New Zealand: ArwenElf sends news of the preparations for the world premiere of ROTK in Wellington. [More]
Remember if you are planning to be in NZ for this, TORNado Phil Capper is trying to coordinate a network of homestays among local LOTR fans in Wellington. Email if you are interested in helping or benefiting from this.

Also in NZ: First captioned screenings in Australasia for the hearing impaired. [More]

Japan: Bruce sends in this from the Japan Times: “AOL Time Warner Inc.’s second movie of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy generated more than 1.1 billion yen (about US$9.2 million) in ticket sales in Japan on the first weekend of its release. The figures for “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” exceeded those for the opening weekend of the first movie in the series, Toru Tanabe, a spokesman for Nippon Herald Films Inc., on of the film’s local distributors, said Monday, although her couldn’t immediately provide a percentage comparison.”

Sweden: Martin writes in on the new Swedish translations of Tolkiens work, long overdue it seems:

“I noticed you had some news on the new Swedish translation, the first volume of which will appear next year, so I thought I’d say something about the translation (by Professor Åke Ohlmarks) that we Swedes have had to live with for the past 43 years.

“There is a reason why the Swedish translation is the only one singled out for condemnation in Humphrey Carpenter’s Tolkien biography, and Tolkien’s own criticism (in “The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien”) is completely justified. I might even go so far as saying that it is the worst translation in the history of the Swedish language. Here are some random errors (there are thousands) that Professor Ohlmarks have perpetrated (All quotes from the English text are actually paraphrases, since I don’t have the text available at the moment):

— “Most of these bore the mark of DALE” becomes “Most of these were called bow-drones” (whatever that is)
— “Shelob’s Lair” becomes “the She-Monster’s Thigh” (probably because the Swedish word for “thigh” bears an extremely superficial resemblance to “lair”)
— “…when the Firstborn roamed the forest” becomes “…when the Firstborn One bellowed in the forest” (again because of an extremely superficial resemblance between “roam” and the Swedish word for “bellow”)
— “He stopped dead” becomes “He had stopped death”
— “gear” becomes “spear”
— in Éowyn and Merry’s battle with the Witch-king, two pronouns have been changed, making it appear that it was Merry who cut off the Witch-king’s head (this error has been corrected, but as late as 1989)
— “What has happened to your precious Nazgûl? Had another mount shot under him?” becomes “What has happened to your precious Nazgûl? Landed on another mountain?”

Also, names have been extremely inconsistently translated. Within the space of four pages, Isengard is “Isengard”, “Isendor”, and “Isendal”.

And Tolkien’s style has been severely changed as well. Ohlmarks has added thousands of words, ruining Tolkien’s prose.

So as you can understand, the readers in Sweden applaud the decision to create a new translation.”