Author Topic: Feedback on Attempted translation (Auld Lang Syne Song)  (Read 2373 times)

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AdamSC1

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Feedback on Attempted translation (Auld Lang Syne Song)
« on: November 24, 2014, 01:17:48 pm »
Hey folks,

For a personal project I'm working on I am translating Auld Lang Syne into a number of languages including Dothraki and High Valryian.

For the sake of translating the meaning of the song and still fitting the sentences I've had to get a little creative with what they are actually saying, and I know I have the vocabulary down pat I am just a little unsure of the grammar order and conjugation on them. So any feedback would be appreciated!

High Valyrian:
Avy uēpa raqiros daor otāpan
daor dīnagon otāpagon
biarvī manaerili ābrar
sparo syt? Biarior Arlior Jēdari!

(Literal translation I was aiming for:

Should old friends be forgotten
And never again thought of
we celebrate well being
For who? The Happy New Year!)


Dothraki:
Jif ershe okeo vo vineserat
vo dirge azhat
Jif ershe okeo  vo vineserat
haji ershe kashi

(Literal translation:

Should old friends be forgotten
no thought to give.
Should old friends be forgotten.
Because of old times.)

Would love to know your thoughts on word choices, grammar, conjugation and anything else!

Qvaak

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Re: Feedback on Attempted translation (Auld Lang Syne Song)
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2014, 12:24:59 pm »
Yay :) I get to do my thing. Which is, I'll comment on the Dothraki.

Old lyrical text is usually hard to translate. If the original text uses unnatural word ordering, incomplete sentences, dated expressions, subtext or rich metaphores, should the translation strive to replicate that, and how do you make similar effects without just making the translation grammatically broken and patently incomprehensible? It must be admitted, though, that easily translatable text is hard to come by. Natural dialogue with all the incomplete sentences, slang and fixed expressions is hard too. And as far as Dothraki goes, so is anything with modern vocabulary.

Quote
Jif ershe okeo vo vineserat
Should old friends be forgotten

Ershe should be fine. Okeo should be OK too. You could make educated guesses about 'to forget' - enesalat perhaps - but I like you simply going with vo + vinesarat.

Now, with these words "I don't remember old friends." would be Anha vo vineserok okeoes ershe. Adjective after the noun it modifies (as always), the verb conjugated and nouns and the adjective in appropriate cases (I hope). As it happens, the adjectival agreement is not explicit, and neither is the plural of "friends".

"Old friends are not remebered." is passivized version of the above sentence: the information about who does the not-remembering is discarded. Dothraki does passives in its own interesting way with a particle nem and with deceptively active-looking syntax: Okeosi ershe nem vo vineseri. Now the plural is explicit but the verb does not show the negative grade. Fun, eh?

The hard part is the "should". Apparently this is just a rhetorical question. I think we can assume that questions can be used rhetorically the same way as in English. However, simply fronting jif should not work (generally expecting to turn sentences into questions by fronting auxiliary verbs is expecting a lot). Jif is an auxiliary-verb-esque particle like nem, and though not too well undertood, serves a very limited role. I think "Old friends should not be remebered." would be Okeosi ershe jifim vo vineseri. (jif + nem is probably jifim) and turning that into a question would simply require hash: Hash okeosi ershe jifim vo vineseri.

Quote
vo dirge azhat
no thought to give

I think we can get a lot closer to "and never thought of" (is that a desired translation?) than that, but let's examine it anyway. It's unclear, how this would tie to the sentence above, so we have essentially a sentence fragment, and those tend to be vague. I think the basic idea might maybe work, though. Vo dirge seems sensible and probably needs no inflection here (accusative is the same as nominative and plural is categorically not marked). Using verb infinite might work too, maybe, but you might need to use it as if it were a noun, IMHO, turning this perhaps into vo dirge azhataan. That might be interpreted as "There are no thoughts for giving," or something like that. Or something not like that at all. An alternative try would be to use a noun athazhar instead.

I'd go with Majin nem dirgi avvos, which should be roughly "And thus never be thought of." There's room for second-guessing my choices on that, but I'd say overall that's a closer and safer direction.

Quote
haji ershe kashi
Because of old times

Ya. This should work, I think. Just put the adjective to the right place again and decline kashi as haji requires: haji kashoon ershe.

Followup questions?
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Hrakkar

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Re: Feedback on Attempted translation (Auld Lang Syne Song)
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 02:06:20 pm »
San athchomari chomakaan, zhey Qvaak! I was unable to get to this interesting translation last night, and as usual, you did a much better job than I could have.
Don't tell Khal Drogo I am here ;)

AdamSC1

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Re: Feedback on Attempted translation (Auld Lang Syne Song)
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2014, 08:51:49 pm »
Yay :) I get to do my thing. Which is, I'll comment on the Dothraki.

Old lyrical text is usually hard to translate. If the original text uses unnatural word ordering, incomplete sentences, dated expressions, subtext or rich metaphores, should the translation strive to replicate that, and how do you make similar effects without just making the translation grammatically broken and patently incomprehensible? It must be admitted, though, that easily translatable text is hard to come by. Natural dialogue with all the incomplete sentences, slang and fixed expressions is hard too. And as far as Dothraki goes, so is anything with modern vocabulary.

Quote
Jif ershe okeo vo vineserat
Should old friends be forgotten

Ershe should be fine. Okeo should be OK too. You could make educated guesses about 'to forget' - enesalat perhaps - but I like you simply going with vo + vinesarat.

Now, with these words "I don't remember old friends." would be Anha vo vineserok okeoes ershe. Adjective after the noun it modifies (as always), the verb conjugated and nouns and the adjective in appropriate cases (I hope). As it happens, the adjectival agreement is not explicit, and neither is the plural of "friends".

"Old friends are not remebered." is passivized version of the above sentence: the information about who does the not-remembering is discarded. Dothraki does passives in its own interesting way with a particle nem and with deceptively active-looking syntax: Okeosi ershe nem vo vineseri. Now the plural is explicit but the verb does not show the negative grade. Fun, eh?

The hard part is the "should". Apparently this is just a rhetorical question. I think we can assume that questions can be used rhetorically the same way as in English. However, simply fronting jif should not work (generally expecting to turn sentences into questions by fronting auxiliary verbs is expecting a lot). Jif is an auxiliary-verb-esque particle like nem, and though not too well undertood, serves a very limited role. I think "Old friends should not be remebered." would be Okeosi ershe jifim vo vineseri. (jif + nem is probably jifim) and turning that into a question would simply require hash: Hash okeosi ershe jifim vo vineseri.

Quote
vo dirge azhat
no thought to give

I think we can get a lot closer to "and never thought of" (is that a desired translation?) than that, but let's examine it anyway. It's unclear, how this would tie to the sentence above, so we have essentially a sentence fragment, and those tend to be vague. I think the basic idea might maybe work, though. Vo dirge seems sensible and probably needs no inflection here (accusative is the same as nominative and plural is categorically not marked). Using verb infinite might work too, maybe, but you might need to use it as if it were a noun, IMHO, turning this perhaps into vo dirge azhataan. That might be interpreted as "There are no thoughts for giving," or something like that. Or something not like that at all. An alternative try would be to use a noun athazhar instead.

I'd go with Majin nem dirgi avvos, which should be roughly "And thus never be thought of." There's room for second-guessing my choices on that, but I'd say overall that's a closer and safer direction.

Quote
haji ershe kashi
Because of old times

Ya. This should work, I think. Just put the adjective to the right place again and decline kashi as haji requires: haji kashoon ershe.

Followup questions?

No follow ups at all! Thanks for the brilliant help! - It's certainly a much larger sentence to sing and I am sure I'll butcher the pronunciation but at least the words on the screen will be right; and good to know that I was on the right track seeing as this translation was made after only one hour into learning Dothraki!

Qvaak

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Re: Feedback on Attempted translation (Auld Lang Syne Song)
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 01:02:49 am »
I completely glossed over the issue of the exact meaning of ershe. It's quite likely old as opposed to young, and might not carry on to the idea of old as opposed to new.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.