Translating "Imagine" (< Code-switching in music)
|Date:||Tuesday, October 9, 2007, 21:13|
> [mailto:CONLANG@listserv.brown.edu] On Behalf Of David J. Peterson
> Dana wrote:
> Actually one song I found to be a pretty good translationexercise, is
> John Lennon's "Imagine". Here it is in Sasxsek (updated since my
> previous post on a.l.a).
> Huh. You know, if you're working with an auxlang, or an
> a posteriori language, it might work pretty well, but with an a
> priori language, two words come to mind immediately: "imagine"
> and "religion". I can think of several creative ways to do"imagine",
> but the word "religion" entails so much in English. How might
> one translate it in a language with an ill-defined culture, or a
> radically different culture? Translating it wholesale would seem
> kludgey to me. Anyone have an equivalent word in any of
> their languages?
> Oh, the relevant lines:
> Nothing to kill or die for,
> And no religion too,
> (And all the lines that say "imagine", of course.)
BTW: Sasxsek is an a posteriori auxlang, it just may not be
immediately apparent because of the more neutral grammar and diverse
influences on the lexicon.
It's interested you brought that up because "imagine" was a tough
word to translate, and I'm still not very happy with how I did it.
I used "tudum" which is "tu" (at) + "dum" (think) thus meaning
something like "think about" or "ponder" though I'm thinking I may
also need to added the ichoative "-ib" to the end to make it a bit
"Religion" also is a tough one because of its different meanings,
and shades of meanings. Everyone has a religion in the sense that
we all have a system of beliefs in our minds whether or not we
believe in the existence of any deities. In this song though, I see
"religion" as meaning something more of the organized, prepackaged
and easily-labeled variety of beliefs which we generally refer to
when we say "religion". I supposed it could be something more like
"organized common philosophy".