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Call for Native Speakers

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  • Martin Mikolajek
    Hello, Translating Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, I have encountered several expressions that I understand intuitively but whose precise meaning
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 4, 2005
      Hello,

      Translating "Nights at the Circus" by Angela Carter, I have encountered
      several expressions that I understand intuitively but whose precise meaning
      still eludes me. Would there be any native speakers willing to help?

      1) "Lord love you, sir," (Fevvers sang out in a voice that clanged like
      dustbin lids.)

      I remember reading the expression "Lord love you" somewhere in Dickens, but
      I cannot fathom whether it is a toast or a greeting and how to translate it.

      2) "But hadn't I dared and done, sir", Fevvers broke in.

      "Dare and do" appears mostly in the religious context, but I have not been
      able to find the exact translation.

      3) (...a sub-text of fertility underwrote the glittering sterility of the
      pleasure of the flesh available) "within the academy". (referring to a life
      in a brothel)

      Is "within the academy" synonymous with "in the house" or "within the walls
      of the house?"

      4) Adjectives describing voice: warped, dipping, swooping

      (Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels and random aspirates.
      Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as siren's)


      Thank you for your time,

      Martin

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    • Valerie Talacko
      Here are some suggestions: 1) Lord love you, sir isn t an expression I knew, and my first thought (without context) was that it was similar to God bless
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 4, 2005
        Here are some suggestions:

        1) 'Lord love you, sir' isn't an expression I knew, and my first thought (without context) was that it was similar to 'God bless you, sir,' - said by a grateful beggar, for example.However, on Googling it, I see that it's really a very general exclamation, in which the word 'you' plays no real role. Many of the examples on Google are, indeed, from Dickens. The meaning seems to be similar to 'na mou dusi,' or some less-cliched equivalent.

        2) 'Dared and done' refers to the peformance of a brave act, not particularly in a religious context. I think you could use whatever translation conveys that meaning, within the context. Without knowing more about the situation, it's difficult for me to suggest a translation, but it sounds as if Fevvers might be enquiring as to whether she hasn't been through enough.

        3) Is 'academy' here suggesting that the brothel is a place of learning? Or maybe that the madame runs it very strictly.

        4) Whatever words suggest a voice that changes pitch suddenly, but in a smooth and expressive rather than awkward way (although I see it's also 'rusty!').

        Valerie

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Martin Mikolajek
        To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 11:16 PM
        Subject: [Czechlist] Call for Native Speakers


        Hello,

        Translating "Nights at the Circus" by Angela Carter, I have encountered
        several expressions that I understand intuitively but whose precise meaning
        still eludes me. Would there be any native speakers willing to help?

        1) "Lord love you, sir," (Fevvers sang out in a voice that clanged like
        dustbin lids.)

        I remember reading the expression "Lord love you" somewhere in Dickens, but
        I cannot fathom whether it is a toast or a greeting and how to translate it.

        2) "But hadn't I dared and done, sir", Fevvers broke in.

        "Dare and do" appears mostly in the religious context, but I have not been
        able to find the exact translation.

        3) (...a sub-text of fertility underwrote the glittering sterility of the
        pleasure of the flesh available) "within the academy". (referring to a life
        in a brothel)

        Is "within the academy" synonymous with "in the house" or "within the walls
        of the house?"

        4) Adjectives describing voice: warped, dipping, swooping

        (Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels and random aspirates.
        Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as siren's)


        Thank you for your time,

        Martin

        --
        Odchozí zpráva neobsahuje viry.
        Zkontrolováno Antivirovým systémem AVG.
        Verze: 7.0.344 / Virová báze: 267.11.10/119 - datum vydání: 4.10.2005



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      • melvyn.geo
        ... wrote: ... Agree with Valerie - a general emphatic exclamation like lawks, ma am! , uttered by lovable working-class Londoners in old
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 4, 2005
          --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Mikolajek"
          <mgmikolajek@v...> wrote:

          A few more thoughts:
          >
          > 1) "Lord love you, sir,"

          Agree with Valerie - a general emphatic exclamation like "lawks,
          ma'am!", uttered by lovable working-class Londoners in old novels. My
          feeling is that it is the kind of stereotypical traditional Cockney
          that Matej was discussing a few weeks ago. The important thing IMHO is
          that it IS stereotypical. And old-fashioned. Think of what some
          effusive Zizkov street-porter might exclaim in a Capek-Chod novel.

          > 4) Adjectives describing voice: warped, dipping, swooping
          >
          > (Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels

          'Warped' is a good way to describe Cockney dipthongs and tripthongs
          from the standpoint of a 'standard' English speaker. Distorted.

          > and random aspirates.

          Eastenders reputedly drop their h's when they're required and add them
          when they're not. Rough parallels might be drawn with the v in vokno
          and ty 'ole.

          > Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as siren's)

          Eastenders also famously have a 'singing' intonation (as Pilseners say
          of Praguers and vice versa - these things are relative, I guess). Many
          would say there is something pleasingly melodic and perhaps even a
          little dramatic about this intonation, hence the expressive words to
          describe the rises and falls. 'Dark' and 'rusty' will describe her
          voice itself. I imagine a woman of mature years who has perhaps smoked
          more than she should have...

          BR

          M.
          Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from
          a religious conviction.
          - Blaise Pascal
        • Martin
          Thank you both for your responses. Re: 1) (Lord love you!) I feared it is so. Since this is the opening line of the entire book, it is important to invent
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 5, 2005
            Thank you both for your responses.

            Re: 1) (Lord love you!) I feared it is so. Since this is the opening
            line of the entire book, it is important to invent something nice and
            juicy. There is this problem with the main character that although she
            is constantly being referred to as a Cockney Eastender, she speaks
            beatiful, rich English and the Cockney accent is not represented in
            the text in any way. In other words, the translation must allow for
            both a straightforward and an ironic reading, just as the original.
            Would you have any suggestions?

            Re: 2)(Dared and done) Yes, that is what I thought too. I just wonder,
            whether there exists any fixed and common translation of this phrase.

            Re: 3)(Academy) Brothel as a place of learning - I have not thought of
            it this way, but maybe it would make sense in the context. Good idea,
            thank you.

            Re: 4) (Voice adjectives) I mainly have problem with the "swooping
            voice". I believe it lends itself to two interpretations: a voice that
            is falling and rising with pronounced intonation or a voice that is so
            powerful and agressive that it captures the listener's attention as a
            raptor swoops down on his prey. Which is it?


            One more time, thanks for your...er...time. :-)
          • melvyn.geo
            ... You sure about that? Have a look at the first paragraph again: Lor love you, sir! Fevvers sang out in a voice that clanged like dustbin lids. As to my
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 5, 2005
              --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Martin" <mgmikolajek@v...> wrote:

              >
              > There is this problem with the main character that although she
              > is constantly being referred to as a Cockney Eastender, she speaks
              > beatiful, rich English and the Cockney accent is not represented in
              > the text in any way.

              You sure about that? Have a look at the first paragraph again:

              "Lor' love you, sir!" Fevvers sang out in a voice that clanged like
              dustbin lids. "As to my place of birth, why, I first saw the light of
              day right here in smoky old London, didn't I! Not billed the 'Cockney
              Venus', for nothing, sir, though they could just as well 'ave called
              me 'Helen of the High Wire', due to the unusual circumstances in which
              I come ashore - for I never docked via what you might call the normal
              channels, sir, oh, dear me, no; but, just like Helen of Troy, was hatched.

              The dropped aitch and consonant, the name Fevvers (Feathers), the
              rhetorical tag and the exclamations are dead give-aways:

              "We are plunged straight into the narration of a very unusual narrator
              whose peculiar combination of Cockney English and classical erudition
              suggests her status as half human and half mythical" -

              http://www.csulb.edu/~bhfinney/AngelaCarter.html

              In other words, the translation must allow for
              > both a straightforward and an ironic reading, just as the original.
              Would you have any suggestions?

              About how to handle Angela Carter's erudite trompe l'oeil
              metanarrative technique =:O? Try the above link for a little inspiration.

              > Re: 4) (Voice adjectives) I mainly have problem with the "swooping
              > voice". I believe it lends itself to two interpretations: a voice
              that is falling and rising with pronounced intonation or a voice that
              is so powerful and agressive that it captures the listener's attention
              as a raptor swoops down on his prey. Which is it?

              The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive once we have accepted
              the aforementioned human/mythical parallelism. Again, a little context
              and explanation might help:

              he quickly becomes "a prisoner of her voice . . . Her dark, rusty,
              dipping, swooping voice, imperious as a siren's" Half mythical, she
              shares with Homer's fabulous female creatures their hypnotic
              attraction - and their potential destructiveness. [ibid]

              As I said, the intonation is rather dramatic! :-)

              Be lucky! ;-)

              M.
              When I woke up this morning my girlfriend asked me, 'Did you sleep
              good?' I said 'No, I made a few mistakes.'
              - Steven Wright
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