Oxford Translation Workshop I

  • You already know how to translate.
  • meanings -> words
  • “Don’t translate. Just say it.”
  • Gregory Rabassa: have a reading.

t is a common notion to say that if a work has 10,000 readers it becomes 10,000 different books. The translator is only one of these readers and yet he must read the book in such a way that he will be reading the Spanish into English as he goes along, with the result that his reading is also writing. His reading, then, becomes the one reading that is going to spawn 10,000 varieties of the book in the unlikely case that it will sell that many copies and will be read by that many people.

The Many Faces of Treason

The Poem

진달래꽃 / 김소월

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
말없이 고이 보내 드리오리다.

영변(寧邊)에 약산(藥山)
진달래꽃
아름 따다 가실 길에 뿌리오리다.

가시는 걸음 걸음
놓인 그 꽃을
사뿐히 즈려 밟고 가시옵소서.

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
죽어도 아니 눈물 흘리오리다.


Just a comma?

Wit by Margaret Edson


Crib Translations

Google Translate

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
말없이 고이 보내 드리오리다.

영변(寧邊)에 약산(藥山)
진달래꽃
아름 따다 가실 길에 뿌리오리다.

가시는 걸음 걸음
놓인 그 꽃을
사뿐히 즈려 밟고 가시옵소서.

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
죽어도 아니 눈물 흘리오리다.

I’m sick of seeing
When you go
I will send you silently.

Yaksan in Yongbyon
Azalea flower
It will be rooted on the way to beautiful picking.

Walking
The flower that was placed
Please step on it lightly.

I’m sick of seeing
When you go
Even if I die, I will shed tears.


Naver Papago

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
말없이 고이 보내 드리오리다.

영변(寧邊)에 약산(藥山)
진달래꽃
아름 따다 가실 길에 뿌리오리다.

가시는 걸음 걸음
놓인 그 꽃을
사뿐히 즈려 밟고 가시옵소서.

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
죽어도 아니 눈물 흘리오리다.

I’m sick to look at.
When you go,
I’ll send you without saying a word.

A weak mountain in Yongbyon. “Weaksan” in Yongbyon.
azalea flowers
I’ll sprinkle it on the way to pick up the beauty.

a pacing step
The flower that was laid out.
Take it easy and step on it.

I’m sick to look at.
When you go,
No, I’ll cry if I die.


Machine Translation Crib

(Modern Korean)

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
말없이 고이 보내 드리오리다.

영변(寧邊)에 약산(藥山)
진달래꽃
아름 따다 가실 길에 뿌리오리다.

가시는 걸음 걸음
놓인 그 꽃을
사뿐히 즈려 밟고 가시옵소서.

나 보기가 역겨워
가실 때에는
죽어도 아니 눈물 흘리오리다.

(Machine crib)

당신이 보기가 역겨워 가실 때에는 내가 당신을 말없이 고이 보내 드리오리다.

영변(寧邊) 약산(藥山)에 있는 진달래꽃 내가 한 아름 따다 당신이 가실 길에 뿌리오리다.

당신이 가시는 걸음에 놓인 그 꽃을 사뿐히 즈려 밟고 가시옵소서.

당신이 나 보기가 역겨워서 가실 때에는 내가 죽어도 내가 아니 눈물 흘리오리다.


Machine Translation of the Machine Translation Crib

<Google Translate>

When you go away because you are disgusted with me, I will send you silently.

I picked the azalea flowers in Yaksan, Yongbyon, and I will sprinkle them on your way.

Please gently step on the flower in your steps.

When you go away because you are disgusted with me, even if I die, I will not cry.

<Naver Papago>

I’ll let you go without saying a word when you leave because you’re disgusted to see me.

I will pick an armful of azalea flowers in Yaksan, Yongbyon, and sprinkle them on your way.

Gently tread on the flower on your way.

When you leave because you’re sick to see me, I’ll cry if I die.


Finally! Human Translations

“Azaleas”

When you leave me
because I disgust you
I’ll send you gently on your way

An armful of azaleas
from Yaksan Mountain in Yongbyun
I shall drop on your path

Smear lightly with each step
you lay on my blossoms
as you walk away

When you leave me
because I disgust you
my tears I’ll not shed even in death.

—tr. Anton Hur

“Jindallae”

Once I am shaped as the reason of your disgust, pushing
you toward somewhere not here, there
will be no words, my letting go enduring graciously.

On a hill where herbs grow in Yŏngbyŏn province
Jindallae flowers are blossoming, and here
I have brought an armful I plucked to scatter them before you

as you take those steps away from here, and for each you take
a flower will need to be crushed, so take care to tread
lightly as you leave me be

in the shape of who I am that disgusts you so, pushing
you toward somewhere not here, and though
this may be my death, no, tears won’t flow where I am.

—tr. Jack Jung


TWIST!

visitseoul.net

“Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

—Yeats


Kim Eok’s The Dance of Agony(1921․1923) allocates Chapter 5 to William Butler Yeats’ poetry with total seven of his poems introduced in the chapter. Previous studies on modern Korean poetry were based on the premise that his translation of these poems was the direct translation of Yeats’ original works, trying to investigate significance in the acceptance of the “Celtic Twilight” and the effects of Yeats’ poetry on Kim’s romantic lyric poems on the basis of Kim’s translation of Yeats’ poems. Kim’s translation of Yeats’ poems was, however, indirect translation with Japanese translations including those by Kuriyagawa Hakuson as original scripts. What Kim did was relay translation, in which he selected Japanese translations of Yeats’ poems that were faithful to the original works in English and displayed outstanding poetic aesthetics, projected his own reading, and deconstructed and reassembled each and every sentence structure in Japanese translations. Furthermore, Kim studied creative poems as an extension of his relay translation of Yeats’ poems. Kim, however, failed to have Japanese translators’ self-consciousness and desire projected onto the national literature and Renaissance of Ireland as he did not surpass the level of Japanese translators in the depth of knowledge and understanding as well as taste and connoisseurship for Yeats’ poetry. Despite its limitations, Kim’s relay translation of Yeats’ poems holds significance as part of the spread process of Yeats’ poetry across East Asia. It was also a process of him devising Joseon language as literary language and the grammar of modern lyric poetry.

“Rereading the translation by Kim Eok of Yeats’ Poetry”—Dr. Inmo Ku, Yonsei University


It’s your turn!