I'm looking for the actual removed text. Unfortunately, I just finished reading the abridged version without realising it was abridged until reading the note on the final page.

I would like to read whatever it is I've missed out on. I found one scene here, but that's all I've been able to find.

The full text can be found here - I just don't want to have to comb through 600 pages of text to find the differences.

The Kingston text can be found here.

I've also uploaded text versions of both here. I tried diffing them myself but because they are differently formatted every line is different. I will try later removing line breaks from both and seeing what happens. Until then anyone who's interested can have a go themselves. I will post my results if I get that far sometime.

  • Do you have the text from the Kingston translation? If you did, someone might be able to use diff or other similar command line *nix utilities to find the differences. – Tango Feb 4 '13 at 5:29
  • @Tango: diffing translations will give you results on almost every line. Comparing chapter lengths with wc could help find the larger omissions. Unfortunately, counting words will miss smaller things, such as Kingston changing a major character's name from "Smith" to "Harding". – sjl Feb 4 '13 at 6:41
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    @sjl: I haven't used those utilities in a while, and often only need to do a quick compare, but doesn't diff recognize if later text - beyond the difference, matches? If not, I would think a Perl script might be possible. – Tango Feb 4 '13 at 18:54
  • @Tango - I'm flagging that comment as "offensive". A Perl script would be 100% sure, not merely "possible" <g> – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 4 '13 at 22:37
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    When I first read the title of this question, I thought it said "Klingon translation". – John Doe Jul 25 '18 at 17:35

Sidney Kravitz, who translated the version you link to, has a partial list in a note to someone interested in fixing the Kingston translation:

  • Second, Kingston's most serious error by far is his alteration of Nemo's recital in Chapter XVI of Part III. I am tempted to call this the most serious error in any English translation of Verne's novels.
  • Third, you might care to change Captain Harding to Cyrus Smith throughout (also change Pencroft to Pencroff).
  • Fourth, the second paragraph in Chapter X, Part II, is omitted. It deals with details in the design of a small sailing vessel. I once thought that Kingston omitted this paragraph because he was unfamiliar with its nautical language. On the contrary, the Encyclopedia Britannica (1944 edition) states that Kingston (1814-1880) "...had a practical knowledge of seamanship, and his stories of the sea, full of thrilling adventures and hairbreadth escapes, exactly hit the taste of his boy readers." If you can fill in this paragraph in your version you will find that most readers will quickly skim over it.
  • Fifth, on the outward trip to Tabor Island (Chapter XIII, Part II) Captain Pencroff was perfectly satisfied with his crew (but it won't corrupt your readers if they know that he spoke of rewarding them with nothing less than a quarter liter of wine).
  • Sixth, Kingston omits simple-to-translate words, phrases and paragraphs on almost every page and I can think of no reason why he did this. If you attempt to fill in these omissions then you will end up doing what I ended up doing namely to do your own translation from scratch.
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  • Kravitz wrote a review that goes into more detail. – sjl Feb 4 '13 at 21:32
  • Thank you , that link was very informative and probably has the key differences. – Fiddlesticks Feb 5 '13 at 0:27
  • Yeah, the comparison quickly turns into a machine translation problem, which is AI-hard. – sjl Feb 15 '13 at 6:14

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