Pippi Longstocking around the world

Jul 12, 2012 | Literature, Translation

The office has been getting all nostalgic today, after the Swedish author of the popular Pippi Longstocking series, Astrid Lindgren, was mentioned in a text being worked on by one of our team. A bit of investigation later and we found out that the Brits, German and Hungarian were all familiar with the fearless heroine, but she didn’t seem to have made her way into Brazilian popular culture (or at least, not our Brazilian!)

But the books have been translated into over 70 languages and some of the variations of her name are wonderful (try saying them out loud!)

Our international staff knew her as Pippi Langstrumpf in Germany, Harisnyás Pippi in Hungary, Píppi Meialonga in Brazil,  and even Pippi Hosan-hir in Wales! And in Persian it is پیپی جوراببلنده or Pipi Joorab-Bolandeh.

In some languages, the translation just sounds nice – take Changwazi Pipi, for example, in Chinese (长袜子皮皮) and I love the Filipino – Potpot Habangmedyas. Just roll it around your tongue! In Indonesia she goes by the rather long-winded monicker of Pippi Si Kaus Kaki Panjang, but as her full name in the original is Pippilotta Comestibles Windowshade Curlymint Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking, maybe it’s not that extreme!

Most of these translations are based around the long socks or stockings, but the Greeks know her as Πίπη Φακιδομύτη or Pipe Phakidomyte, which translates as Pippi the freckle-nosed girl. And the French, of course, have to be a bit different again, renaming her Fifi Brindacier which literally translates to Fifi Steelwisp.

So there you go, International Pippi. To find out more click here or, better still, read the books!