spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
The Poetry Translation Centre, dedicated to translating works by African and Asian and Latin American poets into English (while further publishing the poems in their original language/script alongside), has launched a book to celebrate a decade of translations. This book, published by Bloodaxe, is just short of 400 pages and contains 111 poems by 45 poets in 23 languages (from Arabic to Zapotec). All the poems are presented in their original languages/scripts first and then in an English translation made through the collaboration of literal translators with respected English poets. It’s been sponsored by various worthy organisations and has a cover price of only £12. Bloodaxe are also intending to publish collections by some of the individual poets in the coming years.

My Voice page at Bloodaxe Books.

(1) Literary event in London with multilingual readings and discussions and (2) the official book launch in London with multilingual readings and discussions. I’ve been lucky enough to hear Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi from Sudan reading intensely in Arabic (modern standard, obv) and Reza Mohammadi from Afghanistan reading lyrically in Persian (Dari, amongst other dialects), and to listen to them both discussing poetry and translation in English, and I wholeheartedly recommend the experience.

The title of the book is taken from a poem by Partaw Naderi, translated as "My Voice".

My Voice by Partaw Naderi (written in Kabul, December, 1989)

I come from a distant land

with a foreign knapsack on my back

with a silenced song on my lips

As I travelled down the river of my life

I saw my voice

(like Jonah)

swallowed by a whale

And my very life lived in my voice


The Persian/Dari original poem. The literal translation is by Yama Yari and the poetic translation by Sarah Maguire.

There are many other poems freely available on the Poetry Translation Centre website. Enjoy!
spiralsheep: Reality is a dangerous concept (babel Blake Reality Dangerous Concept)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
A poem about language, scripts, and translations, offered without translation, because I thought some of you would appreciate it.

Hill Speak by Zaffar Kunial
 
There is no dictionary for my father’s language. )
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo
Listen to this poem. Please. Do. Please. [audio at top of page]

french text )

english translation )

I have dropped a couple of particularly challenging puns, they are marked. Suggestions gratefully appreciated. [No, I cannot come up with a pithy rhyming translation of 'reubeu'!] [If you are curious, literal glosses of the lines respectively would be, 'Words in Hebrew like a [popular bit of verlan for 'Arab']', and 'Moldovan words, because they're the most serious'. Both of these seem to have been plays on sound foremost. Not sure how to do that in English.]

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