Translation from English

Monday, October 10, 2016

Poems Found in Translation- Chinese and Russian Romani


Poems Found in Translation: “Du Fu: The Conscription (From Chinese)” plus 1 more

Link to Poems Found in Translation

Posted: 09 Oct 2016 04:39 PM PDT
Written in 759 during the height of the An Lushan rebellion. "Stonemoat" (Shíháo) is a village in Henan province. Press-gangs were combing the villages, looking for men who could be forced into military service to replace the imperial army's massive losses against An Lushan.

The Conscription
By Du Fu
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

So I stopped at sundown to rest in Stonemoat Village
 They came in the night  to collar more men for war
The old inn-keeper slipped out over a wall
 While his elderly wife went out to the front door
Such angry curses  the pressgang officer bellowed
 Such pitiful tears the woman sobbed away
I listened to her proffer regretful pleas:
 I had three sons all serving at posts in Yeh1
One of my boys  just told me in a letter
 The other two  were killed in the attack
The one alive  won't last on borrowed time
 The dead are gone  dead boys do not come back 
There aren't any more men left to this household
 Just my grandson still nursing with his mother
My daughter cannot leave him here just yet
 And a shredded skirt  is all she has for cover 
I'm an old woman  I know my strength is gone
 But please let me come  tonight with your convoys
If you've urgent need  in Heyang2 I can be there
 In time to cook  some breakfast for our brave boys
As night drew on  all sounds of speaking stopped
 I thought I heard a whimper being choked down
Rising at dawn  to get back on the road  
 I took my leave  of the old man alone 


1 Yèchéng — city about 300 miles northeast of Stonemoat, where imperial forces had suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the rebels earlier in the year

2 Héyáng — name of a place about 125 miles down the Yellow River from Stonemoat, and the site of an encampment for imperial forces that year.

The Original:







Posted: 09 Oct 2016 05:57 AM PDT
A bit of propagandistic blasting from Germano about abandoning Romani itinerancy and settling down. Puns ahoy. Witty, but nowhere near the depth of Nárto Phuranîpé. Also, you can smell the Soviet smugness a mile away. (Some may find the odor more offensive, and some less.) Myself, I did eventually tire of the constant portrayal of itinerancy as "primitive," "unproductive" or "socially parasitical" by Soviet poets. 

On Wheels Of Fortune
By Alexander Germano
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original in Romani

What fate, what fortune we keep seeking
Roaming the roads and woods for years!
And what in seeking have we seen?
Oh we have seen our share of tears.

We sing all day, we sing at night. 
That is where drunkards' Fortunes lie. 
We like the horse, we like the whip,
Believe in something in the sky.

Devil and God can't do a damn.  
The cards deal us a pack of lies.
What do they do but do us in,
And raze us down where we would rise? 

The time has come for better living.  
We're free to make ourselves at home.
Fortune won't smile in campgrounds....
Lets move on from the need to roam.

The Original:

Александр Германо

Сави э-бахт амэ родаса
Пиро дрома, пиро вэша.
И со дро лодыпэ дыкхаса? —
Амэ дыкхаса бут ясва.

Ратя и дывэса багаса,
Со сы екх бахт дро матыбэ,
Чюпны и грэн амэ камаса,
Патяса дро екх болыбэ.

Дэвэл и бэнг ничи на дэна.
Бут хохадэ патря амэн.
Ёнэ амэнгэ хась кэрэна
И подрискирна джиибэн.

Авэла тэ дживас адякэ,—
Вавир кэраса джиибэ.
Нанэ э-бахт прэ фэлда,
Чюрдаса пэскро лодыпэ.

Aleksandr Germano

Savi e-baxt ame rodása
Píro droma, píro veša.
I so dro lodîpé dîkhása? —
Ame dîkhása but jasva.

Ratja i dîvesá bagása,
So sî jekh baxt dro matîbé
Čjupnî i gren ame kamása
Patjása dro jekh bolîbé

Devel i beng niči na déna.
But xoxade patrja amen.
Jone aménge xasj keréna
I podriskírna džiiben

Avéla te dživas adjáke
Vavir kerása džiibe.
Nane e-baxt pre félda,
Čjurdása péskro lodîpé.


Line 8:

I wonder if the other meaning of bolîbé, "baptism" is relevant here.

Line 12:

This line contains some Romani wordplay. Te podriskires is "to undermine" and the line podriskírna džiiben translates as "and (they) undermine (our) lives." However, this echoes, the better to subvert, a far more mundane phrase podrikírna džiiben "they support, maintain our lives."