Tag Archives: translation

Constrained to Endure Despite?

For studying Arabic, Congruent (1) translations can be invaluable for working out particulars of the language’s behavior. Freewheeling translations are more pleasing to read, but can be “noisy” in a such a way as to create their own problems. Does … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology, Commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Uh, You, Hey, I’m Talking Here!

ḥarfu-n-nidā’ — “the particle of calling out,” (exclaiming, direct address). It establishes a “vocative dependency” with the noun that follows. That noun, according to certain rules, will have either a nominative or an accusative case ending. I like to think … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology, Commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Trills and Spills from ‘Gilgamesh’s Snake’

Verses are from Ghareeb Iskander, Gilgamesh’s Snake and Other Poems, Bilingual Edition translated from the Arabic by John Glenday and Ghareeb Iskander, Syracuse University Press, 2016. Translations here are mine. (c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

Posted in Anthology, Quotations | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

‘We Were Limpid, So We Were Not Turbid’

A verse of classical Arabic can be tightly packed. Besides immersion in grammar, what’s most useful to this student of the language is a highly Congruent (1) translation. It amounts to what’s called a “trot,” and is the least likely … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Saying and Meaningness

I painted it all tried to paint my thoughts / And caught so little / The world still grows it grows relentlessly / And yet there is always less of it(From “The Old Painter on a Walk” by Adam Zagajewski, … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hardcore Arabic: ‘Treble Formation’

The language has astonishing sweep and granularity that are explicit and penetrative to a degree redolent of lore and legend. The open-sesame to Arabic’s magic for this English speaker is Wright’s majestic grammar. (1) Here, of an early morning on … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘O Thou There, Who Barkest at the Bènū ‘s Sīd’

Below is jargon improvised for gauging how a translation navigates its source text. Note how the verbiage is strewn with hedging adverbials, conceding a priori that the labels are judgments, which by definition are subjective, privative, compromised, blinkered and fallible. … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Precedent: El Precedente

Traducción:“Don’t talk to me that way!”Translation:“¡No me hables así!” Traducción:I’m the Precedent of the Unighted Steaks!”Translation:¡Soy Precedente de los Bistecs Anochecidos!” Traducción:Don’t EVER talk to the Precedent that way!”Translation:¡No le hables NUNCA al Precedente de esa manera!” (Filtered from the … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Is a Viper Just a Snake?

I share my neck of the world with rattlesnakes, water moccasins, copperheads, coral snakes (red-on-yellow, kill a fellow) and cottonmouths. I can’t tell a moccasin from a cottonmouth — they frequent water, and I don’t. When I see one of … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology, Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Translating Winds and Currents

(Continued from https://ethicaldative.com/2022/10/08/assaying-a-translation-strange-dawn/ ) An interesting feature of a translation is how “faithful” it is to the source text. Faithfulness (a slippery term) tends to be a matter of degree, to fluctuate as the translation goes forward. The translator, sailing … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment