Since a few months I became a participant in a center for studies of Zarathustra in Brussels. The center is a meeting point for many Iranians (Zarathustra was the belief system in Iran before Islam took over, see also Nietzche's book). The center is run by a woman from Norway and a man from Iran. They organize monthly poetry readings around themes we all agree on. Every member is a participant. You read your own poems on those themes and poems you like from other authors. The poems are read in the original languages (so it's a mixture of English, Swedish, Dutch, French, Iranian and so on). A rough translation is sometimes given in French, so most people can follow what it is about.
In French they say "une traduction est une trahison" (a translation is a treason). I tend to agree with that statement. I prefer to hear the original sounds and languages and don't bother too much about "what does it mean?". I don't like to explain poems neither.
Guido, My professor just enlightened us on the Zarathustra belief of the humanistic way of life, a truely facinating subject. I am a student at St.Cloud State University in Minnesota and I am currently taking an Iraninan Cinema class. We currently are one of the very few places to even view some of these films. I would be very greatful if you were to keep me in your loop and possibly update or send me anything of interest. Iranian cinema has been a major influence for me and my fellow students here in Minnesota, it is some of the most enlightening, heartbreaking and joyous cinemas to grace this planet.
Agreed! Among my favorite films ever are Majid Majidi's Baran and Children of Heaven, Bahman Ghobadi's Turtles Can Fly and Marooned in Iraq, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Kandahar. I also liked Makhmalbaf's Blackboards, Gabbeh, and The Cyclist, Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us and Close-Up, and Manijeh Hekmat's Women's Prison.
I would say 'the translation of a poem is rarely a poem.' I recently had a poem translated into Icelandic by a close friend and language expert and was surprised at the limitations, for example the words for 'say' and 'tell' are the same. I will post the both versions here if you are interested. I am currently writing a play which will be translated into Icelandic and am considering the words I use accordingly.
Yes, Rod, I'd be very interested in seeing the two versions. I know exactly what you mean about the problem of translating words that have two meanings into a language which doesn't have a word that combines those same two meanings. It's the greatest weakness of using Babelfish to translate. Babelfish chooses one of the meanings and always provides a translation for that meaning only. So sometimes the translation makes no sense at all, and there's no way the speaker of the target language can see what's wrong. I find that it's necessary to translate the translation back into English to see whether it was successful.
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