Translation

Semi-Leagues Further

Well, I have finished a book I was working on for the past eight years or so. I am not sure yet how I am going to get it into the world, but I will keep you posted. One aspect of the research was that it involved a lot of sources in other languages, and I would often go to Google Translate to make sense of them, which provided me with a great deal of mirth if not quotable translation. So while the wait continues for the new book I have decided to pass the time by creating a little quiz. Each of the following is a famous English text, most are poems, but one or two are prose. I have translated them into another language using Google Translate and then back into English. Can you name them? Answers at the end.

1.

How do I like you? Let me count the ways.

I love you in depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when you feel invisible

For Human Conclusions and Appropriate Grace.

I love you to the everyday level

Need for great peace, sunshine and candlelight.

I love you freely, as people fight for what is right;

I truly love you, as they turn to Psalm.

2.

I deliberately went to the woods with the desire to live, bringing only the essential facts of life to the fore and seeing if I could learn what it had to teach. I didn’t want to live something that wasn’t life. Living is very important. I also didn’t want to practice resigning unless I needed to. I wanted to live deeply, suck out all the bone marrow of my life, and live like a Spartan, sturdy enough to rout everything that isn’t life.

3.

Everyone kills his loved one

Let everyone hear;

Some make him look bitter,

Someone with a comforting word,

The fearful man works with a kiss,

The warrior with the sword!

4.

Die, fall asleep;

Sleep, perhaps, will dream – yes, that’s the problem:

For in that death dream there may be dreams,

When we shuffle this death coil

Gotta give us a break – that’s respect

It turns such a long life into trouble.

5.

But Musi, you are not your lane.

To prove foresight can be ineffective:

The best Mice an ‘Men plan.

Aft gang

‘lea’e us naught but grief an’ pain,

For happiness worth it!

6.

You can write me in history

With your bitter and complicated lies,

You can trample me on the ground a lot

But still, like dust, I get up.

7.

Semi-leagues, semi-leagues

Semi-leagues furhter,

All in the valley of death

We went for six hundred.

“Forward, light brigade!

Charge for weapons!” he said.

In the valley of death

We went for six hundred.

8.

Because I could not stop dying –

He lovingly stopped me –

The car was held, but we:

And immortality.

9.

Oh, somewhere in this lovely earth the sun is shining,

Somewhere the band is playing, and somewhere the hearts are light;

And where men are laughing, and where children are screaming,

But there is no happiness in Mudville – the mighty Casey has begun to come forward.

10.

There was a time of good, a time of evil, a time of wisdom, a time of stupidity, a time of faith, a time of distrust, a season of Light, a season of Darkness, a spring of hope, a winter of despair, a winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing to go to, we all went straight to Heaven. , we were all moving in the other direction – In short, the times were like the present, so that the most noisy authorities demanded that they be taken only for a higher or worse level at a comparative level.

11.

I say this by sighing

Somewhere in age and age thus:

Two roads parted from a tree, and I –

I took less transported,

And it has made all the difference.

12.

Twas brillig, and sleek toes

Or girona and gymnastics wabe;

All the mimics were borogoves,

And mom is skillful

13.

Then this black bird makes my sad fantasy smile,

Judging by the serious and stern expression on his face,

“Although your coat of arms is shaved and shaved,” I said, “you are certainly not faint-hearted,

Terribly dark and ancient Raven, wandering from the Nightshore –

Tell me what your name is on the Pluto Night Coast! “

The Raven said “Never.”

14.

What is your name? He said, “My name is Love.”

Then the first straightforward turned himself to me

And he cried, “Go, for his name is Sword,

But I love, and I do not want to marry

Alone in a nice garden, until he came

Dark at night; I am True Love, I write

Hearts of boys and girls with mutual respect.”

Then sigh, saying to another, “Have your will,

I am a lover who does not want to say his name. “

15.

I saw the best insanity of my generation destroyed, hysterical bare hungers,

dragging themselves down the Negro streets at dawn, looking for an angry solution,

angel-headed hipsters burn in ancient celestial connection with a star dynamo in a night machine…

16.

Come live with me and love me,

And we will have all the fun to prove,

That valley, grove, hills, and fields,

Woods, or steep mountain yields.

17.

What happens to a postponed dream?

It dries

like a raisin in the sun?

Ή refresh like a wound—

And then run?

Does it smell like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar on top—

like a sweet syrup?

Maybe it just hangs

like a heavy load.

Or is it exploding?

18.

In Exadu did Kubla Khan

Outstanding entertainment setting:

Where Alph, the holy river, fled

With caves that cannot be measured by man

Under the sunless sea.

Then twice five miles of fertile land

The walls and towers were plastered all around;

And there are gardens that sparkle with lilies,

Where the incense tree flourishes;

And here are the ancient forests like the hills,

Increasing areas with green sun.

19.

Old age will graze age

You will stay, and you will be in another woe

Our friend, who is yours,

“Beauty is true, true beauty, – that’s all

You know the earth, and all you need to know. “

20.

Can I compare you to a summer day?

You are more charming and more angry:

Strong winds shake the sweet buds of May,

Summer rent is too short;

The eyes of heaven are overheated,

Often its golden color fades;

Fair trade will ever decline,

Untrimm’d random or natural changing trends;

But your eternal summer will not go away,

Don’t lose the fairgrounds you have to get;

You will not boast of death in his shadow.

As you grow up in the eternal line:

As long as men can breathe or see with their eyes

It lasts so long and it gives you life.

 

 

Answers:

1. “How Do I Love Thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning translated into Zulu and back

2. “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau translated into Japanese and back

3. “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde translated into Hawaiian and back

4. “To Be or Not to Be” speech from Hamlet by William Shakespeare translated into Russian and back

5. “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns translated into Thai and back

6. “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou translated into Tajik and back

7. “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson translated into Ukranian and back

8. “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson translated into Armenian and back

9. “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer translated into Punjabi and back

10. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens translated into Turkmen and back

11. “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost translated into Finnish and back

12. “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll translated into Latvian and back

13. “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe translated into Russian and back

14. “Two Loves” by Lord Alfred Douglas translated into Hmong and back

15. “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg translated into Estonian and back

16. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe translated into Hatian Creole and back

17. “Harlem (Dream Deferred)” by Langston Hughes translated into Greek and back

18. “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge translated into Xhosa and back

19. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats translated into Somali and back

20. “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare translated into Mongolian and back

 

How did you do?

The Importance of the Abyss Tablet and the Return of the Dawn Crush Thing

Abyss Tablet.

This is apparently the Chinese title for De Profundis, at least if the Google Translate version of a Chinese review of Oscar’s Ghost is accurate. The Importance of Being Earnest comes out as Important Importance. (Elsewhere as The Importance of Seriousness.)

Are you old enough to remember the After Dark screensavers?  I miss mine. I always ran the screensaver that I think was called “random.” It generated grammatically correct random sentences. I found it quite poetic and good for sparking creative thought. I think I love bad machine translation for the same reason.

Although in the Abyss Tablets, Wilde has so many poisonous complaints against Douglas, but as the saying goes, it is not that the family does not gather... If Wilde follows Rose’s arrangement, if he can stay in the French countryside for a while, if he can condescend to compromise, then the British may forgive him and re-dump under his talent. However, after two years of prison life that was held incommunicado for twenty-three hours a day, only a small blue sky above the head was seen, and the compromise was no longer in the dictionary of Wilde…

Douglas and Ross are full of enmity against the battle of Oscar Wilde’s rights behind him. The relationship between Wilde, Ross, and Douglas was ultimately a choice of love. Rose chose Wilde, and Wilde chose Douglas. Both had no regrets. What about Douglas? It can only be said that the rich man has no spine. The author of “The Ghost of Oscar” wrote: “Walde experienced a huge poet’s tragedy, but Posey’s tragedy is slow, continuous, endless. A series of small tortures.”

If you share my fascination with bad translation see my “Dawn Crush Thing” series.

Dawn Crush Thing Revisited: The Incidental Dear Lord of the Oscar Wilde’s Destruction

Ah Google Translate.

If you do not understand the title, see Dawn Crush Thing.

So I came across a Turkish article on Lord Alfred Douglas, and not speaking Turkish, I put it through a computer translation. I still don’t know what the article says (I assume it is not flattering about Douglas). In any case, it gave me a chuckle. Here are some highlights:

The Incidental Dear Lord of the Oscar Wilde’s Destruction: Lord Alfred Douglas…
 
The oxford spree is an extravagant lover who has not been able to draw into his lungs, but who has written poems that he can write, but that can come out of the excitement of a new teenager.
In the end, don’t we, all of us, write the things that we can write?
In the years when she was with Wilde, she responded by writing bluntly letters to Wilde in repellents, even after three months’ abandonment, Wilde in traveled to Europe by traveling through Europe as corpses. When Wilde again refused, he took pride in his feet…
In fairness, they are quite nice feet.
feet

[He] did not care about the waste of wildlife in the beginning because he is not a very savage in Wilde, but it is a mind-boggling figure that can do the accounting of expenses. Bosie is extravagant, the pleasure that his father lived – and the blessedness of the eyes of abundance, and he has not satisfied himself with the least, always asking for more... Wilde loves this poet who eats as much as a bird but feeds on the conversation.

Apparently birds eat more in Turkey than in England.

Bosie disturbs Wilde. Wilde comes out Bosie when she concentrates on writing the game in her office. They drink a coffee first. Bosie, jaws for two hours. then goes to lunch. Say a day like this. Wilde can only write when the ideal husband’s second and third curtains are separated from Bosie. He will not even finish the game, he writes two more games. Bosie, Wilde’s weakness.

This last one, I think, might go down well at a poetry slam somewhere. Say a day like this. Indeed. Say.

 

“Dawn Crush Thing” Defined

I am working on a book on foreign phrases used in English on a short deadline, and will probably not be as prolific a blogger in the next few weeks. Today I found myself watching a clip that seemed to be directly on point with my previous post about computerized translation. (I got to it via this route–search on etymology of the word “bongo”—got distracted by a Youtube video of Desi Arnaz playing “Babalu”– which led me to this.)

I have come up with a definition of “dawn crush thing” a phrase coined by the actor Lucas Ferraro at least according to Youtube’s autotranslation engine. “Dawn crush thing” n. a flawed translation, as when you let a computer do it for you or when someone who is fluent in two languages forgets which language he should be using with whom.

Dawn Crush Thing

Recently I watched a film from Argentina called “Plan B” starring Lucas Ferraro and Manuel Vignau. (It is available through Netflix.) I enjoyed it for its intimate, naturalistic style and nuanced acting and I wanted to know more about the cast.

Youtube had a few clips and interviews of cast members, but I had a linguistic challenge. I don’t speak Spanish. (Tapas, burritos, Siempre Coca Cola!)  Fortunately Youtube has a technological solution to my special problem. You can turn on close captions and it will automatically translate into English for you. Either Lucas Ferraro is the next Federico Garcia Lorca and was speaking in poetry or there is something seriously wrong with Youtube’s translation. You be the judge:

translation

translation 3I think the “path or winding of the performance” must be a very deep spiritual reference.

silver sea“I am Buenos Aries but I will not be the silver sea.”  This is way too deep for me.

emotional lakeIndeed, I do want lake. And the piece de resistance…

dawn crush thingI don’t know what “dawn crush thing” is, but I swear it is my new favorite expression. I am going to find a use for it.

[Incidentally, did you know there is a South America? I ask this, because a few years ago I was working an election out of an elementary school library and sat all day looking at the books in the geography section and there was not a single book there on a country in South America. Kids could read about Japan, Kenya, Russia, Australia, China, all of Europe but the entire South American continent was represented by exactly zero books. I was disappointed because I did a report on Argentina when I was a kid, and developed the kind of warm feeling for the country that you get when you’re a kid and you do a report on something. It did not inspire me to learn Spanish though. Pity.]