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Re: Random translation fun

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  • llama_nom
    ... Old Norse has an expression hverfanda hvél whirling wheel . In Alvíssmál it s said to be the name by which people in hell call the moon (which
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 13, 2007
      > whirling wheels

      Old Norse has an expression 'hverfanda hvél' "whirling wheel". In
      Alvíssmál it's said to be the name by which people in hell call the
      moon (which whirls or turns around the sky). In Hávamál and
      elsewhere, the expression is a proverbial metaphor for
      untrustworthiness: 'Á hverfanda hvéli váru þeim hjörtu sköpuð' "their
      hearts were shaped on a whirling wheel." Admittedly in Gothic
      'hvairban' is used with the meaning "to walk", but there is also in
      Gothic the adjective 'hveilahvairbs' "transient, temporary, not
      lasting", which seems reminiscent of the Old Norse use. So maybe we
      could justify using the verb in this context as a poetic fixed expression.

      Llama Nom
    • llama_nom
      Hi Mike, Good work there on your translation! By way of answer, I ve just had a go at the first verse and chorus of Commonwealth of Toil with some rhyme, of
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 13, 2007
        Hi Mike,

        Good work there on your translation! By way of answer, I've just had
        a go at the first verse and chorus of "Commonwealth of Toil" with some
        rhyme, of sorts... I started from scratch, but I particularly liked
        your idea of using the word 'bota' to form Commonwealth, so I
        *borrowed* that, except that I made it a compound 'gamainbota', to cut
        down on syllables for the sake of the meter. Grammar tip: 'gamains'
        is an i-stem adjective, so it inserts a -j- before oblique case
        endings, e.g. 'gamainjos botos' "of common profit". Also, go
        sparingly with the definite article in Gothic. 'sa' is used much less
        than Modern English 'the', more like English 'that' or 'this'.

        Re. the comments in my previous post, I'm not sure where I got that
        idea from about Proto-Germanic /xw/ > /h/ before /u/. Gothic has
        'sehvum' and 'fairhvus', anyway. Fick-Falk-Torp has PGmc. *hvehvula-,
        dat. hvehv(u)lé; so that might be the source of the Old English
        gemination /h/ > /hh/. Not sure... Anyway, for now, I've gone with
        Ualarauans' suggested voiceless form 'hvaihvul'. Here's what I came
        up with. A literal back-translation into English follows, so you can
        see how far I twisted it.

        > Commonwealth of Toil
        >
        > by Ralph Chaplin
        >
        > In the gloom of mighty cities
        > mid the roar of whirling wheels
        > we are toiling on like chattel slaves of old.
        > And our masters ever seek
        > to keep us thus beneath their feet
        > and to coin our very life-blood into gold.

        In baurgim mikilaim mairqjaim,
        in midjaim hvaihvulam hvairbaim,
        weis þulam swe þiujos faur jera þreihsl inu dulþ.
        Jah fraujos sinteino sokjand
        uns sagqjan uf seinans fotuns
        jah us unsaramma bloþa taujan gulþ.

        In great murky cities, amid ?whirling wheels, we suffer, like
        slaves/servants years ago, tribulation without a holiday. And [our]
        masters forever seek to make us sink beneath their feet, and from our
        blood to make gold.

        > Chorus:
        > But we have a glowing dream
        > of how fair the world will seem
        > when we each can live our lives secure and free -
        > when the earth is owned by labor
        > and there's joy and peace for all
        > in the commonwealth of toil that is to be.

        Iþ uns draumeiþ skeinands draums,
        hvaiwa wairþiþ sa fairhvus skauns,
        þan liban mag unsara hvarjizuh arns jah freis,
        þanei waurstwjans airþa aihand,
        jah gawairþi jah faheþs uns þlaihand
        in gamainbotai arbaidais samana allai weis.

        But we dream a shining dream, how fair this world will be when each of
        us can live secure and free, when all we workers own the earth, and
        peace and joy will comfort us, together in the commonwealth of toil.
        ___________________________________________________________________

        A bit ragged, I'm afraid... There must be a way to improve on my
        attempt at the first verse. If we think of a way to fit in the
        wheels' roar, we could maybe use 'drunjus' or 'hrops'. Instead of 'in
        midjaim' you could have 'in midumai', 'ana midumai', or swap it for a
        simple preposition to reduce syllables: '?uf/?faura/?miþ hvairbandane
        hvaihvule drunjau'.

        Llama Nom




        --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, Michael Erwin <merwin@...> wrote:
        >
        > I mentioned before my efforts to translate labor-movement songs into
        > Gothic - however anachronistic they may be. I paraphrase-translated
        > the first verse and chorus of Ralph Chaplin's "Commonwealth of Toil"
        > tonight. I'm not very good at this but practice makes ... better.
        >
        > Commonwealth of Toil
        >
        > by Ralph Chaplin
        >
        > In the gloom of mighty cities
        > mid the roar of whirling wheels
        > we are toiling on like chattel slaves of old.
        > And our masters ever seek
        > to keep us thus beneath their feet
        > and to coin our very life-blood into gold.
        >
        > In sa skadus baurgim mikilaim
        > miþ *hjulam *ƕirandam
        > arbaidjam samana skalkos aiwe sineiga.
        > Jah unsar reikos lustand
        > du haban uns atbrukjanda
        > jah du *maunetan unsar bloþ du gulda.
        >
        > Chorus:
        > But we have a glowing dream
        > of how fair the world will seem
        > when we each can live our lives secure and free -
        > when the earth is owned by labor
        > and there's joy and peace for all
        > in the commonwealth of toil that is to be.
        >
        > Þan habam *glaujand draum af
        > ƕaiwa haila airþai wairþiþ
        > ƕan ains jah alls skulum libam in friþau -
        > ƕan gawaurstwans aigun airþa
        > miþ leikainai jah freihala
        > in þizos gamainons botos gawaurtswane.
        >
        > (remaining verses not yet translated)
        >
        > Okay, the first verse is much more literal than the chorus. I
        > couldn't find any suitable common-Germanic root for either roar or
        > whirl - the former is only attested in West-Germanic and the latter
        > is first attested in North-Germanic - but decided that they were
        > better than nothing (I ultimately chose WG "howl" over WG "roar").
        > The other biggies were "coin," "glow," and, of course, "commonwealth."
        >
        > (I wanted to avoid trying the ones with lines like "with one big
        > industrial union" for the time being).
        >
        > To make the meter more-or-less hang together (the syllable count
        > should work but the rhythm won't), I subbed "in friþau" for "secure
        > and free" - and subbed "freihala" for "peace" two lines later. Also
        > dropped "that is to be."
        >
        > Mike
        >
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