lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
[personal profile] lea_hazel2013-11-05 11:18 pm

Playlist: Multilingual Songs

My playlist came out fifteen songs long, of which many were recommended by this community. The playlist can be found on YouTube and the track listing is on my Tumblr. I will also be crossposting to AO3. Corrections and constructive criticism are always welcome.

The title is from a translation of a Leah Goldberg poem (originally in Hebrew) which I believe has been posted here. I'm not tagging all the languages that appear in the mix because there are so many and I think DW has a tag limit.
hagar_972: "It's the way I feel that changes/These are the colours of the sun." (Colours of the Sun)
[personal profile] hagar_9722013-11-03 08:38 pm

הכניסי תחת כנפך/ביאליק | Under Your Wing/Bialik | Приюти меня под крылышком

The poem Hachnisini tachat k'nefech ("Bring me under your wing", female addressee) is one of the better-known poems by Haim Nachman Bialik, an early Hebrew poet often considered Israel's national poet. (I cannot in good conscious fully get behind this title, because we had no-less-good ones after him, as seminal as Bialik's corpus is.) One of the primary reasons that Hachnisini is so well-enough is that it's been set to music a dozen-plus times and recorded about a gazillion; suffice to say, it's popular enough that musical reality shows contestants will pick it for their auditions. (I'm partial to Nechama Hendel's version from the 1950s, which tune - like so many Israeli songs - is ripped off Eastern European folk melodies; the best-known one is arguably Arik Einstein's from the 1980s. It's also worth noting that the tradition of setting poetry to music is primarily associated with Israeli-Hebrew rock, not folk.)

The poem is brought below in Hebrew, with translations into English and Russian. These translations were rendered in by Ze'ev Jabotinsky (born Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky). Jabotinsky was himself a complex figure, best known as a political leader and visionary. The Russian translation is earlier, and was published in 1916 as part of an anthology of Russian-translated Hebrew poetry. The English translation is later, presumably 1920s, and was given as a gift to Ronald Storrs, then the British Military Governor of Palestine.

I cannot evaluate the Russian translation as I do not speak or read the language, but the English translation is exquisite. The translations and their background were found via this blog post (in Hebrew).



Приюти меня под крылышком,
Будь мне мамой и сестрой,
На груди твоей разбитые
Сны-мечты мои укрой.

Наклонись тихонько в сумерки,
Буду жаловаться я:
Говорят, есть в мире молодость –
Где же молодость моя?

И ещё поверю шёпотом:
И во мне горела кровь;
Говорят, любовь нам велена –
Где и что она, любовь?

Звёзды лгали; сон пригрезился –
И не стало и его;
Ничего мне не осталося,
Ничего.

Приюти меня под крылышком,
Будь мне мамой и сестрой,
На груди твоей разбитые
Сны-мечты мои укрой…
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2013-04-08 08:36 am

Multiple translations of David Whyte's 'The Opening of Eyes'

"The Opening of Eyes" by David Whyte @ [community profile] poetry includes authorized translations of the English language poem into French, German, and Italian from the poet's website. Translators are Kim Mizrahi, Andrea Stendel, and Sabine Pascarelli respectively.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma2012-11-13 04:26 pm

Yeah, they should learn German, but which dialect(s)?

http://realgrammar.posterous.com/lexception-suisse (unfortunately, I don't speak any dialect of German, so I don't know what the linked article says, or in which dialect(s) of German, beyond the summary given in Real Grammar).

And relatedly, I'm wondering: which French dialect is taught first/only in areas of Switzerland where German, Italian, or Romantsch are the primary language?
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2012-02-20 01:29 pm

Rec: Meta About Translating Japanese Poetry @ POETREE

Meta: translating Japanese by [profile] lhhammer @ [community profile] poetree
Aside from the usual translation problem of how words do not match one-to-one across languages, but rather overlap in meaning and tenor and connotation, the biggest difficulty with Japanese is that it's what linguists call a pro-drop language. That is, any information that a listener can understand from context can and usually will be omitted. The attitude is something like, If you have enough context to understand who a pronoun refers to, why bother with the pronoun? In everyday conversation or an extended prose passage, this generally isn't hard to deal with as there's a lot of context, but in a short, detached poem, the lacunae can be hard to fill, leaving you to ponder whether a verb describes the action of "I," "you," "us," or some other person or people.


==

Also, for those who missed [personal profile] goneahead's fabulous week as POETREE Host focusing on 'International Poetry' earlier this month, [personal profile] alee_grrl has put together an excellent roundup post.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma2012-01-12 09:25 pm

(no subject)

Language imperialism

The picture in the linked post is of 2 "Caution, wet floor" yellow plastic signs. The one on the right is in English only, the one on the left in English and Spanish.
thatlitgirl: “Extreme closeup on Shiva's face as she smiles meanly with her bangs across her eyes (Richard Dragon: Enter the Dragon)” (DC: Sandra Woosan smiling)

On Words

I’ve written a piece about language contact and acquisition, and how I feel about it; Kutti asked me to link to it, so here it is:

On Words and Up Words [Content warning: Strong Language]
The professor used a rather thought-provoking metaphor in our conversation. Learning a language, to him, is like approaching it with a thick wall of frosted glass in the way. One day, you might get close enough to peer through the glass; even closer, and the glass shatters. And when the glass shatters, you can see clearly, but the shards can cut.

I am welcome to anyone else sharing how they approach the process of language learning emotionally! :)
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo2011-12-12 05:41 am

access/availability of language-learning materials

I have a rather long post on my journal about difficulties in obtaining something as simple as an introductory language textbook for languages that are not the canonical set generally studied.

I'm talking about Kannada in particular, but I imagine that much of this is heavily cross-applicable. I'd certainly appreciate any thoughts people have, either on the specific points I raise, or on related issues.

Post on writing fanfiction in English for a source not in English

[personal profile] raven had this to say:
A little while back [personal profile] gavagai asked me for a bit of fic: Komal/Preeti, from Chak De! India, or something about Garak and Mila from Deep Space Nine. Chak De! India - I've written about it at greater length here, but in short: it's a marvellous film about the Indian women's hockey team, and their rise to meteoric stardom. I have much love for it.

Anyway, I found both ideas equally possible, so while I've never written for the fandom, I opened up a blank document to have a bash at it.

...and then stopped and thought, huh. The problem - CDI is in Hindi. And for me, fanfiction is about voices - it's about hearing those characters' voices in your head. Sometimes it's about other things, sometimes it's about a plot or a mood or a particular thematic study, but when I sit down to write a fic for someone else at the tip of a hat, it's about seeing if I can evoke the source material for that person.

And, well. How to write it? I couldn't write a story about them with them speaking in English. They don't - they're Indian women, they're Hindi speakers. I couldn't write about them in Hindi I think. Perhaps I could, with a great deal of time and patience. (I wonder - is a feel for language language-locked, like software to an operating system? One day I plan to learn enough of my native tongue to find out.)

But even if I could have written about them in Hindi, that would be no use to [personal profile] gavagai. And while I could possibly have written them in English with only the dialogue in Hindi, footnoted, that strikes me as messy.

I do wonder, also, if the matter is complicated by the fact that I am, myself, a Hindi speaker. If I didn't speak a word of the language, would that help? Could I, say, write Amelie fic in English? (Let us please put aside my incredibly limited French.) Might it also help if the subtitles for CDI were not so incredibly, laughably, hilariously awful, and were written in such a way to convey a "feel" for each speaker? I don't know.

I really don't know, and I'm not writing this to lead up to any particular conclusion. I'm just wondering if you all have any thoughts on the matter. I mean, people writing fic in English for anime and manga fandoms have surely hit this problem before, and I'm sure people wrote fic for Chak De! India itself a couple of yuletides ago. I'm just wondering.


How have you all dealt with translative fanfic?

Essay: No Country for Strangers by ephemere

[personal profile] ephemere posted an essay titled No Country for Strangers that has some thoughts about colonialism and languages which I found very relevent to this community:
Background: I'm a Filipino living in the Philippines; I have lived here almost all my life, the exception being approximately two years of my early childhood that I spent in the U.S. We speak Filipino at home, but I write and do research and have academic discussions in English. I was taught to read and write in both English and Filipino, I consider myself more fluent in English than I am in my native tongue, and in my education both here and in the U.S. English-language literature has dominated my reading. For a long time I was content with this skew and was mostly unaware of its ramifications; I didn't think there was anything wrong with it, and my satisfaction in how many "world classics" of literature I'd read subsumed the slight shame I felt at not having read many works of Philippine literature, or not being able to read written Filipino without a great deal of concentration. Right now I'm still struggling with this disconnect between who I am and what I read. I'm grappling with the reality of how so much of my thinking -- even in economics, which is what I've been trained in -- has been shaped according to the perspectives of Western intellectuals whose views simply cannot be applied wholesale to the situation my country is in. And I'm coming to terms, slowly, with the amorphous nature of our national identity, the difficulties that stand in the way of its formation, and what this means to me as a majority sourcelander, an economist, and a reader. This isn't me speaking for all Filipinos. This is me speaking out of the conjunction of all these facets of my experience.

First things first: specific points, based on the aforementioned perspective. Charles Tan talks about the "small but growing awareness of the literature of other cultures" as a "liberty that occurred only because of humanity's continued struggle for 'enlightenment'". I find this exceedingly ironic when taken in light of the past history of the Philippines and of the present state of education in the country. I was very aware of the literary classics of other cultures when I was growing up, and I don't doubt this applies to many members of my generation who had access to the same educational resources I did. Most of my books as a child were simplified versions of books by authors such as Dumas, Stevenson, Alcott, Carroll, and others. In high school we were required to make ourselves familiar with Shakespeare, Hugo, Poe, Marlowe, Steinbeck, etc; our school's reading room was dominated by British, French, and American writers. We were supposed to know the figures of speech and the literary conventions used by these writers -- so where does "small but growing" come from? We, of the upper and middle classes, who had the means to access "superior" educational materials, were immersed in this from childhood. This is not an expression of unalloyed liberty to progress further toward 'enlightenment'. It is part of an educational system that was to a large extent instituted during the American occupation, whose so-called benevolent rule has not been fully extricated from either the public consciousness or our political decisions up to this very day. It is an outgrowth of a dominance that may have been thought to have eased when we were 'granted' our independence, but has in fact never disappeared, only become more subtle in its influence on our psyches.

I don't wish these influences, which shaped my knowledge of and love for literature, were completely gone from me. They've taught me many things; because of them I can engage with some people with the advantage of being informed by the literature of their country. But I want to recognize them for what they are; I want to be conscious of their effects, and capable of rejecting these effects. Yet the truth remains that these influences are often taken for granted by many Filipinos; we consider it perfectly natural that we know so much about U.S. pop culture, it's a default that we can pretend to talk like Americans or think like Americans -- act and live like them, and yes, write like them.

So please don't talk about this awareness of other cultures' literature as if it were new to us. It's not. The very fact that knowledge of American/British literature is considered a default among the educated class here is glaring proof of that.