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Je m'appelle Cendre

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Bouvet Island

November 1, 2012

     Today, in Interpreting and Translating  class,  professor Ruan said, Chinese poems are untranslatable. But why? I was puzzled. Whether it is too difficult to be translated in English or there is something  in it truly untranslatable?  

     I tried to translate one, although I don't know if it could 100%  express the whole meaning well of the original poem.

Target Text:


                                         Dawning of spring

I slumbered and woke up at the drowsy dawn of spring, not knowing morning was coming until the chirping of singing birds is heard there and here. After whole night of strong wind and showers, I suddenly figure out the birds were crying for all the dropped flowers on the ground.

Autumn is bewitching. It is a bright harvest season in my mind. Many white clouds in the blue sky look like sail boats. Wind is like a naughty boy. It goes across the tree. It makes all the leaves shaking and quivering and quaking. It is also like a raider because it robs trees of their gold and laughs when it's conquered and won. You describe many words you've found as hard to translate, but then you do translate them all into English        

Source Text:                        春晓

                                   春 眠 不 觉 晓,

                                   处 处 闻 啼 鸟。

                                   夜 来 风 雨 声,

                                   花 落 知 多 少。

I have no idea how do you understand this poem through my translation? What could you image or think about? If  you can, give me some feedback and share your thinking with me, OK? Thank you~

More entries: 2012-11-13 (9), 2012-11-7 (2), 2012-11-1 (2), 2012-10-31 (2), 2012-10-30 (10), A monologue of a poor doggy 2012-10-29, 2012-10-28 (4), 2012-10-27 (27)

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07:22 AM Nov 14 2012


Bouvet Island

Mr. Learne

yeah....as a matter of fact, I felt I was making a description rather than translating a poem. It seems not easy to be a good translator, especially those who translate poems. Not only they should have good knowledges about its language and culture, but they also should the beauty of  words they used as well as the rhyme of the source text.I think that is a kind of recreation in another language. :)

09:07 AM Nov 03 2012

Mr. Learner

Good poetry you share here.
I think your teacher meant something else.. In fact, you can translate (explain) that poetry but it'll never sound like the original one.
Take the Arabic poetry as an example. In Arabic we have some rules for writing poems, one of these rules something we call it Poems Weights. I don't know how to describe it for you, but what I want to tell from that, that I can translate Arabic poem to English, but i'll lose the Weight, as a result it'll lose its beauty.
I mean I can translate it as a prose not as a poem. Because I can't use the rules of english poetry with the translation.

I hope you get it XD

Sorry for talking too much.