[personal profile] naad
here's an abhang by Sant Tsokhamela. [the more common spelling is Chokhamela, but i'm following my ideology of transcribing rather than transliterating proper nouns and un-translatable words - and 'tsa' to my mind more accurately denotes the Marathi sound which is the pronunciation of the letter commonly Romanised as 'cha'. think of 'tsar' and you'll be pretty close.]

[original Marathi in Devanaagari]
ऊस डोंगा परि रस नोहे डोंगा | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा
कमान डोंगी परि तीर नोहे डोंगा | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा
नदी डोंगी परि जल नोहे डोंगे  | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा
चोखा डोंगा परि भाव नोहे डोंगा | काय भूललासी वरलिया रंगा

[transliteration in Roman - long vowels doubled, short ones single]
Oos Dongaa Pari Rasa Nohe Dongaa | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa
Kamaan Dongee Pari Teer Nohe Dongaa | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa
Nadee Dongee Pari Jala Nohe Donge | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa
Tsokhaa Dongaa Pari Bhaav Nohe Dongaa | Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa

[partial translation in Roman-script Hindi]
gannaa tedhaa hogaa par ras kharaab nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'
kamaan kuroop hogaa par teer tedhaa nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'
nadee tedhee-medhi hogee par paani tedhaa nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'
tsokha badsoorat hogaa par uska bhaav bhrasht nahin hai | kyaa bhool gaye ho 'varaliyaa rangaa'

[partial translation in Roman-script English - the second half of each line has been omitted]
A sugar-cane may be twisted and ugly, but the juice is not, it's still sweet
The quiver may be disfigured and misshapen, but the arrow is still straight and true
A river may be twisting and contorting, but its waters are not so
Tsokha may be grotesque and repulsive, but his mind is not impure

i couldn't find any translations on the Net of the second phrase in each line - "Kaaya Bhulalaasi Varaliyaa Rangaa" - if anyone has any clue how to translate it, please comment. as far as i can tell: 
kaaya = what (Hindi: kyaa)
bhoolalaasi = have forgotten (Hindi: bhool gaye ho / bhool gayaa hoon)
rangaa = color-something??

you can hear a modern rendition of it via the 'Music:' link.

carthaginians: (Default)
[personal profile] carthaginians








যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে তবে একলা চলো রে।
একলা চলো, একলা চলো, একলা চলো, একলা চলো রে॥
যদি কেউ কথা না কয়, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি সবাই থাকে মুখ ফিরায়ে সবাই করে ভয়—
তবে পরান খুলে
ও তুই মুখ ফুটে তোর মনের কথা একলা বলো রে॥
যদি সবাই ফিরে যায়, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি গহন পথে যাবার কালে কেউ ফিরে না চায়—
তবে পথের কাঁটা
ও তুই রক্তমাখা চরণতলে একলা দলো রে॥
যদি আলো না ধরে, ওরে ওরে ও অভাগা,
যদি ঝড়-বাদলে আঁধার রাতে দুয়ার দেয় ঘরে—
তবে বজ্রানলে
আপন বুকের পাঁজর জ্বালিয়ে নিয়ে একলা জ্বলো রে॥
Jodi tor đak shune keu na ashe tôbe êkla chôlo re,
Êkla chôlo, êkla chôlo, êkla chôlo, êkla chôlo re.
Jodi keu kôtha na kôe, ore ore o ôbhaga,
Jodi shôbai thake mukh firaee shôbai kôre bhôe—
Tôbe pôran khule
O tui mukh fuţe tor moner kôtha êkla bôlo re.
Jodi shôbai fire jae, ore ore o ôbhaga,
Jodi gôhon pôthe jabar kale keu fire na chae—
Tôbe pôther kãţa
O tui rôktomakha chôrontôle êkla dôlo re.
Jodi alo na dhôre, ore ore o ôbhaga,
Jodi jhôŗ-badole ãdhar rate duar dêe ghôre—
Tôbe bojranôle
Apon buker pãjor jalie nie êkla jôlo re.
If they answer not to thy call walk alone,
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open thy mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart
and let it burn alone.
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo
Here is Faiz's own recitation of this poem, courtesy the U. S. Library of Congress.

urdu text )

transliteration )

english translation )

Please drop me a shout if something's grossly wrong with either the spelling or the translation, which is admittedly a hack job.
deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
[personal profile] deepad
I'm writing a bunch of posts about books and languages and literature and so on over at my blog, and while I was talking about the film-maker and lyricist Gulzar, I tried to translate one of his earliest songs. Here's my attempt at it -
Devanagri lyrics )

Roman transliteration )

My translation to English )

The song, picturised on the incomparable Nutan, from the film Bandini:
esperante: (Default)
[personal profile] esperante
समाधी - लेख

रस तो अनंत था, अंजूरी भर ही पिया
जी में वसंत था, एक ही फूल दिया

मिटने के दिन आज मुझको यह सोच है
कैसे बड़े युग में
कैसा छोटा जीवन जिया.

-- भारत भूषण अग्रवाल

hindi transliteration )

Epitaph

The nectar flowed freely, yet I tasted only a drop
Spring flourished in my heart, yet there bloomed only a flower

On this day of departure it occurs to me
it was a time for such greatness
and yet, I led such a trivial life.

-- Bharat Bhushan Agrawal

~~

Last semester, I took a class on Translation Theory and Practice at my university, and for the 'practice' part of the course our professor insisted that each person in the class translate one poem (from any language, into English) everyday and read it aloud. Poems are the hardest and best ways to understand the joys and pains of translation, he said, and he was right. Reading aloud is of course, the best way to enjoy poetry, and the class discussions that followed would be about the specific problems to each language and to the poem in question. Though mostly we talked about how the cadences and vocabulary of English were often so utterly inadequate for the idioms of Indian languages, and how really we were doing English a favour by leaving some words untranslated, or forcing English into specific-language!rhythms ;)

Our prof has worked on translating poems by the Hindi poet Bharat Bhushan Agrawal (he might have published a book, iirc) and he said 'Samadhi Lekh' had been the greatest thorn in his side. He has it up on a poster in his office, and he offers to students in each batch who are comfortable with Hindi as a challenge. This was my effort for class, and he said it was pretty good, but I'm still not happy with it overall. The effect of its sharp, succinct images and its epic sentiment is so hard to capture in English. Ah, well - I guess the only thing to do is to keep talking to poems like these, and be amazed anew each time.

[thank you to [personal profile] azuire for making me finally post poem, and [personal profile] dhobikikutti for typing up all versions of the poem]
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)
[personal profile] dhobikikutti
A friend forwarded me this poem by Kaifi Azmi on the Babri Masjid demolitions. I suspect it was originally written in Urdu, so if anyone has the original, or can retransliterate it back, let me know and I'll edit it into the main post. (I suspect there are a few typos in the Devnagari transliteration I was forwarded.) Likewise, a translation, which I'm too lazy to attempt.

दूसरा बनवास

राम बनवास से जब लौट के घर में आये,
याद जंगल बहुत आया जो नगर में आये,
राक्स्से दीवानगी आँगन में जो देखा होगा,
6 दिसम्बर को श्री राम ने सोचा होगा,
इतने दीवाने कहाँ से मेरे घर में आये?

जगमगाते थे जहाँ राम के क़दमों के निशाँ,
पियार की कहकशां लेती थी अंगड़ाई जहाँ,
मोड़ नफरत के उसी रह गुज़र में आये,
धरम क्या उनका है, क्या ज़ात है, यह जानता कौन?
घर न जलता तो उन्हें रात में पहचानता कौन,
घर जलाने को मेरा, लोग जो घर में आये,
शाकाहारी है मेरे दोस्त तुम्हारा खंजर |

तुमने बाबर की तरफ फेके थे सारे पत्थर,
है मेरे सर की खता ज़ख्म जो सर में आये,
पाँव सरजू में अभी राम ने धोये भी न थे
के नज़र आये वहां खून के गहरे धब्बे,
पाँव धोये बिना सरजू के किनारे से उठे,
राम यह कहते हुए आपने द्वारे से उठे,
राजधानी की फिजा आयी नहीं रास मुझे,
6 दिसम्बर को मिला दूसरा बनवास मुझे |

-- कैफ़ी आज़्मी

Roman transliteration )
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo
I apologise in advance for the transliteration.

هدیه

من از نهایت شب حرف می زنم
من از نهایت تاریکی
و از نهایت شب حرف می زنم

اگر به خانه من آمدی
برای من ای مهربان چراغ بیار
و یک دریچه که از آن
به ازدحام کوچه ی خوشبخت بنگرم

transliteration )

I speak out of the deep of night.
Out of the deep of darkness,
and out of the deep of night I speak.

If you come to my house, friend:
bring me a lamp1, and a window through which I can look
at the crowd in the happy alley.

- trans. Ahmad Karimi Hakkak

1. I'm not messing with someone else's translation, but why leave out مهربان? I like that being there!
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[personal profile] lnhammer
夏の夜のふすかとすれば郭公なくひとこゑにあくるしののめ

natsu no yo no
fusu ka to soreba
hototogisu
naku hitokoe ni
akuru shinonome

    While I consider
possibly going to bed
    of a summer night --
with a single cuckoo's voice,
the first breaking light of dawn.

By Ki no Tsurayuki.


Written for (or at least presented at) a poetry contest held in 893. I am intrigued by how in the first line "night" (yo) is followed by a genitive/locative case-marker instead of the expected topic-marking particle, which has the effect of de-emphasizing the time -- and so plays into the speaker's losing track of it. I shifted that image down to the third line to mimic that de-emphasis.
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] lnhammer
As part of learning Japanese, I've taken up translating from the Kokinshu, the first imperial anthology of Japanese poetry, compiled around 905 CE. This is of course as silly as practicing English with Chaucer, but, well, mastering two grammar sets at once, plus vocabulary shifts, just makes the challenge all the more fun.

Please tell me there are other people who do this ...


The following is my favorite waka from the anthology, so far. It's by Ono no Komachi (小野小町), an obscure lady-in-waiting active in the 850s, noted for being the most passionate classical Japanese love poet as well as one of the great technical masters of using words with double-meanings. In this one, every noun and verb has at least two operative senses (ranging from symbolic senses to idiomatic uses to outright puns meant to be read both ways at once), only some of which can come through into English intact. In addition, the adverbial middle line can be read as applying to the clauses before and after it. In short, an astonishing poem. The implied context is she's been waiting for a lover who hasn't visited.


花の色は うつりにけりな いたづらに わが身世にふる ながめせしまに

hana no iro wa
utsurinikeri na
itazura ni
waga mi yo ni furu
nagame seshi ma ni


    This flower's beauty
has faded away it seems
    to no avail
have I spent my time staring
into space at the long rains


---L.
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
An Old English riddle, circa 10th century CE, from the Exeter Book (text is the currently accepted standard):

Moððe word fræt. Me þæt þuhte
wrætlicu wyrd, þa ic þæt wundor gefrægn,
þæt se wyrm forswealg wera gied sumes,
þeof in þystro, þrymfæstne cwide
ond þæs strangan staþol. Stælgiest ne wæs
wihte þy gleawra, þe he þam wordum swealg.

My transliteration and translation. )

The above riddle was probably based on this Latin riddle from the Aenigmata by Symphosius, circa 4th-5th century CE (text from Raymond Ohl, 1928, but the standard rendering of "Littera" would be litera and the punctuation, as always, is arguable):

Littera me pavit nec quid sit littera novi:
In libris vixi nec sum studiosior inde;
Exedi Musas nec adhuc tamen ipsa profeci.

Two translations to English. )

Anyone still mystified by these riddles may apply to me in comment form for the answer(s). :-)
azuire: (Default)
[personal profile] azuire
Persian:

نه من بيهوده گرد کوچه و بازار می گردم

مذاق عاشقی دارم پی ديدار ميگردم

خدايا رحم کن بر من پريشان وار می گردم

خطا کارم گناهکارم به حال زار می گردم

شراب شوق می نوشم به گرد يار می گرد

سخن مستانه می گويم ولی هوشيار می گردم



Transliteration:

Na man behooda girde kocha
Wa bazaar megardam
Mazaj-e-ashiqee daram paye
dildar megardam

Khudaya rahm kon bar man
Pareeshan waar megardam

Khata karam gonahgaram
Ba hale zaar megardam

Sharabe showq menosham
Ba girde yaar megardam

Sukhan mastana megoyam
Walay hooshyaar megardam

Translation (Farah Aziz):

No I am not roaming aimlessly
around the streets and bazaar
I am a lover searching for his beloved

God have mercy on me
I am walking around troubled

I have done wrong and sinned
and am walking around wounded

I have drunk the wine of desire
and am strolling around beloved

Though I may seem drunk
I am quite sober


There is a Qawwali version of this as well, sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Part 1, and Part 2, on youtube.
[personal profile] naad
In Avadhi as far as I can remember...

Hindi, Devnagri -
राम नाम अवलंब बिना परमारथ की आस
बरसद बारिद बूंद गहिन चाहत चढन अकास

Hindi, Roman -
raam naam avalamb binaa, paramaaratha ki aas
barasada baarid boond gahin, chaahat chadan akaas


English Translation, Roman -
[my own translation, so inaccurate and non-poetic]
aspiring to attain the Ultimate Truth, without meditating upon Raam's name
is like trying to climb to the sky, with a ladder made of raindrops
[personal profile] naad
In Avadhi as far as I can remember...

Hindi, Devnagri -
एक भारोसो एक बल एक आस बिसवास
एक राम घनश्याम हित चातक तुलसीदास

Hindi, Roman -
(with diacritical marks to indicate pronunciation - hyphen over a vowel means the long form of that vowel)
ek bharoso, ek bal, ek ās viśhvās
ek rām ghanshyām hit, chātak tulsidās

English Translation, Roman -
[my own translation, so inaccurate and non-poetic]
one (object of) faith, one (source of) strength, one (object of) belief and refuge...
there is only the one Rām for Tulsidās, just as there is only the raincloud for the chātak bird.


Note:
this is based on a कवि सत्य (kavi satya) i.e. poetic truth, which is a particular phenomenon or fact broadly accepted as true within the writer/poet community of Hindi literature. it may or may not be scientific fact. in this case, the kavi satya being referenced, is that the chātak bird, a particular species of bird, refuses to drink any water 'from the earth', and waits for the monsoon clouds to slake his thirst. For marginally more details, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobin_Cuckoo#In_culture
bravecows: Picture of a brown cow writing next to some books (Default)
[personal profile] bravecows
It occurred to me that people on this comm might find this quite interesting/useful:

Guide to writing Hokkien in the Roman alphabet

I found this interesting and in fact quite useful in improving my understanding of (Penang) Hokkien. I understand some as my parents and relatives speak it, but didn't have any systematic training (though ... does anyone?) and didn't consciously distinguish between the various consonant sounds.

There's also a guide to tones in Hokkien, and I recommend the podcast if you're interested in Penang Hokkien at all. Sometimes I put it on when I'm feeling homesick, though I only understand some of what is being said. Don't listen to it when your Hokkien-speaking relatives are around, though -- they get pretty profane!
[personal profile] naad
Main tumhari maun karuna ka sahara chahta hoon

main tumhari maun karuna ka sahara chahta hoon

janta hoon is jagat mein
phool ki hai aayu kitni
aur yauvan ki ubharti
saans mein hai vayu kitni,
is liye sansaar ka
vistaar saaraa chahta hoon,
main tumhari maun karuna ka sahara chahta hoon...

jod kar kan-kan kripan
aakaash ne taare sajaaye
jo ki ujwal hain sahi
par kyaa kisi ke kaam aye?
praan, mein to margadarshak
ek taaraa chahta hoon
main tumhari maun karuna ka sahara chahta hoon...

prashnachinhon mein uthi hain
bhaagya-saagar ki hilorein
aasuon se rahit hongi
kyaa nayan ki namit koren?
jo tumhe kar de dravit
vaha ashrudhaaraa chahta hoon
main tumhari maun karuna ka sahara chahta hoon...

ye utha kaisa prabhanjan
jud gayi jaise dishayein
ek tarni, ek navik
aur kitni aapdayein...
kya kahoon, manjhadhaar mein hi
main kinaaraa chahta hoon..
main tumhari maun karuna ka sahara chahta hoon...

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