Author: waibeijing

Li Bai [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2007-1-31 04:43:13 |Display all floors

Nice to see LSR again!

Its been a while since we last saw you here.
Thanks for the different versions above. I liked the Vikram Seth version, the moment I read it - it doesn't sound like a translation! I agree with you the Yangs' translation 'preserves rhythm and a little rhyme' - though I am not much of a poet, and haven't thought systematically about rhythm and metre, it just .....feels right, somehow, to the ear.

I was trying to locate the Wang Wei poem translation that you mentioned you had posted, but I think it has disappeared. Time and server backups wait for no man, etc etc.

All the best

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Post time 2007-1-31 12:23:51 |Display all floors

Hello Waibeijing

Nice to see everyone is still around.  I have taken a little sabbatical, due to health.  But i will be back more often.

For you and some friends, I will repost the Wang Wei translations. perhaps we will get a dialogue going about the difficulty of translation, or poetry appreciation.

LSR.  龙诗人  or  龍詩人
A crater on the planet Mercury is named 李白. (Li Bai)

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Post time 2007-2-1 10:35:13 |Display all floors

a question to Waibeijing

I liked the Vikram Seth version, the moment I read it - it doesn't sound like a translation!

I am curious to know your explanation of the idea above.

Poetry translation is a hard job beyond my ken and I am a just outsider as well. The lanuages of Chinese

and English are quite different from each other, so are the Chinese and English poems. I wonder if  an

English version of a Chinese poem is recognized good because it sounds very natural and never a

translation to a native English ear . Poems belongs to a different genre and it at least keeps its ' special

feature' even if it sounds very 'exotic' in another language. I don't encourage some absurd, meaningless

and pretentious transltaion of the poems, either English or Chinese versions.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2007-2-1 10:35:58 |Display all floors
by the way, i like the Vikram Seth version, too.

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Post time 2007-2-1 20:28:48 |Display all floors

no, not at all

no, ruotong, I just meant that I enjoyed it as a piece of verse, per se. Not necessarily with reference to original.
               I don't believe that the only criterion to judge a translated poem is how  'natural' it sounds - being able to capture the poet's meaning is probably more important. There is sometimes a trade-off between the two.
While conveying the meaning of the original poem, if it doesn't sound too awkward - that just makes it easier to read and enjoy!! Remember, I am not a teacher of language or poetry, nor (much of) a poet, so my views are merely those of someone who enjoys reading poetry!
best wishes!

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