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  #1  
Unread February 10, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Liedertexte

I was reading the poems of Winterreise, by Wilhelm Müller (which were musicalised by F. Schubert) in a bilingual edition. I understand that poetry translations need some omissions and changes, but I was wondering... can someone help me figure out why the translator (Andrés Neuman) overruled the change of verb tenses in these stanzas?:

 German text  Spanish translation 
 Und seine Zweige rauschten,  Murmuraron sus ramas, 
 Als riefen sie mir zu:  como si me llamasen: 
 Komm her zu mir, Geselle,  "ven a mí, compañero, 
 Hier find'st du deine Ruh' y aquí reposarás" 
 [...]  [...] 
 Nun bin ich manche Stunde  Ahora que estoy lejos 
 Entfernt von jenem Ort  de aquel lugar, escucho, 
 Und immer hör' ich's rauschen:  escucho todavía... 
 Du fändest Ruhe dort!  "Aquí reposarás" 

Vielen Dank im Voraus!!
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  #2  
Unread February 10, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
I was reading the poems of Winterreise, by Wilhelm Müller (which were musicalised by F. Schubert) in a bilingual edition. I understand that poetry translations need some omissions and changes, but I was wondering... can someone help me figure out why the translator (Andrés Neuman) overruled the change of verb tenses in these stanzas?:

 German text  Spanish translation 
 Und seine Zweige rauschten,  Murmuraron sus ramas, 
 Als riefen sie mir zu:  como si me llamasen: 
 Komm her zu mir, Geselle,  "ven a mí, compañero, 
 Hier find'st du deine Ruh' y aquí reposarás" 
 [...]  [...] 
 Nun bin ich manche Stunde  Ahora que estoy lejos 
 Entfernt von jenem Ort  de aquel lugar, escucho, 
 Und immer hör' ich's rauschen:  escucho todavía... 
 Du fändest Ruhe dort!  "Aquí reposarás" 

Vielen Dank im Voraus!!
Hier find'st du deine Ruh' is technically a present indicative, but German avoids their clumsy future, and many expressions are in the present, although their future meaning is unambiguous. The present tense would make no sense in context: the Linden Tree is promising shelter to the traveller: The standard Richard Wigmore translation of Schubert Songs also translates into an English future: Come to me friend - here you will find rest.

Du fändest Ruhe dort! Here is a present subjunctive because it is part of a hypothetical conditional construction 'if you were here, you would would find peace'. or 'If you came to me you would find peace here'. The difference between the present indicative and present subjunctive in this case is the size of the probability of a hypothetical case happening. A real possibility is expressed by the indicative, but a remote one by the subjunctive. The translator thought both merited a future, but Wigmore translates the second into a conditional: There you would find rest.

I have read most of Wigmore's translations into English, and never found one single issue where I could challenge his judgement. Neuman choses the future in both cases.

I have all 600 Schubert songs on CDs. Wonderful. There is an edition of all Schubert songs translated into Spanish (I've forgotten the name) by someone in Murcia. He contacted me when I was secretary of a British Schubert society. I also sent the complete texts to someone in Mexico who wanted to translate them into Spanish, but I don't know what happened there.

Was that any help?

which were musicalised by F. Schubert
which were set to music by F. Schubert

Last edited by Perikles; February 10, 2010 at 01:44 PM.
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  #3  
Unread February 10, 2010, 05:55 PM
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It's very useful ...I see now why he chose future for both sentences. "Aquí reposarías" would break the rhythm of the verses the way he chose them (that's also why he omitted the hours)... not what I like the most, but I see the whole logic.

Danke schön!! Du bist so wunderbar!!

...and thanks for the correction too!
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Unread February 10, 2010, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
Danke schön!!
Bitteschön, gern geschehen.
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Unread February 11, 2010, 03:43 AM
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Alltough Perikles explanation is great, I also think that so the rhythm is more apropiate.
"Aquí reposarías"or "Aquí hubieras/hubieses reposado" kills the poem.
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Unread February 11, 2010, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosia View Post
Alltough Perikles explanation is great, I also think that so the rhythm is more apropiate.
"Aquí reposarías"or "Aquí hubieras/hubieses reposado" kills the poem.
I agree entirely, but @Angela asked for a grammatical justification (I think), not a poetical one and I think the solution is a good one. Poetry is by definition untranslatable.
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Unread February 11, 2010, 10:06 AM
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"Licencias poéticas" las llaman.

Gracias a ambos.
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Unread July 12, 2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
"Licencias poéticas" las llaman.

Gracias a ambos.
Hi Angelica. Here is a very imprecise translation, which I hope still works as a poem.

MONDNACHT Joseph von Eichendorf

Es war, als hätt der Himmel
Die Erde still geküßt,
Daß sie im Blütenschimmer
Von ihm nun träumen müßt.

Die Luft ging durch die Felder,
Die Ähren wogten sacht,
Es rauschten leis' die Wälder,
So sternklar war die Nacht.

Und meine Seele spannte
Weit ihre Flügel aus,
Flog durch die stillen Lande,
Als flöge sie nach Haus

A German friend asked me to translate this into a rhyming English poem.. or song lyric. Here is my version.
In order to maintain rhyme, rhythm, register, feeling and general essence, I had to make many compromises. A more literal translation, which she had found elsewhere, retained none of the original impact or "singability".
The significance of "her" and "him" is not immediately obvious to the English ear, as they refer to the masculine and feminine genders of Himmel und Erde.

It was as though the heaven
Had softly kissed the ground,
Coaxing her to dream of him
As blossoms shimmered round.

Through the fields there passed a breeze
To waft the ears of corn,
It gently rustled in the trees,
Before the distant dawn.

Spreading out its wings in flight
My soul began to roam
O'er silent lands through star-lit night
As if returning home.
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Unread July 12, 2010, 07:02 PM
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Bueno, no sé si alguien "me ha dado vela en este entierro", pues aunque sigo la lógica teórica del tema, me pierdo un poquito por mi absoluta ignorancia del alemán, aunque Valentín García Yebra, en sus libros sobre la traducción da muchos ejemplos en este idioma... y creo que es un idioma que merecerá la pena aprender... uno de estos días. En cualquier caso, Brute, tu traducción del poema al inglés, (aunque la poesía sea "intraducible", y aunque seguro que no es lo mismo-mismo-mismo que el original) me parece genial. Es decir, Chapeau! Great! o hasta "Sublime, maestro".
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  #10  
Unread July 13, 2010, 03:38 AM
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Well, I don't think I could find fault with that, it's impressive. I also think that the masculine sky and feminine Earth work well, as there is a natural sense of Mother Earth which is understood.
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