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Senior Member
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Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 Message 593 of 766
20 September 2014 at 2:43am | IP Logged 
September Challenge: French

I picked a passage from La peste (The Plague) by Albert Camus. At this point
in the story the plague has established itself in Oran. The city has been sealed off
from the outside world, and the death toll is at 130 per day and slowly rising. The
priest Paneloux has just held an outdoor mass to pray for the city's deliverance.
Tarrou and Dr. Rieux are discussing the service afterwards.

This is the first point where the novel turns philosophical:

- Croyez-vous en Dieu, docteur?

La question était encore posée naturellement. Mais cette fois, Rieux hésita.

- Non, mais quest-ce que cela veut dire? Je suis dans la nuit, et j’essaie d’y voir

- N’est-ce pas ce qui vous sépare de Paneloux?

- Je ne crois pas. Paneloux est un homme d’études. Il n’a pas vu assez mourir et c’est
pourquoi il parle au nom d’une verité. Mais le moindre prêtre de champagne qui
administer ses paroissiens et qui a entendu la respiration d’un mourant pense comme
moi. Il soignerait la misère avant de vouloir en démontrer l’excellence.

- Voilà, dit Tarrou. Pourquoi vous-même montrez-vous tant de dévouement puisque vous
ne croyez pas en Dieu?

San sortir de l’ombre, le docteur dit qu’il avait déjà répondu, que s’il croyait en un
Dieu tout-puissant, il cesserait de guérir les hommes, lui laissent alors ce soin.
Mais que personne au monde, non, pas même Paneloux qui croyait y croire, ne croyait en
un Dieu de cette sorte, puisque personne ne s’abandonnait totalement et qu`en cela du
moins, lui, Rieux, croyait être sur le chemin de la vérité, en luttant contre la
creation telle qu’elle était.


My translation:

- Do you believe in God, doctor?

The question was posed naturally. But this time Rieux hesitated.

- No, but what does that mean? I am in the darkness, and I try to see things clearly.

- And isn’t this what separates you from Paneloux?

- I don’t think so. Paneloux is an academic. He hasn’t seen enough death, and this is
why he speaks in the name of ‘truth.’ But the most common country priest, who tends to
his parishioners and who listens to the last breath of the dying, thinks like I do. He
will care for the poor before trying to demonstrate the excellence (of God).

- Voilà, said Tarrou. Then why do you show so much dedication if you don’t believe in

Without leaving the shadows, the doctor said that he had already answered this, that
if he believed in an all-powerful God then he would stop taking care of men, that he
would leave them to His care. But nobody in the world, not even Paneloux, who
believes that he believes, believes in this kind of God, because no one is giving up
completely, and in this at least he, Rieux, thinks that he is on the right
path in fighting against creation as it is.


I am, of course, open to any suggestions or corrections! There were a couple parts
that made sense to me in French, but where I struggled to find a smooth English
translation. Il soignerait la misère avant de vouloir en démontrer
was the trickiest, followed by la creation telle qu’elle


I'll find something nice in Italian for next week.

Edited by kanewai on 20 September 2014 at 2:48am

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 Message 594 of 766
25 September 2014 at 11:32pm | IP Logged 
September Challenge: Italian
Subtitled: Another reason for reading novels in their original language

Selection from Il Gattopardo (The Serval, a.k.a. The Leopard)

Sicily. May, 1860: Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina, is in his garden reflecting
on the death of an unknown peasant soldier. The soldier has died “for the king,” and
the Prince’s thoughts turn back to his own meetings with the ageing Re Ferdinando:

Le udienze, le molte udienze che Re Ferdinando gli aveva concesse, a Caserta, a
Napoli, a Capodimonte, a Portici, a casa del diavolo...

A fianco del ciambellano di servizio che lo guidava chiacchierando, con la feluca
sotto il braccio e le più fresche volgarità napoletane sulle labbra, si percorrevano
interminabili sale di architettura magnifica e di mobilio stomachevole (proprio come
la monarchia borbonica), ci s’infilava in anditi sudicetti e scalette mal tenute e si
sbucava in un’anticamera dove parecchia gente aspettava: facce chiuse di sbirri, facce
avide di questuanti raccomandati. Il ciambellano si scusava, faceva superare
l’ostacolo della gentaglia, e lo pilotava verso un’altra anticamera, quella riservata
alla gente di Corte: un ambientino azzurro e argento; e dopo una breve attesa un servo
grattava alla porta e si era ammessi alla Presenza Augusta.

My translation:

The audiences, the many audiences that King Fernando had given him at Caserta, at
Napoli, at Capodimonte, at Portici, at the house of the devil …

At his side the chamberlain guiding him, gossiping, with his hat under his arm
and the freshest Neapolitan obscenities on his lips, traversing interminable rooms
with magnificent architecture and disgusting furniture (exactly like the Bourbon
monarchy itself), through filthy hallways and poorly maintained stairs and emerging in
an anteroom where many men waited: the closed faces of secret police, the greedy
faces of well-connected petitioners. The chamberlain excusing himself, pushing through
the blockade of people, and guiding him towards another antechamber that was reserved
for gentlemen of the court: a small blue and silver space, and after a brief wait a
servant scratching (?) at the door and he was admitted into the August Presence.

____________________________________________________________ _________

I relied heavily on the WordReference Dictionary. I tried to use the Kindle
dictionary, but it sucks for Italian – there were over a dozen words just in this
passage that it couldn't identify.   

I like this passage because it’s a good example of how much we miss when we read books
in translation. The literal Italian was far more colorful and earthy than the most
well-known (maybe the only) English translation by Archibald Colquhuon.   

A few examples:

IT: a casa del diavolo...
AC: anywhere at all
kanewai: at the house of the devil

IT: le più fresche volgarità napoletane sulle labra
AC: the latest Neapolitan slang on his lips
kanewai: the freshest Neapolitan obscenities on his lips

IT: sale di architettura magnifica e di mobilio stomachevole
AC: rooms of magnificent architecture and revolting décor
kanewai: rooms with magnificent architecture and disgusting furniture
(stomachevole – “revulsion of the stomach” – is such a great word.)

IT: un ambientino azzurro e argento
AC: a little blue and silver room of the period of Charles II
kanewai: this is a strange one; AC just added the part about “the period of Charles

IT: facce avide di questuanti raccomandati
AC: avid faces of petitioners
kanewai: the greedy faces of well-connected petitioners

I wasn't trying to be creative with my translations; I mostly went with the most
literal definitions – and I still think it came out better than the professional one.
Sometimes I think that translators try to be too proper, and they drain a lot of the
fun out of the original. I'd rather have the original foul-mouthed chamberlain guiding
me to an audience with the king in the house of the devil than a merely gossipy
chamberlain with "all the latest slang" on his lips.

Edited by kanewai on 25 September 2014 at 11:42pm

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Russian Federation
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 Message 595 of 766
28 September 2014 at 6:01am | IP Logged 
surrealix wrote:
Serpent wrote:
Just a heads-up: the bot's time has been changed to UTC/GMT (which is
not the same thing as UK time. UK is on BST in summer).

Oh no! Sorry about that!

My web host has been migrating servers, and I'd been keeping an eye on it. I thought
everything had gone off without a hitch, but I guess there was a problem after all.

I think I'll keep the bot running on UTC - it seems more logical. But I'll see what I can do about your lost streak. If anyone else is in the same boat, let me know.

wait, that's confusing. the bot already displays the new week indicators (ie no checkmark), and did so before I submitted a Swedish item, but it still got registered as September 27 :/
(speaking of that, would it be possible to display the checkmarks even if you don't currently have an active streak for the language?)
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United Kingdom
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689 posts - 1119 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Esperanto
Studies: Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian

 Message 596 of 766
29 September 2014 at 11:14pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:

Take a couple of paragraphs from a book you like, or a poem or a song, and translate it. Post both texts here,
and feel free to tell us why you have chosen this particular text. Does the poem appeal to you, do you love
the song, or do you admire the turn of phrase of these particular paragraphs.

You are allowed to use translations you find on the Internet, but try to see if you can improve them.

Go, go! :-)

I'm not at the stage of reading original Croatian literature or poetry yet, so I've chosen to translate a song called 'E, moj druže beogradski' instead.

I listen to quite a lot of Croatian music and this is nowhere near the best song I know, but it is the first one I ever listened to, not long after I started
learning the language. I was reading some books on Yugoslavian history, in particular about the wars during the 1990s, and as a pacifist I was interested to read
about whether there were any anti-war movements in any of the countries involved. The singer of this song, the Croatian Jura Stublić, was mentioned as somebody who
had sung songs with anti-war themes, so I looked him up on Youtube.

At the time my Croatian wasn't very good and it took me a long time to understand the gist of the lyrics. While I was googling phrases from the song, I learned that
although the lyrics seemed fairly harmless to me, they had not been without controversy at the time. The frontman of the Serbian band Riblja Čorba wrote a
nationalistic parody of the song called 'E, moj druže Zagrebački'. I won't translate that one - let's just say the lyrics aren't very nice - but if you are
interested you can find a video of the song with lyrics here

Anyway, here is the Croatian text of the original song 'E, moj druže beogradski':

E, moj druže beogradski

Lijepe cure beogradske, kako ste se ljubit' znale.
Jos se sjećam kose plave novosadske moje male.

Zbog nje sam se ja vozio kraj Dunava i kraj Save.
Sto sam sela zavolio. O, kako sam sretan bio!

E, moj druže beogradski, sve smo srpske pjesme znali.
Pjevali smo prije rata: 'Zdravo, Djevo, kraljice Hrvata'.

E, moj druže beogradski, Slavonijom sela gore.
E, moj druže beogradski, ne može se ni na more.

E, moj druže beogradski, srest' ćemo se pokraj Save.
Ti me nećes prepoznati, pa ćes na me zapucati.

Pustit' ću ti metak prvi, vi budite uvijek prvi.
Drugi ću ti oprostiti, treći će me promašiti.

A ja neću nišaniti i Bogu ću se moliti,
Da te mogu promašiti, ali ću te pogoditi.

Ja ću tebe oplakati. Oči ću ti zaklopiti.
Joj, kako sam tužan bio. Ja sam druga izgubio.

And this is my attempt at translating into English (just the sense of it - it doesn't rhyme like the original!)

Hey, my comrade from Belgrade

Pretty girls from Belgrade, you knew how to kiss.
I still remember the blonde hair of my little one from Novi Sad.

Because of her I travelled along the Danube and along the Sava.
I fell in love with a hundred villages. Oh, how happy I was!

Hey, my comrade from Belgrade, we all used to know Serbian songs.
Before the war we used to sing: 'Hail Mary, Queen of Croats'.

Hey, my comrade from Belgrade, in Slavonia villages are burning.
Hey, my comrade from Belgrade, we can't even get to the sea.

Hey, my comrade from Belgrade, we will meet beside the Sava.
You won't recognise me, and so you'll shoot at me.

I'll let you fire the first bullet, you would always be the first.
I'll forgive you the second one, the third one will miss me.

I won't aim at you and I'll pray to God
That I can miss you, but I'll hit you.

I will mourn you. I will close your eyes.
Oh, how sad I was. I have lost a friend.

There's a music video for the song on Youtube but it's seriously bad. If you want to listen to it I recommend this
which just has the lyrics, karaoke-style.
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Studies: Russian, Turkish

 Message 597 of 766
30 September 2014 at 5:44am | IP Logged 
My attempts at the September translation challenge can be found in message 221 of:

my log

I paraphrased/rough translated to English short excerpts from a short story by Javier Macías
(original in Spanish) and from Victor Pelevin's novel Buddha's Little Finger (version I'm reading
is in German, though the original is in Russian).
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Studies: German, Spanish, Danish, Irish
Studies: Russian

 Message 598 of 766
30 September 2014 at 8:39am | IP Logged 
It was pointed out to me that this post could contain spoilers if you haven't read the first 1 1/2 Divergent books...

Since I'm still working on Insurgente, I translated a passage from it. In this section, Tris is still feeling guilty over the things that she did (she shot her friend in self-defense and did some other things that she felt guilty over). She thinks that she has the chance to make up for her guilt by sacrificing herself to the enemy to save some lives. She's talking to her boyfriend:


“¿Tenías que elegir este momento para comportarte como una abnegada?” pregunta, y su voz llena la habitación y despierta el miedo en mi pecho; su rabia es demasiado repetina, demasiado extraña. “Después de pasar tanto tiempo insistiendo en que eras demasiado egoísta para ellos, ahora, cuando tu vida está en juego, ¿tienes que ser un héroe? ¿Qué pasa contigo?”

“Que pasa contigo? Ha muerto gente, ¡se tiraron desde la azotea de un edificio! ¡Y yo puedo evitar suceda de nuevo!”

“Eres demasiado importante para… morir sin más” responde, sacudiendo la cabeza; ni siquiera me mira, no deja de apartar la mirada para dirigirla a la pared que tengo detrás, al techo que tengo encima, a cualquier cosa, salvo a mí. Estoy demasiado sorprendida para enfadarme.

“No soy importante. A todo el mundo le irá bien sin mí.”

“¿Y a quién le importa todo el mundo? ¿Qué hay de mí?”


My translation:

“You had to choose this moment to act like you’re in Abnegation?” he asks, his voice fills the room and wakes a fear in my chest; his rage was a little too sudden, a little too strange. After spending so much time insisting that you were too selfish to be a part of them, now, when your life is on the line, now you have to be a hero? What is wrong with you?”

“What’s wrong with me? People died; they stepped off the roof of a building! And I can stop that from happening again!”

“You’re too important to… to die,” he responds, shaking his head. He won’t look at me, he looks at the wall behind me, the ceiling above me, anything but me. I am a little too surprised to be angry.

“I’m not important. The whole world will be fine without me.”

“Who cares about the whole world? What about me?”


I did have help from Google Translate, and, when I was stuck, had a little help from the English version of the book as well.

Edited by Lorren on 15 October 2014 at 6:59am

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 Message 599 of 766
11 October 2014 at 1:59am | IP Logged 
Move over, Harry Potter! Look what I found on the web this morning - The United Kingdom's second best-selling author is also available in tons of languages. And a lot of these are available on Amazon.

For those unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett, his Discworld stories are comic fantasy novels. They're great fun, IMHO. You don't have to read them in order - the "reading guides" are more fun things for nerds to geek out over.

There are a lot more languages available - even Turkish! - but no one has made guides yet. Maybe I'll be inspired if I can find a blank template.
(my apologies for the large size of the images; I tried posting smaller ones but they weren't legible).

Edited by kanewai on 11 October 2014 at 2:52am

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 Message 600 of 766
11 October 2014 at 3:47am | IP Logged 
Wow. No idea why I always thought it's something like Dickens or similar.

And well, if you want to resize the images you can do that on your own computer and upload to tinypic or imgur. There are also flash-based sites for that, like pixlr or picmonkey.

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