On Poetry Translation
Language is the central subject of any discussion about translation. However, there are certain elements involved in the process of translation which go beyond this conventional area. This is especially true for literary translation in general and translation of poetry in particular. According to Jackson, literary translation is a transnational species in itself, but it “differs in many important respects from the kind of translation practiced in a language class.
The literary translator is often not as much interested in literal ‘transliteration’ as in finding a corollary mood, tone, voice, sound, response, and so forth.
When translating poetry, rhythmic beauty reproduction of the original poem is also a very crucial point.
Chinese classical poetry was very exquisite with rhythm, early in the “Chancery Yao Dian” said:” poetry expresses will, in accordance with the saying, and sound according to Yong, the rhyme accordance with sound. The poets began to use Chinese language characteristics to create poetry phonological beauty.
Rhyming abound rhythm and adhesion of the antithesis of ancient status read together, to make the reader feels catchy, melodious music, produce effect of musical beauty. Mr. Xu Yuanchong held his unique opinion: “translating poetry of tang dynasty, try to convey the original poem’s meaning beauty, sound and form beauty.
The most important is meaning beauty, followed by sound, then is form beauty”. Here the “sound” mentioned namely sound metrical. Some poetry in poem or between it have volatile syllables and rhythm periodical, adding to the poem of the momentum ups and downs, which helps poets express feelings and creates unique artistic conception of the poetry.
Therefore, in translating this kind of poetry should as much as possible to translate the rhyme, reappearing original poem’s rhythmic beauty. Take “ShiJing. Qin Feng. Jian Jia “as an example:
This poem is using repeat sentences and words, plays the role of continuous repeatedly, its essence is the overlap and rhythm and rhythmic iteration. However poetry is not simple overlap and relapse, and it’s repeatedly in loopback with changing words, to generate poetry notes transform.
And these changing words have also made every level to promote and deepen the artistic beauty as well as artistic conception of the poem. It constantly changes rhyme, both fall and inside rhymes.
“cang”、“shuang”、“fang”、“yang”；“zhi”、“qi”、“xi”、“ji”、“di”、“yi”、“si”、“zhi”etc. The transformation of the rhyme and sentences give the poem a kind of flowing beauty of the music. Xu Yuanchong translated as:
The reeds grow green; Up stream I go,
Frosted dew-drops gleam. The way’s so hard.
Where’s she so sheen? And downstream, lo!
Beyond the stream. She’s far apart.
Upstream I go, The reeds still there,
The way’s so long. With frost dews blend.
And downstream, lo! Where’s she so fair?
She’s thereamong. At the river’s end.
The reeds turn white, Upstream I go,
Dew not yet dried. The way does wind.
Where’s she so bright? And downstream, lo!
On the other side. She’s far behind.
The translation is similar with the original poem, using the form of fold sentence produces the same musical beauty. Translation of the first and third chapters rhyming the same way, they both interlaced rhyme, chapter ii of the first two sentences at the same rhyme; the last four sentences are doubled-spaced rhyme. Through the creation of the original poem phonetic beauty, the whole translation well reproduced the original poem’s subtle changes and profound artistic conception. Maximize the faithfulness to the original poem’s temperament rhythm, and reproduce the original poem’s phonetic beauty.
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