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Li Bai [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-12-16 17:07:22 |Display all floors
I have heard that every Chinese primary school student knows Li Bai’s 静夜思
床前明月光/ 疑是地上霜 / 举头望明月/ 低头思故乡 。

I have seen two translations of it,

Beside my bed a pool of light---
Is it hoarfrost on the ground?
I lift my eyes and see the moon,
I bend my head and think of home.
(from “Poetry and Prose of the Tang and Song, poems translated by Yang Xianyi and Gladys Young)

and
Before my bed a pool of light –
Can it be hoar-frost on the ground?
Looking up, I find the moon bright;
Bowing, in homesickness I am drowned.
(From Chinese Literature, Cultural China Series, translated by Li Ziliang, Li Gouqing and Zhao Feifei)

Which do you think is better? (Personally I feel that while both translations are very good, I like the first one much much more. It seems to be more musical, more natural. My own opinion is that a translation is not always better just because its lines rhyme! But this is a very subjective opinion!)
Since there are so many people on this site who translate so many poems so beautifully, i thought i would ask you what you think!!

[ Last edited by waibeijing at 2006-12-16 05:10 PM ]

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Post time 2006-12-16 17:39:56 |Display all floors

I like the second one

i like the second one

First , it use the cadence more skillfully than the frist one,

AS for the poetric matter, second one can give you (especially to foreign friends , i mean the person without

convern chinese culture background) more room to imagine.

Of course, it is only my persona comments, both traslation version is beyond of my ability

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Post time 2006-12-18 22:19:48 |Display all floors
the bright moonlight
in front of the bed
appears like frost
on the ground .i look up
at the fair moon,and
lowering my head,
i think of home.

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Post time 2006-12-20 23:55:12 |Display all floors
(Singlish Version)
Bedfront Moon Bright Bright
Think Is Floor White White
Lift Head See Moon Moon
Bow Head Miss Home Home...
xurfnet.blogspot.com

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Post time 2007-1-3 09:49:13 |Display all floors
静夜思
李白
床前明月光,
疑是地上霜。
举头望明月,
低头思故乡。

Meditation in the Quiet of Night
By Li Bai
The full moon upon bedside cast its light.
I took it to be frost fall on the ground.
Raising my head, I gazed at the moon bright.
Sinking back, I was in nostalgia found.

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Post time 2007-1-4 10:25:49 |Display all floors
version A
Beside my bed a pool of light---
Is it hoarfrost on the ground?
I lift my eyes and see the moon,
I bend my head and think of home.
(from “Poetry and Prose of the Tang and Song, poems translated by Yang Xianyi and Gladys Young)

version B
Before my bed a pool of light –
Can it be hoar-frost on the ground?
Looking up, I find the moon bright;
Bowing, in homesickness I am drowned.
(From Chinese Literature, Cultural China Series, translated by Li Ziliang, Li Gouqing and Zhao Feifei)


i do believe these two versions are equally great. both are natural and elegant. :)

My own opinion is that a translation is not always better just because its lines rhyme! But this is a very subjective opinion!)


i agree with you on this point. in my opinion, a good translation must convey the spirit( essential content) of the original, not the form of it. however the translation can be perfect if it could maintain the original form, also include rhyme, esp in the cases translating poems.

[ Last edited by qinger at 2007-1-4 10:27 AM ]
私は花の子です。名前はルンルンです。。。。。。

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Post time 2007-1-4 11:13:17 |Display all floors
I think they're beautiful and elegant also.
中文我不会读也不会写。Really, I don't.

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