What did you read in translation over the past year?

Prisoner of the Caucasus, Tolstoy
The Forged Coupon, Tolstoy
Galileo, Brecht
Inferno, Dante
In the Penal Colony, Kafka
The Marquise of O, Kleist
Madame Bovary, Flaubert
Pierre Menard, Borges
Diary of a Madman, Tolstoy
The Iliad, Homer
Miss Julie, Strindberg
Ghosts, Ibsen
The Cafeteria, Singer
My Life, Chekhov
Wittgenstein’s Nephew, Bernhard

Past year – beginning of summer 2018 to beginning of summer 2019.

Der Kommisar, Falco

GERMAN ORIGINAL LYRICS
Two, three, four
Eins, zwei drei
Na, es is nix dabei
Na, wenn ich euch erzähl’ die G’schicht’
Nichts desto trotz,
Ich bin es schon gewohnt
Im TV-Funk da läuft es nicht. –
Jah, sie war jung,
Das Herz so rein und weiß
Und jede Nacht hat ihren Preis,
Sie sagt: “Sugar Sweet,
Jah’ got me rapp’in to the heat!”
Ich verstehe, sie ist heiß,
Sie sagt:”Baby, look,
I miss my funky friends,”
Sie meint Jack und Joe und Jill.
Mein Funkverständnis,
Ja, das reicht zur Not,
Ich überreiss’, was sie jetzt will. –
Ich überleg’ bei mir,
Ihr’ Nas’n spricht dafür,
Währenddessen ich noch rauch’,
Die Special Places sind ihr wohlbekannt,
Ich mein’, sie führt ja U-Bahn auch.
Dort singen’s:
“Drah’ Di net um, oh oh oh
Schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Er wird Dich anschau’n
Und du weißt warum.
Die Lebenslust bringt Di um.”
Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

Hey man, wanna buy some stuff, man?
Did you ever rap that thing Jack?
So rap it to the beat!
Wir treffen Jill and Joe
Und dessen Bruder hip
Und auch den Rest der coolen Gang
Sie rappen hin, sie rappen her
Dazwischen Kratzen’s ab die Wänd’. –
Dieser Fall ist klar,
Lieber Herr Kommissar,
Auch wenn Sie and’rer Meinung sind:
Den Schnee auf dem wir alle
Talwärts fahr’n,
Kennt heute jedes Kind.

Jetzt das Kinderlied:
“Drah Di net um, oh oh oh
Schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Er hat die Kraft und wir sind klein und dumm
Dieser Frust macht uns stumm.”

“Drah Di net um, oh oh oh
schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Wenn er Dich anspricht
Und du weißt warum,
Sag eahm
Dein Leb’n bringt Di um.”

ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Two, three, four
One, two, three
Well, it doesn’t matter
Well, when I tell you the story
None the less,
I’m quite used to it
It won’t be running in TV-Funk (magazine). –
Yes, she was young,
Her heart so pure and white
And every night has its price.
She says: “Sugar Sweet,
ya got me rappin’ to the heat!”
I understand, she’s hot,
She says: “Baby, you know,
I miss my funky friends,”
She means Jack and Joe and Jill.
My understanding of funk,
yeah, it’ll do in a crunch,
I understand what she wants now. –
I think it over,
Her nose does the talking,
While I continue to smoke,
She knows the ‘Special Places’ very well;
I think she takes the metro, too.
There they’re singing:
“Don’t turn around, look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about!
He’ll keep his eye on you
and you know why.
Your zest for life will kill you.”
All right, Mr. Commissioner?

Hey man, wanna buy some stuff, man?
Did you ever rap that thing Jack?
So rap it to the beat!
We meet Jill and Joe
And his bother hip
And also the rest of the cool Gang
They rap to, they rap fro
In between they scrape it off the walls. –
This case is clear,
Dear Mr. Commissioner,
Even if you have a different opinion:
The snow on which we all
ski downhill,
every child knows.

Now the nursery rhyme:
“Don’t turn around, look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about!
He has the power and we’re little and dumb;
this frustration makes us mum.”

“Don’t turn around, look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about!
When he talks to you
and you know why,
tell him:
‘Your life is killing you.'”

translated from German to English via azlyrics

Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

Google Translate Compared With Human Translator – Madame Bovary example

Three versions of Madame Bovary:

Original French via Project Gutenberg
Elle dessinait quelquefois; et c’était pour Charles un grand amusement que de rester là, tout debout à la regarder penchée sur son carton, clignant des yeux afin de mieux voir son ouvrage, ou arrondissant, sur son pouce, des boulettes de mie de pain. Quant au piano, plus les doigts y couraient vite, plus il s’émerveillait. Elle frappait sur les touches avec aplomb, et parcourait du haut en bas tout le clavier sans s’interrompre. Ainsi secoué par elle, le vieil instrument, dont les cordes frisaient, s’entendait jusqu’au bout du village si la fenêtre était ouverte, et souvent le clerc de l’huissier qui passait sur la grande route, nu-tête et en chaussons, s’arrêtait à l’écouter, sa feuille de papier à la main.

French to English via Google Translate
She drew sometimes; and it was for Charles a big fun only to stand there, while standing at the bend over his cardboard, blinking to see his work better, or rounding, on his thumb, balls of bread crumbs. As at the piano, the faster the fingers ran, the more marveled. She struck the keys with aplomb, and walked up and down the entire keyboard without interrupting. So shaken by her, the old instrument, whose strings curling, was heard to the end of the village if the window was open, and often the clerk of the bailiff who was passing on the high road, bareheaded and in slippers, stopped to listen to him, his sheet of paper in his hand.

Human Translator – Margaret Mauldon, via Amazon
She used to draw sometimes; and Charles found it most entertaining to stand there at her side, watching her concentrate on her sketch, screwing up her eyes to see her work more clearly, or rolling breadcrumbs into little erasers with her thumb. As for the piano, the faster her fingers flew about, the more was he amazed. She struck each note with a confident touch, sweeping across the whole keyboard from top to bottom without a pause. The old piano with its badly stretched strings shook under her hands and could be heard, if the window was open, right across the village; often the bailiff’s clerk, shuffling along the road with his head bare and his feet in slippers, would stop to listen, holding the document he was delivering in his hand.

My people have a word for that …

The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had.

Saudade (Portuguese) – a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away either spatially or in time – a vague, dreaming wistfulness for phenomena that may not even exist

Shinrin-yoku (Japanese) – the relaxation gained from bathing in the forest, figuratively or literally