Monday, August 26, 2013

Something gets lost in the translation...

My husband was supposed to translate this poem, on the fly, during a bi-lingual wedding a few years ago. he first attempted to use the help of a Windows translation tool. ( I especially loved the translation of the author's name)

The Spanish Version

Salvador Rueda

Formar una pasión de dos pasiones,
Fundir en un derecho dos derechos,
Fraguar un noble lecho de dos lechos,
Y atar a una ambición dos ambiciones.
Juntar en un soñar dos ilusiones
Forjar un techo santo de dos techos,
Hacer un pecho puro de dos pechos,
Aunar un solo amor de dos amores.
Anudar en un lazo dos divisas,
Formar un solo trino de dos risas,
Con dos miradas fundir una mirada,
Con dos llantos enlazar un solo llanto.
Con dos canciones hacer un solo canto,
¡Esto es casarse! Lo demás no es nada.

 The Computerized Version

Rescuing Wheel

To form a passion of two passions,
To fuse in a right two rights,
To forge a noble bed of two beds,
and to tie to an ambition two ambitions.
To join in dreaming two illusions
To forge a ceiling santo of two ceilings,
To make a chest pure of two chests,
To combine a single love of two loves.
To tie in a bow two currencies,
To form a single trino of two laughter,
With two watched to fuse a glance,
two weeping to connect a single weeping.
With two songs to make a single song,
This is to marry!
The others are not nothing.

Here is the new version we translated together. I think we did a little better than Windows.

What Makes a Marriage?
Salvador Rueda

To take the emotions of two and make them one passion
To weld the rights of two individuals into the union of a couple,
To make a Honeymoon suite from two lonely rooms
To bind the ambitions of two people into one goal
To join in one dream the hopes of two people
To form a loving home out of two separate dwellings
To take two hearts and make them one
To combine two loves into one adoration
To tie a lovely bow from two separate ribbons
To blend the laughter of two into one melody
To take two perspectives and form one panorama
To transform the heartaches of loneliness into a cry of joy
To blend two separate melodies into a harmonious duet
That’s what makes a marriage. Nothing else really matters.

1 comment:

  1. I thought you might be interested in this story: Return to the rainforest: A son's search for his Amazonian mother. An anthropologist spent years among the Yanomami, married a Yanomami women, and took her back to New Jersey. She couldn't cope with all the differences between the US and her Yanomami life, and returned to Venezuela. Two decades later, her son traveled from the US to the jungle to meet her.

    Five years in Paraguay: better Paraguay than the insanity of Chavezuela/Hugoslavia. From what I have read, each time you say to yourself that it can't get worse in Venezuela, it gets worse.

    I have switched from Taragui to Las Canarias yerba mate: $11 versus $7 /kilo. Not too many years ago, $4/kilo.

    Translation is an art, not a science. I also see that once again, machine translation is not yet up to what a bilingual person would do- such as "Lo demás no es nada." OTOH, if one doesn't know the language at all, a machine translation isn't bad.