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They haven’t got a clue. D’oh.


Mrs. Webwrights tutors in French – no, that’s not a euphemism – and last week found someone’s freelance attempt to translate the old (and, in my view, insultingly feeble) board-game of Cluedo (known as Clue in the USA) into French. This translation had been done not as a commercial enterprise, but as a rather clever teaching-aid.

Mrs. W was interested as she has herself devised a language-teaching method founded on more flexible board-gaming principles. If any games publishers are readers of this blog (yeah, right), it’s easily learned, works well and is completely fungible. Oh, just look it up! Open a new tab and check an online dictionary. Do I have to do everything for you?

For those fortunate people who have never played Cluedo, players are allocated tokens representing 6 colour-coded characters: Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Reverend Green, Mrs. Peacock and Professor Plum. The playing-board is a schematic of the ground-floor of a country-house in which a murder has taken place.

The fractional skill needed is deployed in deducing which character is guilty of using which weapon – candlestick, dagger, lead pipe, revolver, rope or spanner – in which room. The French version had transposed the crime scene from a country-house to a school, and the murder victim was the headmaster! The suspects remained the same.

In the French version, however, the character of Reverend Green had been translated raaaather too literally – and not very cleverly anywhere, particularly not for a school – as Le Père Vert.

This looks as if it could be fun, though:


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