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:
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.]
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 )


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]
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo
Can't find an English translation of this online, though I may be searching the wrong places; thus, I have put together a quick version based on combination of Albanian dictionary and the author's own French version. Please tell me if anything has been grossly misinterpreted by me.

Edhe kur kujtesa ime e lodhur,
Ashtu si ato tramvajet e pasmesnatës
Vetëm në stacionet kryesore do të ndalojë,
Unë ty s'do të harroj.

Do të kujtoj
Mbrëmjen e heshtur, të pafund të syve të tu,
Dënesën e mbytur, rrëzuar mbi supin tim
Si një dëborë të pashkundshme.

Ndarja erdhi,
Po iki larg prej teje.
Asgjë e jashtëzakonshme,
Veç ndonjë natë
Gishtat e dikujt do pleksen në flokët e tu
Me të largëtit gishtat e mi, me kilometra të gjatë.

en français )

Even when my memory falters,
like the trams after midnight
who no longer visit any but the major stops --
I will never forget you.

I will remember
the endless and silent twilight of your eyes,
your muted sob light against my shoulder
like a flake of snow.

It's time to be separated.
I will go far from you,
to where nothing is surprising.
But, some other night, the fingers
of another in your hair will find themselves
intertwined with mine, my fingers
millions of kilometres long.
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo
A fairly free translation of Subramanya Bharati:

தேடி சோறு தினம் தின்று
பல சின்னஞ்சிறு கதைகள் பேசி
வாடி துன்பம் மிக உழன்று
பிறர் வாட பல செய்கை செய்து
நரை கூடி கிழப்பருவம் எய்தி
கொடும் கூற்றுக்கிறையாகி மாயும்
சில வேடிக்கை மனிதரை போலவே
நானும் வீழ்வேன் என்று நினைத்தாயோ?

tēḍi cōṟu diṉam tiṉdṟu
pala ciṉṉañciṟu kadaigaḷ pēci
vāḍi tuṉbam miga uḻaṉṟu
piṟar vāḍa pala ceygai ceytu
narai kūḍi kiḻapparuvam eydi
kodum kūtṟṟukkiṟayāgi māyum
cila vēḍikkai maṉidarai pōlavē
nāṉum vīḻvēṉ eṉṟu niṉaittāyō?

Did you think I, too, would simply follow suit:
give up, and be struck down like these fools,
these laughable people who spend their days
in small things: meals, dejection, insignificant stories;
who while vilifying and being vilified
watch their hair greying, quickly?
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] lnhammer

natsu no yo no
fusu ka to soreba
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.
anatsuno: Calvin (without Hobbes) explains that "verbing weirds language" (verbose & cunning)
[personal profile] anatsuno
So there's been  a great big "hommage à Serge Gainsbourg" show the Hollywood bowl and I WANTED TO BE THERE SO HARD QSSDFDHGF.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was there to perform the opening song of the Melody Nelson concept album, which is more os a spoken monologue - and this led me to post in my journal both the lyrics & a translation I did, as well as the lyrics of another favorite Gainsbourg song of mine and a download link.

I thought I'd repost the lyrics & translation here, as might be more appropriate / generate more interest. :)

Any comment welcome, from questions to translation critique - this was done rather quickly. Fun, though!

Melody, bilingue )
alee_grrl: Image of Louise Bennett, Jamaican poet and folk singer (miss lou)
[personal profile] alee_grrl
Originally posted this morning on [community profile] poetry, and the lovely [personal profile] azuire asked me to cross post here.

Bans a Killin by Louise Bennett

So yuh a de man me hear bout!
Ah yuh dem seh dah teck
Whole heap a English oat seh dat
yuh gwine kill dialec!
Meck me get it straight, mas Charlie,
For me no quite understand –
Yuh gwine kill all English dialec
Or jus Jamaica one?
Ef yuh dah equal up wid English
Language, den wha meck
Yuh gwine go feel inferior when
It come to dialec?
Ef yuh cyaan sing 'Linstead Market'
An 'Water come a me yeye’
Yuh wi haffi tap sing 'Auld lang syne’
An ‘Comin through de rye'.
Dah language weh yuh proud a,
Weh yuh honour an respec –
Po Mas Charlie, yuh no know se
Dat it spring from dialec!
Dat dem start fi try tun language
From de fourteen century -
Five hundred years gawn an dem got
More dialec dan we!
Yuh wi haffi kill de Lancashire,
De Yorkshire, de Cockney,
De broad Scotch and de Irish brogue
Before yuh start kill me!
Yuh wi haffi get de Oxford Book
A English Verse, an tear
Out Chaucer, Burns, Lady Grizelle
An plenty a Shakespeare!
When yuh done kill 'wit' an 'humour',
When yuh kill 'variety',
Yuh wi haffi fine a way fi kill
An mine how yuh dah read dem English
Book deh pon yuh shelf,
For ef yuh drop a 'h' yuh mighta
Haffi kill yuhself!

So you’re the man I hear about!
You’re the one that’s made
A whole lot of English oaths that say
You’re gonna kill dialect!
Let me get it straight, Mr. Charlie,
For I don’t quite understand –
Are you gonna kill all English dialects
Or just the Jamaican one?
If you’ve examined the English Language,
Then what makes you feel inferior when
it comes to dialects?
If you can’t sing ‘Linstead Market’
And ‘Water come a me yeye’
Then we have to stop singing ‘Auld lang syne’
And ‘Comin through de rye’.
The language you are so proud of,
Which you honor and respect—
Poor Mr. Charlie, don’t you see that
It springs from dialects!
They've tried to turn it into a language
From the fourteenth century –
Five hundred years have passed and now
They’ve got more dialects than we do!
You would have to kill the Lancashire,
The Yorkshire, the Cockney,
The broad Scotch and the Irish brogue
Before you start to kill me!
You would have to get the Oxford Book
Of English Verse and tear
Out Chaucer, Burns, Lady Grizelle
And lots of Shakespeare!
When you’ve finished killing ‘wit’ and ‘humor’,
When you’ve killed ‘variety’,
You will have to find a way to kill
And how are you gonna read those English
Books there upon your shelf,
‘Cause if you drop a ‘h’ you might
Have to kill yourself!


Aug. 15th, 2011 02:42 pm
k_a_t_z: (heart)
[personal profile] k_a_t_z

Christina Rossetti (1830 — 1894)

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago.

Кристина Россетти

Той зимой морозной
Ветер выл сурово,
Мир застыл как камень,
Сталью вод окован.
Снег ложился, падал снова,
Падал снова
Той зимою древней
И суровой.

(c)Перевод. k_a_t_z, 2011
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

snowynight: Kino in a suit with brown background (Default)
[personal profile] snowynight
crossposted to [community profile] poetry
Chen Qiuyu (鄭愁予) is a famous modern Taiwan poet noted for his use of tradition Chinese images..

錯誤 (鄭愁予)

我 打 江 南 走 過
那 等 在 季 節 裏 的 容 顏 如 蓮 花 的 開 落
東 風 不 來 , 三 月 的 柳 絮 不 飛
你 底 心 如 小 小 寂 寞 的 城
恰 若 青 石 的 街 道 向 晚
音 不 響 , 三 月 的 春 帷 不 揭
你 底 心 是 小 小 的 窗 扉 緊 掩

我 達 達 的 馬 蹄 是 美 麗 的 錯 誤
我 不 是 歸 人 , 是 個 過 客 …

Mistake by Chen qiu yu

I come from Jiang Nan, The face that waits in the season bosoms and falls like the water lily.
The East wind doesn't come, March's willow leaves don't fly
Your heart is like a lonely little town
The stone-pave street at night
Don't come The foot steps , March's Spring curtain doesn't unveil
Your heart's like little window shut close.

The tapping sound of my horse is a beautiful mistake.
I am not the one to stay. I only pass by.

snowynight: Kino in a suit with brown background (Default)
[personal profile] snowynight
禁色 was a Cantonese song sung by an Hong Kong indie band 達明一派 in 1980's, and it was believed to be about asking for a more open attitude about homosexuality, back when its decriminalization was a hot topic in 1980's in Hong Kong. The video I chose is a cover by a local singer 何韻詩。

The video:
cut for the video )

Lyric in Traditional Chinese

Lyric in Traditional Chinese )

Transliteration in pin yin

Transliteration in pin yin )

My own translation

My translation )
snowynight: Kino in a suit with brown background (Default)
[personal profile] snowynight
I've been posting my own translation of various modern Chinese poems in this tag for the April Poetry Month. Come take a look. Constructive criticism is welcomed.

For more legitimacy, here is the poem for today:
Original Text:
Original text in Simplified Chinese )

Transliteration in pinyin: Transliteration in pinyin )

My translation:
My translation )
noldo: (Default)
[personal profile] noldo
எனக்கும் தமிழ்தான் மூச்சு
பிறர்மேல் அதைவிட மாட்டேன்

yenakkum thamizhthaan moochchu
pirarmel athaivida maatten

Although even I think Tamil's the very breath of life,
I'm not breathing it down anyone else's neck!

(Translation is simplistic, and mine.)


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