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“Language and Meat”: Problems in Translating Poetry. Martha Lincoln COTSEAL Conference University of Wisconsin-Madison 7/17/2009. “ Ngôn ngữ v à thịt ” ( Lĩnh đ inh c hich k hoai, 2007 ). Ngôn ngữ xuất phát từ thịt. Không thịt, không ngôn ngữ. Điêu này quá hiển nhiên.

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language and meat problems in translating poetry

“Language and Meat”: Problems in Translating Poetry

Martha Lincoln

COTSEAL Conference

University of Wisconsin-Madison

7/17/2009

ng n ng v th t l nh inh c hich k hoai 2007
“Ngôn ngữ và thịt”(Lĩnh đinh chich khoai, 2007)

Ngôn ngữ xuất phát từ thịt.

Không thịt, không ngôn ngữ.

Điêu này quá hiển nhiên.

Những từ như bùi, dai hay rắn chắc, chẳng hạn,

Đều vô nghĩa nếu không có phần mềm có thớ,

Bọc xương. Những từ như chết, cao ráo, đẹp,

Hốc hác, để hay đã chưa? Hơn nữa,

Ngôn ngữ bình dân luôn luôn đầy ắp thịt:

“Mày đừng xuyên tạc thịt tao, mày!”

“Thịt em như vầy mà nó không ưa!”

“Thịt má mày là thịt chợ chiều!”

language and flesh version 1
“Language and Flesh” (version 1)

Ngôn ngữ xuất phát từ thịt.

Không thịt, không ngôn ngữ..

Điều này quá hiển nhiên.

Những từ như bùi, dai hay rắn chắc, chẳnghạn,

Đều vô nghĩa nếu không có phần mềm có thớ,

Bọc xương. Những từ như chết, cao ráo, đẹp,

Hốc hác, đẻ hay đã chưa? Hơn nữa,

Ngôn ngữ bình dân luôn luôn đầy ắp thịt:

“Mày đừng xuyên tạc thịt tao, mày!”

“Thịt em như vầy mà nó không ưa!”

“Thịt má mày là thịt chợ chiều!”

Language is emanated from meat.

No meat, no language.

This fact is so obvious.

Some words are buttery tasting, tough, or sinewy, for example,

Their meanings don’t have software (?) and sinews,

A bundle of bones. Words like dead, high and dry, beautiful,

Exhausted, born or ready yet?Moreover,

People’s language is always full of meat:

“Hey you, don’t go carving up on my meat!”

“My meat is like that, and he doesn’t even like it!”

“Your mother’s meat is from the afternoon market.”

Suspicious areas underlined

translation problem 1 decode recode
translation problem 1: Decode/Recode
  • Most basically, translation = understanding (decoding) and restating (recoding).
  • Question: What is the propositional content of a statement?
  • Goal: Functional equivalency in meaning
  • Approach: Word by word/phrase by phrase.
    • Example: Traduire est trahir = to translate / is / to betray.
translation problem 2 form a rough guide to vietnamese
Translation Problem 2: Form(A Rough Guide to Vietnamese)

1) Cô ấy biết nói tiếng Pháp.

She know speak language French.

“She knows how to speak French.”

Khách sạn ấy tốt.

Hotel that good.

“That hotel is good.”

translation problem 3 connotation
Translation Problem 3: Connotation

“Thịt em như vầy mà nó không ưa!” ≈ “My meat is as such, and he doesn’t even like it!” (An observation.)

  • Describing something as “như vầy” = “as such,” or “like that,” implies “Something is so good, and yet no one cares for it, uses it, etc.”

Retranslation: “My meat is so good, and he doesn’t even like it.” (A complaint.)

translation problem 4 the nearly untranslatable
Translation Problem 4: The (nearly) untranslatable
  • “Mày đừng xuyên tạc thịt tao, mày!”

There is no English equivalent for these pronouns, which index

1) an unequal status relationship between speaker and listener;

and/or

2) an intimate or pejorative disposition on the part of the speaker.

Roughly:

“Hey you, don’t go slandering my meat!”

translation problem 5 meaning
Translation Problem 5: Meaning

Thịt má mày là thịt chợ chiều!

meat mother you to be meat market afternoon!

language and flesh final version
“Language and Flesh” (Final version)

Ngôn ngữ xuất phát từ thịt.

Không thịt, không ngôn ngữ..

Điều này quá hiển nhiên.

Những từ như bùi, dai hay rắn chắc, chẳnghạn,

Đều vô nghĩa nếu không có phần mềm có thớ,

Bọc xương. Những từ như chết, cao ráo, đẹp,

Hốc hác, đẻ hay đã chưa? Hơn nữa,

Ngôn ngữ bình dân luôn luôn đầy ắp thịt:

“Mày đừng xuyên tạc thịt tao, mày!”

“Thịt em như vầy mà nó không ưa!”

“Thịt má mày là thịt chợ chiều!”

Language comes from flesh.

No flesh, no language.

This fact is so obvious.

Words are nutty, chewy or firm:

They are all meaningless if they don’t have the soft part containing sinews,

Covering bones. Words like dead, dapper, beautiful,

Haggard, born or satisfied yet?Moreover,

Earthy language is always full of flesh:

“Hey you, don’t go slandering my meat!”

“Such is my meat, and he doesn’t like it!”

“Your mother’s flesh is meat from the end of the day.”