reflections clear and coherent 
her own twist on it very funny well done 
To what extent has the author provided evidence to support his/her analysis? 
same as the others 
Submitted by
To what extent has the author demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Hans Christian Andersen and his fairy tales and offered new insight into the topicality and cross cultural relevance of these? 
Anyone who can parody HCA in the brilliant way that you have done, Sandra. There is lot of cross-cultural reference here and the topicality is spot on. 
To what extent are the author’s reflections clear and coherent 
There's no smoke in the class because it's just been clean and is sparklingly clean. 
To what extent has the author provided evidence to support his/her analysis? 
For evidence you rely on Shakespeare if I haven understood you. I am full of admiration. Are you the next HCA? 

martes, 29 de noviembre de 2016


Upon Our Skin

Chapter Text

brothers born
The brothers were different, later Cressen would say “as all brothers are”.  They were all born with blue eyes and a mop of black hair, but their marks, the marks of a family and sibling bond were not as similar as one might expect.  Robert, first-born and heir to Storm’s End was a loud and bawling babe with the stag of the Baratheons stretched across his right forearm as dark as his hair, proud for all to see.  It was only after holding the babe, his babe that Steffon realised he had a small matching mark on the inside of his wrist to match his son’s.  Cassana too had a match, though hers was discrete above her left hip, and the happy parents would always smile as they danced and those paired marks would meet. 
Stannis the second-born had two stags, one behind each elbow, though easy to spot on his pale baby skin they were the gray of ghosts, they were faint and in a position awkward for the boy to ever see himself.  They didn’t match either, not each other, with the right slightly larger and darker, and the left a stag with antlers more petite, and not the marks of his parents.  Steffon had another stag on his wrist, it was the same paler shade, but the shape was almost identical to the mark for Robert.  The same held true for Cassana when she noticed the extra stag upon her hip.  It was only later they noticed the tiny green sea turtle hidden behind his left ear, the same as Cassana’s, she too was born with hers.
Years later Cassana and Steffon found they had their final stag, a circle of three.   Renly was born with his stag prancing  across his right clavicle towards his neck, it reminded Cassana of her growing bond, the two prongs that grew and itched across her clavicles  and confirmed a love she had dreamed of.  It was Steffon’s mark that sealed the marriage though, a green sea turtle that covered the back of his right hand, there was little at all to interpret.  Growth marks were used for marriages and alliances, they looked the same as family bonds when finished but they itched and stung and hurt, they were not meant to be ignored.
They were though, more often than not.  Because marriage is not about love or happiness or even the will of the gods, it’s about security for the family and their name, advancement through the ranks of the gentry.  The maesters or septons and septas interpreted the marks to please their holders, to reassure them and offer the illusion that they are destined to be happy.  Not all had growth marks and for most that did they were vague; such as a flower that happens to be fair maiden’s favourite and a horse with colouring similar to the knight’s, or mayhaps the knight’s first horse,
- do you not remember the horse you had once, it looked like this, did it not?
- Aye, how could I forget?
- It is destined my love, the gods themselves agree, we are blessed

 There were few with marks so clear and obvious as Steffon’s sea turtle, but the splodge of green with flippers could not be mistaken for anything else.  It was the same for Robert, he was but ten and six when the black direwolf began to grow across his chest, his mark the same as he; large, obvious and proud for all to see.  It was clear enough for Rickard Stark, the Northern folk held the marks in higher esteem than their southern counterparts, a potential match was only considered after an interpretation.  But this sign was enough that Stark did not wait for his daughter’s own mark to agree to a betrothal, why when there could be no other meaning?
It was soon after that Robert met Ned Stark in the Vale, foster brothers under the tutelage of Jon Arryn.  The two betrothed hardly met, hardly knew one another, though Robert showed the mark at the first opportunity and Lyanna for all her hopes of love and future happiness with the man that Ned assured her was the best man he knew…She felt nothing.  There was no burst of emotion, no thrill that over whelmed her, the tales and songs told so oft had lied.  He was charming though, and she found herself thinking that if she were to have a pair of antlers grow along her along her clavicles like his lady mother it would not be such a bad thing. 

Then there was Harrenhal and the disappearance of Lyanna, with rumours that her mark had started growing, that Rhaegar fancied it was a dragon.  Brandon with his howling wolf and his splash of water across his torso and left shoulder were burnt alive, nothing to the flames that consumed his father.

Robert fought, he fought Rhaegar and ended him, ended the man with the stars on his chest and the small dragon across his shoulder.  But there was no relief from the ache in his chest, the ache on his chest.  He raged against the family that caused the grief, he raged against his family for failing him, and found he’d nothing but rage left.  Ned had gone back North to his wife and family with his sister’s body and the child that he’d fathered, two babes to Robert’s heavy crown and painful chair.  Soon enough though, there was a marriage, and a babe, but not the ones that anyone had really desired.  He’d ordered the marriage, Arryn the man who looked at him like a son before but now had only pity in his eyes had advised this, this joining of houses between Baratheon and Florent.  The Tyrells would still have their power and Robert their loyalty, whilst the Florents expected the Lord of Stormlands through their grandson in return for their support. 
It didn’t turn out that way.
A son was born, but not to Selyse and Stannis, who was given Dragonstone not the Stormlands, instead to Delena.  Edric Storm, and Robert knows it’s another of his because another piece of the stag growing on his arm comes, the right antler joining the left and the two eyes.  It’s a strange and fragmented mark, and he had worried when the eye first appeared that Lyanna would disapprove, she had said nothing though it was clear enough for her to see when he showed her the wolf on his chest.  Cersei though, she scowled and scratched at it and hated all sixteen pieces that took to form it.  She hated it almost as much as the wolf.
He was betrothed again without quite realising it, for his behaviour didn’t change, he whored and drank and hoped that maybe someone else would do the king business.  Arryn was good at it, Stannis was good at it too even if he had ridiculous ideas like banning the whore houses.  Renly too was learning, though who from Robert knew not, the boy’s mannerisms and behaviour was from no father figure Robert had ever known and even further from Stannis.
Cersei was adorned in lions, regal and roaring, she had two birth lions she told him, and then one for each child.  He oft wondered where his children were on his own body, she told him they were on his head hidden in his hair, perhaps if he became more like Stannis perhaps others would see the lions there too.  Pycelle interpreted them, the position he told him was to show how they were always in his thoughts, his greatest concern were his children that’s why they were on his head.  Of course Robert nodded, it wasn’t true though, the thoughts he had most were where he could see them, and feel them.

It still hurt.
It would always hurt.
When the boar pierced through his skin, slashing the wolf, for all the pain, there was relief.

He envied Robert’s stag so clear upon his forearm.  Though his mother oft rubbed his ear and told him of the green sea turtle that hid behind there, Stannis wished that he too could have a stag where he could actually see it and where others could see it too, he was proud to be a Baratheon.  He asked Maester Cressen once why he had three birthmarks, the Maester looked at him and hummed and ahhed but could not give the answer, or at least one that satisfied him.  It was only later when Renly was born that it started to make sense to Stannis, he the middle brother had one for each.

He stood with Robert upon the parapet as the ship was torn apart by the waves, Renly was crying somewhere in the castle the Maester and the nurse tending to him.  It was stormy and the wind was violent, they’d been told even in good weather it was not a safe place to be, they had to be careful, to hold tight and not lean near the edge.  He stood there with Robert who roared and shouted and stamped his feet, gripping Stannis’ hand so tightly that it went numb and he just stood there, not saying a word.
Watching. His head filled with noise.
He didn’t hear a word Robert said, but it wasn’t the sound of the storm, it was the waves he heard, the only sound was the ocean fillings his parents’ screams.

It started during the siege, the prickling upon his shoulder blade, another place he could not see, he told no one, not even the maester, Cressen would only be too happy to interpret the mark and find Stannis his fated.  But he had done without the gods for six years, he wasn’t about to start again now.
The burning and prickling persisted and worsened, it was almost a welcome feeling to distract from the aching hunger in his stomach.  He was more irritable he knew, though it could just have easily been the hunger, that hunger that drove good men to treachery and wise men to consider the unthinkable.  It was the sailor-smuggler that saved them with his salted fish and his onions, it was such a relief, to sleep without the aches and pains of starvation.  Recovery was slow, and rations were still scarce but they made it through the siege and the war when Ned Stark and his men eventually came to force the Tyrell men down.  It had been a bloodless battle, or near enough when Stannis considered Davos’ left hand, he thought of the people of Storm’s End, his people.  Yes, a bloodless battle, but you would not have known from the number of dead.

Robert ordered his marriage to Selyse before the mark had finished growing, continuing its painful itch across his shoulder blade.  Stannis never told his brother of the mark, Robert had never thought he needed to ask.  He worried what it was, that all the people would see it at the bedding, see this part of him that even he did not know.  He thought little of the gods and their whims, but there were others who would care, who might even at the bedding halt the marriage and demand an interpretation. 
He feared what this mark might do to jeopardise his duty. 
He needn’t have worried.
By the close of that day, even Selyse had not seen the mark.

It finished growing in time and it did not hurt as much as he’d heard ignored marks were wont to do.  He’d near forgotten the mark, the ache it caused had dulled same as the hunger he’d once had, though he felt it sometimes it was near nothing to before.   It was during the Greyjoy rebellion that Davos brought it to the forefront of his mind, he had a cut to his back, superficial but the man insisted that if he were not to go to a maester he would at least let his most trusted man check for himself. 
With disgruntled reluctance Stannis removed his undershirt and forgot completely the mark that once prickled his skin.
Davos gasped despite himself “A ship?”
“Aye” Stannis replied as though this was nothing new, he winced as his skin stung where Davos’ fingers traced the mark.
“I’m sorry, I forgot myself, m’lord”
“The cut, Davos, how fares the wound?” Stannis snaps, he’s in pain that has nothing to do with battle.

Davos brings Maester Cressen, and he tells himself because it’s the wound that needs attending to, but another part of him knows had it not been for the ship with script so familiar, yet to himself unintelligible, he would have let Stannis be stubborn.  But his curiosity wins, and the Maester struggles to hide his surprise and hurt that this is something Stannis has not shared with him.  He tends to the wound in near silence, only to apologise for the pain he causes and admonishing Stannis for not having the sense to see him immediately.  He mutters something to the stubborn man who grits his teeth and mutters a reply, their voices too low for Davos to make out,
As he leaves he beckons Davos to him, quietly he thanks him, “Take care of him, Davos, you are more important to him than you will ever know.”  He says it as though Stannis should not hear these parting words, but looking back to the dark haired man with the ship now half covered in bandages, he knows that Stannis heard it all, he had the strangest feeling that the words meant more to Stannis than he could understand himself.

Stannis continues to ignore the gods, he has no time for them and remains unaffected, but the mark it still prickles and aches. 
He tells himself he’s ignoring that too, that it would make no difference.

But he’s glad for the prickle, he fears for the day when it might stop and there’d be only an ache.

He’s the youngest of three, but he might as well be an only child for all the attention the household pays him.  And Renly adores it, knowing that he’s loved, by the cook who sneaks him extra sweets, by the nurse who sings him songs of summer and the tailor who makes him clothes that would be fit for a prince.  It is not what he wants though.
He wants Stannis to laugh with him and smile at his enactments, he wants Robert to come home and to stay home and teach him to use the war hammer that he talks of and he wants the parents he’s never known to tell him how proud they are, how much he’s grown.
Robert promises a great many things, he promises Renly a sister he will love, he promises to teach him as their father had, he promises to keep Renly safe.  He promises again before he leaves to fight.  By the time Renly is master of laws he’s learnt the weight of Robert’s promises.
They live through a war, Stannis and he and the household.  But it is nothing like the battles in the tales, there’s no thrill and glory.  Only hunger and sadness.  He sees Stannis training in the yard with determined regularity and he’s good, second only to Robert and his warhammer they say, but there will be no glory for Stannis, there is nothing the sword can do against the battalion that lays in wait outside their gates.  When Renly trains he holds the sword with distaste, it is not his weapon of choice.
It’s a common man who saves them.  For all his gratitude for the food Renly cannot help but wish that the man had thought to bring fresh fruit, sweet fruit like grapes and apples and peaches.  He holds his tongue though at the sight of Stannis and Cressen who tell him the news, the old man is frail but he’s smiling as though the fish and onions might be the best food in the world and Stannis doesn’t smile, he hasn’t in so long, but there’s relief.  Renly knows his brother feared for them, he never said anything though, not to anyone.  For all that Renly said, and he spoke a lot, Stannis said little in return, he spoke with actions and hard looks that required few words.  He had to concentrate when he was younger to understand Stannis, to pay attention to the subtleties that were so easily missed and harder still to interpret.  His brother hardly said when he was pleased or impressed, so Renly took care to make sure he could know despite it.
When they were to meet again in King’s Landing, Renly stopped looking, he didn’t pay attention to the stubborn clench of his brother’s jaw at Robert’s overruling, though the grinding and gnashing of teeth was hard to miss, he didn’t see the short quirk up of Stannis’ lip when he made a worthy suggestion nor hear the sardonic tone in comments levelled at Littlefinger.  No, because he’d decided long ago when Stannis had left him that he no longer cared.

He has a squire in time, though he knows he’s hardly a knight himself.  Loras Tyrell, from Highgarden, Mace Tyrell had suggested it, though Renly knew it was the Grandmother who pushed it forward.  He was loathe to take Loras from Highgarden as he was loathe to leave it himself, he fostered good relations with the family that had stood opposite himself on the battlefield.  He fostered good relations with many families those with and against the great rebellion, he was good with people, good at talking to people, he knew because they told him so themselves. 
A flower blooms on his left shoulder and though he’s ashamed to admit it his first thought was of Margaery.  But he knows the next time he sees Loras and feels the oft described prickle that there is only one explanation.  He both seeks out Loras and avoids him as he waits for the mark to finish growing, he watches to see if Loras too has these feelings, a mark of the stag.  But he cannot have Loras see him, they’re friends, more so than a squire and his Lord have any due to be, and Renly fears, irrationally he knows, what if Loras is not the same?  What if it’s all a grand misunderstanding and it’s Margaery after all?  He knows though, that if Margaery had any sign of a stag there would be no waiting on Mace Tyrell’s part, she would be put forward as Joffrey’s betrothed with little delay, the Tyrells were not subtle in their lust for advancement.
He tries to learn from the songs and histories about the great loves and how one might approach the other.  It’s all man and woman though, all so very simple you make a grand gesture of showing your beloved your mark and with a look of fated recognition they fall into your arms with unrivalled joy.

It’s Loras that makes the first move, they waited, perhaps in a mutual unspoken understanding, until he was knighted, Ser Loras Tyrell one of the best jousters in the land.  Renly wasn’t envious, and he revelled in the attention his handsome knight received, because he knew, that the handsome knight had eyes only for him.

It wasn’t an easy birth, but at least this time there was reward for all the struggles.  And perhaps Selyse was disappointed that the squalling babe wasn’t a boy like the silent children before her, and maybe she was fearful that her husband might not care for the child, might not care for her.  He did his duty yes, but what duty does a father have to a daughter beyond a convenient betrothal?  She had hoped that this child could help them, that she as his wife would give him the ultimate gift of life of an heir and he in the joys of fatherhood might soften his permanent scowl and speak the sweet words the songs had taught her to expect to hear. 
But she smiled at her daughter, calm and sleeping now as she held her waiting for her husband to arrive and decide upon a name, stroking her soft downy hair already looking the black of her father’s.  The babe had a fox behind her right ear.  “Ears befitting any Florent child” Selyse thought sadly as she remembered the teasing she had endured as a child.  But this babe,her babe was the daughter of a great lord, the Master of Ships, niece of King Robert Baratheon himself, there would be no children so bold as to tease a Baratheon about her ears. 
She clutched her daughter closer as she heard the impatient footsteps of her husband approach the chamber, he’s come faster than she thought he would, it was when Stannis stops outside her door that Selyse realised she saw no sign of a stag or even a sea turtle upon their daughter.  She looks at the child again, it’s an insult worse than being a daughter.

He waited in the solar continuing with the business of Dragonstone, he was of no use to the women and the maester, they would tell him when it was time.  If the wind blew right he could hear her cries, it was taking so much longer this time and he found his concentration lapsing, made evident by the angry scratchings upon the accounts he was trying to manage.  Was it a good thing it was taking longer?  This babe though early was older than the others, but those times it was the babes that had not survived, he feared that perhaps this time his wife might not. 
The noise stopped, though the wind might have changed.  Stannis returned his focus the matters at hand only to find his hands covered in ink and his quill irredeemably broken.  He gets up to clean his hands at the basin provided, but he doesn’t return to his desk when he’s done, he leaves the solar and heads towards his lady’s chambers. 

Cressen says nothing as he sees the young Lord with his face so determined, he was on his way to tell him, he smiles knowing there is only one way for the father of the child to have known before him. 
“They are both well my lord” he says without the preamble he knows would be wasted on Stannis, “both my Lady and your daughter.”
Cressen watches closely catch the twitch of a smile that crosses his face, only to stay there.
They stop outside the door, when Stannis finally delivers his reply.

It happens that the daughter has inherited her mother’s ears with the Florent fox behind the left and her father’s strong jaw.  Her hair is black like her father’s, but not so coarse, it’s finer and she’s grateful for the joy she sees her mother have in stroking and combing her hair.  She likes her blue eyes too, the same as her father’s Cressen says, blue Baratheon eyes and black Baratheon hair, she is her father’s daughter the old Maester often says. 

Shireen had a stag of house Baratheon too, it covered her cheek in the colour of her skin.  As a babe Cressen told her once it was only visible when she cried or blushed to make her cheeks red, then it would stand out and be seen.  She wonders sometimes if that might’ve been better, though she is not one to cry often now or blush if she can help it, her birth mark might not be easy to see but she would know it was there nonetheless. 
There is little point in wondering though, childhood illness that should have left her dead left her with only a cheek marred by dying skin that cracked and peeled and made the hidden stag bright and obvious.  She had learnt over time it was no use to hide her cheek and the mark that graced it. 

She was Shireen Baratheon, survivor of greyscale, of the Northern Winter and the beasts that accompanied it and bringer of peace to the war torn lands of Westeros.
 Able and just it was the white stag across her marred cheek that showed the people who she was, more than any Queen’s crown ever could.

sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2016


25th of November - International Day Against Gender Violence
2016 - Fourth Centennial of Shakespeare

Sandra Dermark's contribution:


Ah, Your Ladyship, my sweet summer child,
at least you have understood
"how wonderful is the power of love,"
that men are all cowards
and we are the stronger sex...
The rain falls for all and the same grass is green
for the sergeant's wife and the warlord's,
for the mother of a stillborn and for a broken maiden...
Listen; I envied you before these days
because I once was just like you,
before reality set in...
and now, 'tis your own eyes that have been opened
and you have become like me,
stars turned to scars, kisses turned to pains,
spring flowers turned to autumn rains...
My sweet Lady Desdemona,
discarded like a broken doll
whose owner has grown weary...
at last you understand
what life is like,
what love is like...
and thus, come what may,
I by your side will stay,
giving my limbs, my blood, my heart,
even this senseless life I lead
for your sake.
Because you are my tether to hope.

miércoles, 23 de noviembre de 2016


Kansai-ben. Accent commonly associated with the Kansai region of Japan. Since most anime is made in Tokyo (the accents sound different even if you can't understand them), this is usually very thick and exaggerated. It's also usually the first variation to pop up. The Kansai region generally consists of Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Wakayama, Mie, Nara and Shiga Prefectures, and sometimes the surrounding region (Fukui, Tokushima and Tottori Prefectures). While the dialects generally get lumped together as Kansai-ben because of their general similarities, there are distinctions between them.
Osaka-ben (Osaka dialect) used to be the stereotypical villain accent until Osaka comedians performing with their accent became popular in the nineties. These days Osaka-ben is generally used to indicate a fun loving, impatient, loud, boisterous personality. (See also The Idiot from Osaka.) Osaka-ben speaking comedians are common in Real Life and in anime, and the Boke and Tsukkomi Routine, or owarai, has its roots there. Recall, for instance, the scene in Azumanga Daioh where Tomo learns that the new transfer student is going to be from Osaka, and wonders if she'll have an incredible tsukkomi. The comedy routine consists of the boke [funny guy], who generally says stupid things, and the tsukkomi [straight man], who corrects the boke though slapstick/physical devices, such as a rap on the head. Think Blackadder and Baldrick and you get the idea.
A few quick tips for catching a character speaking Kansai-ben:
  • More focus on the vowels than the consonants of the language. Single-syllable words get stretched out an extra beat, and the copula desu is pronounced in full rather than Tokyo's clipped "des". This also makes Kansai-accented English that much harder to understand to native English-speakers compared to Tokyo-accented English (loanwords are generally spelled with Tokyo pronunciation in mind, after all).
  • Pitch accent with a greater tonal range (sometimes described as "living" or "overly-emotional"), and often significantly different patterns from Standard.
  • If a female, look for the use of uchi instead of atashi.
  • Replacement of desu or da with ya (or, in Kyoto-ben, dosu).
  • The use of the -hen ending, instead of -nai, as in wakarahen versus wakaranai (lit. "don't know").
  • The use of the -haru ending as an intermediate between plain style and the formal Keigo style.
  • -han instead of -san as an honorific.
  • The use of the wa sentence-final particle by all age and sex while it is used mainly by women in standard.
  • Using the word aho instead of baka ("idiot"; "silly"). The stereotype is that baka is a much more serious insult to a Kansai native, and is rarely used by one except in deadly earnest.
    • In real life, some dialects just have their own word for this.
  • Using the word akan instead of dame ("No way"). It is also used as -tara akan ("must not do") and -na akan ("must do").
  • Saying se ya naa instead of sou da ne OR sou da na' OR sou ne ("I know, right?"; "I agree."; "totally")
  • -taru (shortening of -te yaru) for -te ageru E.g., Yondaru ("I'll read it for you"). (In standard, using yaru in this way towards equals is an insult.)
  • Using meccha (not that mecha, the "ch" is soft like "Charles") instead of totemo as an intensifier. In specific Kansai dialects (Wakayama, Kobe, Osaka, etc.) words like gottsu (Osaka dialect) may be used. As traditional dialectal forms mutate or die off, some modern youth use forms such as sugee, which is Kanto/Tohoku pronunciation for sugoi.
  • Referring to the McDonald's fast-food chain as "Makudo", and regarding the term "Makku" exclusively as a computer brand
Oddly, Kansai is sometimes so strongly associated with certain personality traits that characters with those traits are given the accent even when they are not actually from the Kansai region, and would have no legitimate reason to have learned the accent. This includes foreigners/Westerners, who would more likely have learned "formal" Japanese, but are considered to have the brash, outspoken Osakan personalitynote thanks to the aforementioned stereotype, the Japanese consider "formal" Japanese being spoken by such characters as essentially out of character for the language. Similarly, the association between Kansai-ben and a specific character archetype is so strong, shows set in the region (but where the setting is not immediately relevant to the plot) may go out of their way to avoid giving the characters this dialect, even if it would technically be appropriate. (See The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for a show set in the heart of Kansai (in the suburbs of Kobe, to be precise), but where everyone speaks Standard Japanese.)
Depending on the country, preserving these dialects through translations and dubs can be tricky.
(An Accent Adaptation is when a translator substitutes dialect in their own language for one in the original work's language, making for a Woolseyism in some cases and Adaptation Decay in others, especially when the translated dialect doesn't have an equivalent in the original work.)

Regional accents used to adapt Kansai-ben in European languages.

  • The usual British equivalent is Cockney, though a Northern accent might represent the geographic and societal differences better than a dialect of the capital (Scouse may be even more appropriate, since it combines the gritty industrial image with a reputation for good humour). SANDRA RATES ADAPTATION: COCKNEY: ** SCOUSE: ***
  • Andalusian Spanish seems to be the Euro-Spanish version of this accent, since the region where the accent is spoken was traditionally a merchant region, similar to Osaka, during the times in which the Moors ruled Spain. Also, the Andalusian stereotype of being outspoken, passionate, and fun-loving fits to a tee. SANDRA RATES ADAPTATION: ANDALÚH: *****
  • In German-language translations, Northern German and Bavarian/Austrian German are the German answers to the dialect, both being stereotyped with the exact same traits as Kansai (see Andalusian/andalúh above). SANDRA RATES ADAPTATION: PLATTDÜÜTSCH: *** BOARISCH/ÖSTERREICHISCH: ***** Ruhrpott (from the industrial western region known for its uncultured stereotypes) would also fit Kansai-ben, wouldn't it?
  • In Russian translations the Odessa dialect, with its colorful accent and slightly unusual, Yiddish- and Greek-influenced grammar, seems to be gaining popularity as a stand-in. Which has additional cultural benefits, as Odessa always was a center of grain trade and Odessites have a reputation for an innate comedic talent, closely paralleling other Osakan stereotypes (see below).
  • In the Norwegian translation of the Samurai Deeper Kyo manga, Benitora's kansai accent was changed to a Bergen accent, with a note explaining this was a common way of rendering this accent in Norwegian translations. While this was hardly true, not having been done anywhere else but here, it worked so perfectly no one complained. 
  • In Swedish, he (Benitora, the same character) was given a Gothenburg accent, which worked very well. The Gothenburg area has got lots in common with Kansai in general and Osaka in particular when it comes to geographical location, rivalry with the capital on the east side of the country (Stockholm/Tokyo), industrial/commercial history, and personality stereotypes. SANDRA RATES ADAPTATION: GÖTEBORGSKA: *****

Swedish reviewers of SDK say: 
"Kommer ihåg att en av karaktärerna, Benitora, i Samurai Deeper Kyo pratar göteborgska. Lite underligt men på något sätt så tycker jag att det är charmigt och anledningen gissar jag är för att peka ut det faktum att han egentligen pratar någon japansk dialekt i originalversionen."
"Men en annan jag tycker om är ju den röda tigern, hans göteborgska är ju Gööörskön!! ;)"


Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
  • Once - a single time
  • jolly - gay, but not in the same sense as that understood by the young men of Darlinghurst. (US readers subsitiute "San Francisco" or something similar in place of "Darlinghurst". Spanish readers substitute "Chueca".)
  • swagman - itinerant worker, called a swagman because of the "swag" normally carried by such persons. A swag comprises the worldly belongings of the swagman, wrapped in a blanket and formed into a back-pack. A swagman is also known as a "swaggie"
  • camped - made camp (nothing to to do with the behaviour of the Darlinghurst set)
  • billabong - oxbow lake formed when a meandering river cuts through its own course leaving a segment of the river isolated from the main stream
Under the shade of a coolibah tree
  • under - beneath. Implies that there is something above (this may be wishful thinking)
  • shade - half a pair of sunglasses
  • coolibah - type of eucalyptus tree which grows in some of Australia's wetlands
  • tree - a woody thing with leaves, which gets pissed upon by dogs
And he sang as he watched and waited 'till his billy boiled
  • and he - a distortion of the swagman's name (Andy)
  • sang - another distortion
  • watched - something the swaggie did while waiting
  • waited - something the swaggie did while watching
  • 'till - another distortion. Not to be confused with the money receptacle found at the checkout in most stores.
  • billy - a tin can with a lid, and a looped wire handle over the top. Used by denizens of the Australian outback as a cooking utensil primarily for the boiling of water to make tea
  • boiled - what happened to the water when it was heated to 100 degrees. (This effect is not so apparent in backward countries like the US, where the water must be heated to over 200 degrees before anything interesting happens because they use the Fahrenheit scale instead of the Celsius scale)
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me
  • You'll - a distortion
  • come - no comment
  • waltzing - walking; the term used by swagmen to describe their means of travel
  • matilda - the name given by one particular swagman to his swag. Apparently the swaggie in question was a Dutchman who came to Australia after his wife, Matilda, had died. He adopted the swaggie's lifestyle, and named his swag in memory of his wife. Use of the name spread. (This is supposed to be a true story. Really.)
Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

And he sang as he watched and waited 'till his billy boiled

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me
Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong
  • down - opposite of up (see next line of song)
  • jumbuck - a sheep, specifically a young ram
  • drink - to swallow water or other liquid, to imbibe alcoholic beverages (the latter being somewhat unlikely behaviour for a sheep, so water is assumed - this assumption may not be correct however, since it is said "to drink at" as opposed to "from")
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee
  • up - opposite of down (see previous line of song)
  • jumped - to have performed a jump or leap, or in this case probably just standing up briskly.
  • grabbed - seized suddenly, snached
  • glee - Matilda had been dead for quite some time
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker-bag
  • shoved - pushed, stuffed, packed. Presumably after skinning and gutting
  • tucker - food, hence "tucker-bag"
  • bag - sack, usually made of hessian. The term also refers to a woman of similar appearance (to the hessian bag, not the sheep.)
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me
Down came the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred
  • squatter - a landholder through occupancy rather than purchase
  • mounted - sitting upon (we hope this is not a reference to the Darlinghurst types mentioned at the beginning)
  • thoroughbred - a breed of horse. Not much use in the Australian bush or as a farm horse, but probably ridden by the squatter as a symbol of wealth. A similar phenomenon may be observed in Sydney, where one can see the odd yuppie driving his Ferrari over the Harbour Bridge in the peak-hour.
Down came the troopers, one, two, three
  • trooper - outback policeman
  • one, two, three - just to show that the swaggie could count
Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker-bag
  • a singularly redundant question
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me
  • waltzing - a dance performed by sheep stealers whilst suspended from a gibbet by a rope
Waltzing matilda ... (etc)

Up jumped the swagman and jumped into the billabong
  • jumped(1) - (see previous definition)
  • jumped(2) - in this case probably more of a misguided leap, especially when one considers the ending to the song
You'll never take me alive said he
  • alive - what the sheep isn't
Now his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me.

I hope this helps those who would otherwise never have been able to decode this song.


La historia fue bien sencilla; como la de los libros románticos: todo pasó lo mismo. Llegó el capitán, un capitán de los cristinos; venía herido; fugitivo; cayó desmayado delante de la portilla de la quinta; vio la sangre, la palidez, el uniforme, y unos ojos dulces, azules, que pedían piedad, tal vez cariño; ella recogió al desgraciado, le escondió en la capilla de la casa, abandonada, hasta pensar si haría bien en avisar a sus hermanos, que eran, como ella, carlistas, y acaso entregarían a los suyos al fugitivo, si los suyos pasaban por allí y le buscaban. Al fin era un liberal, un "negro". Pensó bien, y acertó. Reveló su secreto, los hermanos aprobaron su conducta, el herido pasó de la tarima de la capilla a las plumas del mejor lecho que había en casa; todos callaron. La facción, que pasó por allí, no supo que tenía tan cerca a tal enemigo, que había sido azote de los "blancos". Dos meses cuidó Berta al liberal con sus propias manos, solícita, enamorada ya desde el primer día; los hermanos la dejaban cuidar y enamorarse; la dejaban hacer servicios de amante esposa que tiene al esposo moribundo; y esperaban que ¡naturalmente!, el día en que el enfermo pudiera abandonar a Posadorio, todo afecto se acabaría; la señorita de Rondaliego sería una extraña para el capitán garrido, que todas las noches lloraba de agradecimiento, mientras los hermanos roncaban y la hermana velaba, no lejos del lecho, acompañada de una vieja y de Sabel, entonces lozana doncella. Cuando el capitán pudo levantarse y pasear por la huerta, dos de los hermanos, entonces presentes en Posadorio, vieron en el "negro" a un excelente amigo, capaz de distraerlos de su resignado aburrimiento; la simpatía entre los carlistas y el liberal creció de día en día; el capitán era expansivo, tierno, de imaginación viva y fuerte; quería, y se hacía querer; y a más de eso, animaba a los linfáticos Rondaliegos a inocentes diversiones, como asaltos de armas, que él dirigía, sin tomar en ellos parte muy activa, juegos de ajedrez y de naipes, y leía en voz alta, con hermosa entonación, blanda y rítmica, que los adormecía dulcemente, después de la cena, a la luz del velón vetusto del salón de Posadorio, que resonaba con las palabras y con los pasos. 
Llegó el día en que el liberal se creyó obligado por delicadeza a anunciar su marcha, porque las fuerzas, recobradas ya, le permitían volver al campo de batalla en busca de sus compañeros. Dejaba allí el alma, que era Berta; pero debía partir. Los hermanos no se lo consintieron; le dieron a entender con mil rodeos que cuanto más tardara en volver a luchar contra los carlistas, mejor pagaría aquella hospitalidad y aquella vida que decía deber a los Rondaliegos. Además, y sobre todo, ¡les era tan grata su compañía! Vivían unos y otros en una deliciosa interinidad, olvidados de los rencores políticos, de todo lo que estaba más allá de aquellos bosques, marco verde del cuadro idílico de Susacasa. El capitán se dejó vencer; permaneció en Posadorio más tiempo del que debiera; y un día, cuando las fuerzas de su cuerpo y la fuerza de su amor habían llegado a un grado de intensidad que producía en él una armonía deliciosa y de mucho peligro, cayó, sin poder remediarlo, a los pies de Berta, en cuanto la ocasión de verla sola vino a tentarle. Y ella, que no entendía palabra de aquellas cosas, se echó a llorar; y cuando un beso loco vino a quemarle los labios y el alma, no pudo protestar sino llorando, llorando de amor y miedo, todo mezclado y confuso. No fue aquel día cuando perdió el honor, sino más adelante; en la huerta, bajo un laurel real que olía a gloria; fue al anochecer; los hermanos, ciegos, los habían dejado solos en casa, a ella y al capitán; se habían ido a cazar, ejercicio todavía demasiado penoso para el convaleciente que quería ir a la guerra antes de tiempo.
Cuando las circunstancias permitieron ya al capitán pensar en el aspecto civil de su felicidad suprema, se ofreció a sí mismo, a fuer de amante y caballero, volver cuanto antes a Posadorio, renunciar a sus armas y pedir la mano de su esposa a los hermanos, que a un guerrero liberal no se la darían. Berta, inocente en absoluto, comprendió que había pasado algo grave, 8 pero no lo irreparable. Calló, más por la dulzura del misterio que por terror de las consecuencias de sus revelaciones. El capitán prometió volver a casarse. Estaba bien. No estaba de más eso; pero la dicha ya la tenía ella en el alma. Esperaría cien años. El capitán, como un cobarde, huye el peligro de la muerte; vuelve a sus banderas por ceremonia, por cumplir, dispuesto a salvar el cuerpo y pedir la absoluta; su vida no es suya, piensa él, es del honor de Berta. 
Pero el hombre propone y el héroe dispone. Una tarde, a la misma hora en que cantaba el ruiseñor de Berta y de santa Dulcelina, el capitán liberal oye cantar al bronce el himno de la guerra; como un amor supremo; la muerte gloriosa le llama desde una trinchera; sus soldados esperan el ejemplo, y el capitán lo da; y en un deliquio de santa valentía entrega el cuerpo a las balas, y el alma a Dios, aquel bravo que sólo fue feliz dos veces en la vida, y ambas para causar una desgracia y engendrar un desgraciado. Todo esto, traducido al único lenguaje que quisieron entender los hermanos Rondaliegos, quiso decir que un infame liberal, mancillando la hospitalidad, la gratitud, la amistad, la confianza, la ley, la virtud, todo lo santo, les había robado el honor y había huido.
Jamás supieron de él. Berta tampoco. No supo que el elegido de su alma no había podido volver a buscarla para cumplir con la Iglesia y con el mundo, porque un instinto indomable le había obligado a cumplir antes con su bandera. El capitán había salido de Zaornín al día siguiente de su ventura.
 Y doña Berta, ante aquella dulzura, ante aquel candor retratado en aquella sonrisa del genio moreno, lleno de barbas; ante aquel dolor de un amante que había sido leal, sintió el pecho lleno de la muerta juventud, como si se lo inundara de luz misteriosa la presencia de un aparecido, el amor suyo; y con el espíritu retozón y aventurero que le había hecho cantar poco antes y salir al bosque, se decidió a hablar de sus amores, omitiendo el incidente deshonroso, aunque con tan mal arte, que el pintor, hombre de mundo, atando cabos y aclarando obscuridades que había notado en la narración anterior referente a los Rondaliegos, llegó a suponer algo muy parecido a la verdad que se ocultaba; igual en sustancia. Así que, cuando ella le preguntaba si, en su opinión, el capitán había sido un traidor o habría muerto en la guerra, él pudo apreciar en su valor la clase de traición que habría que atribuir al liberal, y se inclinó a pensar, por el carácter que ella le había pintado, que el amante de doña Berta no había vuelto... porque no había podido. Y los dos quedaron silenciosos, pensando en cosas diferentes. Doña Berta pensaba: «¡Parece mentira, pero es la primera vez en la vida que hablo con otro de estas cosas!». Y era verdad; jamás en sus labios habían estado aquellas palabras, que eran toda la historia de su alma. El pintor, saliendo de su meditación, dijo de repente algo por el estilo: 
--A mí se me figura en este momento ver la causa de la eterna ausencia de su capitán, señora. Un espíritu noble como el suyo, un caballero de la calidad de ese que usted me pinta, vuelve de la guerra a cumplir a su amada una promesa..., a no ser que la muerte gloriosa le otorgue antes sus favores. Su capitán, a mi entender, no volvió..., porque, al ir a recoger la absoluta, se encontró con lo absoluto, el deber; ese liberal, que por la sangre de sus heridas mereció conocer a usted y ser amado, mi respetable amiga; ese capitán, por su sangre, perdió el logro de su amor. Como si lo viera, señora: no volvió porque murió como un héroe...
Iba a hablar doña Berta, cuyos ojillos brillaban con una especie de locura mística; pero el pintor tendió una mano, y prosiguió diciendo: 
-Aquí nuestra historia se junta, y verá usted cómo hablándola del por qué de mi último cuadro, el que me alaban propios y extraños, sin que él merezca tantos elogios, queda explicado el por qué yo presumo, siento, que el capitán de usted se portó como el mío. Yo también tengo mi capitán. Era un amigo del alma...; es decir, no nos tratamos mucho tiempo; pero su muerte, su gloriosa y hermosa muerte, le hizo el íntimo de mis visiones de pintor que aspira a poner un corazón en una cara. Mi último cuadro, señora, ese de que hasta usted, que nada quiere saber del mundo, sabía algo por los periódicos que vienen envolviendo garbanzos y azúcar, es... seguramente el menos malo de los míos. ¿Sabe usted por qué? Porque lo vi de repente, y lo vi en la realidad primero. Años hace, cuando la segunda guerra civil, yo, aunque ya conocido y estimado, no había alcanzado esto que llaman... la celebridad, y acepté, porque me convenía para mi bolsa y mis planes, la plaza de corresponsal que un periódico ilustrado extranjero me ofreció, para que le dibujase cuadros de actualidad, de costumbres españolas, y principalmente de la guerra. Con este encargo, y mi gran afición a las emociones fuertes, y mi deseo de recoger datos, dignos de crédito para un gran cuadro de heroísmo militar con que yo soñaba, me fui a la guerra del Norte, resuelto a ver muy de cerca todo lo más serio de los combates, de modo que el peligro de mi propia persona me facilitase esta proximidad apetecida. Busqué, pues, el peligro, no por él, sino por estar cerca de la muerte heroica. Se dice, y hasta lo han dicho escritores insignes, que en la guerra cada cual no ve nada grande, nada poético. No es verdad esto... para un pintor. A lo menos para un pintor de mi carácter. Pues bueno; en aquella guerra conocí a mi capitán; él me permitió lo que acaso la disciplina no autorizaba: estar a veces donde debía estar un soldado. Mi capitán era un bravo y un jugador; pero jugaba tan bien, era tan pundonoroso, que el juego en él parecía una virtud, por las muchas buenas cualidades que le daba ocasión para ejercitar. Un día le hablé de su arrojo temerario, y frunció el ceño. «Yo no soy temerario -me dijo con mal humor-; ni siquiera valiente; tengo obligación de ser casi un cobarde... Por lo menos debo mirar por mi vida. Mi vida no es mía...; es de un acreedor. Un compañero, un oficial, no ha mucho me libró de la muerte, que iba a darme yo mismo, porque, por primera vez de mi vida, había jugado lo que no tenía, había perdido una cantidad... que no podía entregar al contrario; mi compañero, al sorprender mi desesperación, que me llevaba al suicidio, vino en mi ayuda; pagué con su dinero..., y ahora debo dinero, vida y gratitud. Pero el amigo me advirtió; después que ya era imposible devolverle aquella suma, que con ella había puesto su honra en mis manos... 'Vive -me dijo-, para pagarme trabajando, ahorrando, como puedas: esa cantidad de que hoy pude disponer, y dispuse para salvar tu vida, tendré un día que entregarla, y si no la entrego, pierdo la fama. Vive para ayudarme a recuperar esa fortunilla y salvar mi honor'. Dos honras, la suya y la mía, penden, pues, de mi existencia; de modo, señor artista, que huyo o debo huir de las balas. Pero tengo dos vicios: la guerra y el juego: y como ni debo jugar ni debo morir, en cuanto honrosamente pueda, pediré la absoluta; y, entre tanto, seré aquí muy prudente». Así, señora, poco más o menos me habló mi capitán; y yo noté que al siguiente día, en un encuentro, no 15 se aventuró demasiado; pero pasaron semanas, hubo choques con el enemigo y él volvió a ser temerario; mas yo no volví a decirle que me lo parecía. Hasta que, por fin, llegó el día de mi cuadro...
El pintor se detuvo. Tomó aliento, reflexionó a su modo, es decir, recompuso en su fantasía el cuadro, no según su obra maestra, sino según la realidad se lo había ofrecido. 
Doña Berta, asombrada, agradeciendo al artista las voces que este daba para que ella no perdiese ni una sola palabra, escuchó la historia del cuadro célebre, y supo que en un día ceniciento, frío, una batalla decisiva había llevado a los soldados de aquel capitán al extremo de la desesperación, que acaba en la fuga vergonzosa o en el heroísmo. Iban a huir todos, cuando el jugador, el que debía su vida a un acreedor, se arrojó a la muerte segura, como arrojaba a una carta toda su fortuna; y la muerte le rodeó como una aureola de fuego y de sangre; a la muerte y a la gloria arrastró consigo a muchos de los suyos. Mas antes hubo un momento, el que se había grabado como a la luz de un relámpago en el recuerdo del artista, llenando su fantasía; un momento en que en lo alto de un reducto, el capitán jugador brilló solo, como en una apoteosis, mientras más abajo y más lejos los soldados vacilaban, el terror y la duda pintados en el rostro. 
--El gesto de aquel hombre, el que milagrosamente pude conservar con absoluta actitud y trasladarlo a mi idea, era de una expresión singular, que lo apartaba de todo lo clásico y de todo lo convencional; no había allí las líneas canónicas que podrían mostrar el entusiasmo bélico, el patriotismo exaltado; era otra cosa muy distinta...; había dolor, había remordimientos, había la pasión ciega y el impulso soberano en aquellos ojos, en aquella frente, en aquella boca, en aquellos brazos; bien se veía que aquel soldado caía en la muerte heroica como en el abismo de una tentación fascinadora a que en vano se resiste. El público y la crítica se han enamorado de mi capitán; ha traducido cada cual a su manera aquella idealidad del rostro y de todo el gesto; pero todos han visto en ello lo mejor del cuadro, lo mejor de mi pincel; ven una lucha espiritual misteriosa, de fuerza intensa, y admiran sin comprender, echándose a adivinar al explicar su admiración. El secreto de mi triunfo lo sé yo; es este, señora, lo que yo vi aquel día en aquel hombre que desapareció entre el humo, la sangre y el pánico, que después vino a oscurecerlo todo. Los demás tuvimos que huir al cabo; su heroísmo fue inútil...; pero mi cuadro conservará su recuerdo. Lo que no sabrá el mundo es que mi capitán murió faltando a su palabra de no buscar el peligro... 
--¡Así murió el mío! -exclamó exaltada doña Berta, poniéndose en pie, tendiendo una mano como inspirada-. ¡Sí, el corazón me grita que él también me abandonó por la muerte gloriosa! 
Y doña Berta, que en su vida había hecho frases ni ademanes de sibila, se dejó caer en su silla, llorando, llorando con una solemnidad que sobrecogió al pintor y le hizo pensar en una estatua de la Historia vertiendo lágrimas sobre el polvo anónimo de los heroísmos oscuros, de las grandes virtudes desconocidas, de los grandes dolores sin crónica. 
Pasó una brisa fría; tembló la anciana, levantose, y con un ademán indicó al pintor que la siguiera. Volvieron al salón; y doña Berta, medio tendida en el sofá, siguió sollozando.
Otra vez se quedó sola doña Berta con sus pensamientos; pero ¡cuán otros eran! Su capitán, de seguro, no había vuelto porque no había podido; no había sido un malvado, como decían los hermanos; había sido un héroe... Sí, lo mismo que el otro, el capitán del pintor, el jugador que jugaba hasta la honra por ganar la gloria...
El capitán del pintor era como una restauración del retrato del otro capitán que ella veía en su cerebro, algo borrado por el tiempo, con la pátina obscura de su escondido y prolongado culto; ahumado por el holocausto del amor antiguo, como lo están los cuadros de iglesia por la cera y el incienso.  
El mozo rubio tuvo lástima; los otros no. Impacientes, echaron mano a la tela, en tanto que su compañero, con mucha prisa, acercaba la escalera; y mientras la sujetaba por un lado para que no se moviera, daba la mano a doña Berta, que, apresurada y temblorosa, subía con gran trabajo uno a uno aquellos travesaños gastados y resbaladizos. Subió cinco, se agarró con toda la fuerza que tenía a la madera, y, doblando el cuello, contempló el lienzo famoso... que se movía, pues los obreros habían comenzado a levantarlo. Como un fantasma ondulante, como un sueño, vio entre humo, sangre, piedras, tierra, colorines de uniformes, una figura que la miró a ella un instante con ojos de sublime espanto, de heroico terror...: la figura de su capitán, del que ella había encontrado, manchado de sangre también, a la puerta de Posadorio. Sí, era su capitán, mezclado con ella misma, con su hermano mayor; era un Rondaliego injerto en el esposo de su alma. Pero pasó como un relámpago, moviéndose en ziszás, supino como si le llevaran a enterrar... Iba con los brazos abiertos, una espada en la mano, entre piedras que se desmoronan y arena, entre cadáveres y bayonetas. No podía fijar la imagen; apenas había visto más que aquella figura que le llenó el alma de repente, tan pálida, ondulante, desvanecida entre otras manchas y figuras... Pero la expresión de aquel rostro, la virtud mágica de aquella mirada, eran fijas, permanecían en el cerebro... Y al mismo tiempo que el cuadro desaparecía, llevado por los operarios, la vista se le nublaba, a doña Berta, que perdía el sentido, se desplomaba y venía a caer, deslizándose por la escalera, en los brazos del mozo compasivo que la había ayudado en su ascensión penosa. 
Aquello también era un cuadro; parecía a su manera, un Descendimiento. 
Entonces fue cuando supo por qué el pintor amigo no había contestado a la carta que le había enviado por un propio: supo que el compañero, el artista insigne y simpático que había cambiado la vida de la última Rondaliego al final de su carrera, aquel aparecido del bosque... había muerto allá en la tierra, en una de aquellas excursiones suyas en busca de lecciones de la Naturaleza.

Leopoldo Alas, "Clarín".