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Sonnet, Structures, Poetry, etc
Nice run at a sonnet, Boke. I make it a point not to critique others poetry, but I thought we could share some things. Robert Frost said that poetry is the thing that is lost in translation. And that is the thing here.|
Chinese is not only a language, it is a culture, with a historical background and literary tradition. In the book "Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei: How a Chinese Poem is Translated: By Eliot Weinberger and Octavio Paz, 1987" there are 19 translations of the poem, some so different as to have no relation to the original.
The original is:
And this is really not translatable by machine. If we did, the meaning conveyed by the words is not the meaning conveyed by the poem. Also, every reading of a poem should be like a new dawn, conveying different meanings to the reader. In fact, each line should ideally change the meaning of the previous line in the reader's mind, as the poem approaches completion. A mechanical translation can never bring this across the gap between linguistic cultures.
For example, all my Hispanic teenage students think your first line means that A pretty Shanghai girl is pregnant because she was afraid to use birth control because of the mention of the husband in line four. All my black teenage students think it means she realized the futility of staying with one husband when she's young and hot, but she's probably not pregnant6, just excited. All the white kids at a catholic high school envisioned her as discovering how wonderful sex is, but not wanting her husband to know where she learned it.
All of these answers came from asking the students to write me a 1 line description of the pretty shanghai girl.
Does your machine translation handle these kinds of nuances well?
What I am saying is that writing a poem so that it translates word for word into another language is not a poetic endeavor, but, as Afri-Simba notes, is a test for robotics.