9/3/07

English to French to English

Do I have to compare the thee with the day of a summer?
Art of thou more beautiful and more moderate:
The rough winds shake the dear buds of May,
and hath of the lease of the summer all too short date:
Formerly too hot the eye of the sky shines,
and is often its darkened gold dye,
and each fair of fair decreases formerly,
by chance, or the changing course of nature untrimmed:
But the summer eternal thy fade,
neither lose the possession of this ow' St right of thou,
nor death will thus praise the wander' St of thou to its nuance,
when in the eternal lines to time the grow' St of thou,
provided that the men can breathe, or the eyes can see,
ardently wish the lives this, and this gives the life to the thee.


More at Sonnet XVIII, a new blog

7 comments:

Murat said...

Linh,

Since the sonnet "shall I compare thee,"along with a number of other Shakespeare sonnets, is one of the very few works in any language I know very intimately and mean a lot to me, reading your versions create the effect on me slightly of a nightmare.

Did you use a specific process,some kind of computer software to develop the pieces?

Ciao,

Murat

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Murat,

It is a nightmare! Using Babelfish, I converted his English to French, then back to English. I chose sonnet 18 since many people do know by heart.

Cheers!

Linh

Murat said...

Linh,

It is a nightmare. It also points to what to me is the weakness in a web mined and/or softeware generated text. To the user of such process, the internet is (to use Friedman's awful expression) flat, with the user's arrogant and illusionary belief that he or she is the only power that can give shape to this material. In reality, all these phrases, etc., have their own history or integrity. The skin of the internet has muscle tone. If you pluck at one place, another part screams.

Ciao,

Murat

bgmole said...

hi all,
the blog is really engaging. A simple but provocative point on English and its strength/weakness as transnational language.
I don't think the point is just the illusionary flatness of web (although the image Murat proposes is effective - I mean: plucks and screams) but the way we all get across English, how it is strange/familiar to us.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Murat and Gherardo,

All non-English speaker translates. If he's an immigrant, then he translates frantically all the time, even in his sleep. If he has lived in several countries, like Murat, like me, then he's a veritable flesh and bone babel fish.

Murat said...

Hi Linh and Gherardo,

I first thought to write particularly poetry in English, I needed to arrive at a stage where even my dreams were in English. It took me over twenty years -writing my "Questions of Accent essay- did I realize not this but the reverse is true. What makes me a poet in English is my "defective" ear. One consequence of this realization is my over time developed view of translation -that what one translates is "distance"- also the transformation of the distinction between translation and poem. Translation becomes a specific genre of poetry,a "writing against the grain" or a meta poem.

Ciao,

Murat

Samuel Vriezen said...
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