Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Poetic translation (was: ULT)

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Sunday, May 30, 1999, 16:35
Raymond A. Brown scripsit:

> ["Stabat Mater"] has often been set to music by later composers: Palestrina, Schubert, > Rossini, Verdi, Dvorak, Stanford inter alios.
Hmm. There is a melody (not a full setting) in my head associated with those words; I wonder whose it is? sta bat ma ter do lo ro sa C D E D E G F E iux ta cru cem la cri mo sa E D C B A A A G dum pen de bat fi li us D C D E D C C
> No English version > I've met comes close to retaining the simplicity of the Latin.
There is a similar problem with the German Christmas carol "O Tannenbaum". All English translations are massively over-literal and sound terrible; I have the choice of singing in German or using some totally unrelated words "We stand beside/ The Christmas tree [...]". On a higher level, Goethe's "Ueber allen Gipfeln ist ruh" has the same trouble: it is very delicate, and all translations ruin the delicacy. In the reverse direction, Poe's "Raven" and Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" both resist translation with all their strength. -- John Cowan e'osai ko sarji la lojban.