« L ’mitan d’un sièque ! Cha foait éne saprèe résette pour éne gin normale. » What is going on? Has the Asterix and Obelix Missive fallen victim to the 2010 virus? Or is one of Caesar’s messengers using some obscure code? Luckily, the truth of the matter is much simpler: in order to extend the festivities of the banquet in tribute to Asterix’s fiftieth anniversary (we weren’t born fun-loving Gauls for nothing!), les Editions Albert René have decided to publish a Picard version of the new Asterix and Obelix’s Birthday: the Golden Book.

Following their success of Astérix i rinte à l’école (Asterix and the Class Act) and Ch’village copè in II (The Great Divide), the same excellent trio of translators from Northern Gaul (Alain Dawson, Jacques Dulphy and Jean-Luc Vigneux) has once again met this linguistic challenge with flying colours, coming up with a colourful variety of Picard dialects for Astérix pi Obélix is ont leus ages - Ch’live in dor.

You have to admit that the album, which brings 400 characters from the series together to celebrate the birthday of our indomitable friends, has more than enough material to satisfy them. To avoid any linguistic discord, the three translators showed a stroke of genius in having characters from the small village in Armorica that we all know and love speak a variety of Picard from the North (urban dialect from the mining district, also known as “chti”) while the Belgians hold forth in the Picard from Tournai, whereas all the other characters (Romans, other Gauls, etc.) speak a more southerly Picard (Amiens, Ponthieu, Vimeu).

It goes without saying that the translators took pains to make sure that the work in this new album was consistent with that of the first two albums so as to guarantee the same rousing success among Picard readers. To sum things up, the Picard culture has never had it better – the album is in all the best book shops in Gaul as of 27 January 2010!

Click here to check out two plates from Astérix pi Obélix is ont leus ages - Ch’live in dor, exclusive to this website.

The Asterix website is going “Picard”!

Gusts of the North wind bring traditional Picard good cheer to the Virtual Village! For the first time ever, you can flaunt your regional ties and send Asterix e-cards in the Picard dialect! Courièctronix, the Village’s Picard name of the postman is absolutely thrilled!

As for the Asterix Quiz, you have until the end of the month to try your luck at the January session and win a set of Asterix and the Class Act albums in six French regional languages. The very thought makes the Romans’ heads spin!

To learn more about our albums in the Picard dialect, check out our website’s special page and the Asterix blog in Picard. Totally won over by the Picard language, Obelix exclaims: “Is sont fin braques ches Romains-lo!” (These Romans are crazy!)!