Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Translator needed

Some linguist I am. I have *no* idea what this says. Anyone help?

It's on a pretty mug I was just given. Here, for your trouble, enjoy the other side, with the lovely painting:

Thank you!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
sweetfires asked me for help.

風正一帆懸 is a quote from a Tang poem and (IMHO) it has a rather inauspicious context.

"Under blue mountains we wound our way,
My boat and 1, along green water;
Until the banks at low tide widened,
With no wind stirring my lone sail.
...Night now yields to a sea of sun,
And the old year melts in freshets.
At last I can send my messengers –
Wildgeese, homing to Loyang."

Not my translation, I found that on the interwho. The bold bit is your line, in the original.
Aug. 30th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for that. It's a lovely poem.
Aug. 30th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
Lovely! Thank you. Yes, it does seem an odd choice to highlight for the cup. Perhaps they mean, "Now, at the slack tide when there's no wind and thus no sailing to be done, I'll rest for a quiet and peaceful cup of tea." :)
Aug. 30th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
And my guess was gonna be: "Hey, dummy, the pretty picture's on the other side!"
Aug. 30th, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
One of my friends suggested "Stupid gai-jin use this cup."
Aug. 30th, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
"The paint on this cup was made from powdered donkey balls"
Aug. 30th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
Bhahaha... well, it's good to hear everyone's theories. :)
Aug. 31st, 2011 07:56 am (UTC)
I think mine is the best.
Sep. 2nd, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for adding me to your friends.
Thanks for adding me to your friends list, Molly. I don't get on LJ very often these days, due to some vision problems that make it hard to read (getting better, though!)so new friends are few and far between! I think I've even lost all my old ones.

Asking for a translator on LJ is a good idea. I have a review on Goodreads, of Counterpoint: Dylan's Story, that is in French. I think it's a good one, but I don't understand a word of it. Maybe I'll post it here and see if someone can tell me what it says.

Have a great weekend.

Do I have to do anything else to accept the friendship? I can't remember.
Sep. 4th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks for adding me to your friends.
Thanks for adding me back! I think that's all one has to do around here. LJ is getting less active all around, it seems (blame Facebook?), so it's not just you.

Definitely, ask for an online translator--people love to volunteer with their strengths. I bet I have French speakers among my friends who might be able to help!

Good luck with the vision. That can be important to a writer, though I suppose not crucial...
Sep. 14th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
The poem is by Tang poet Wang Wan - the title is variously translated as "Stopping at Beigushan," "A Mooring at North Fort Hill," and so forth. ("Beigushan" = "North Fort Hill," now a park.) It was included in the 18th-century compilation Three Hundred Poems of the Tang Dynasty, and, Cultural Revolution aside, has been read by schoolchildren ever since. In cultural context, the line is as familiar as "miles to go before I sleep" or "I took the one less travelled by/and that has made all the difference.

Which reminds me of a time not so long past when an English Lit teacher (let's call her Judith) announced to her room full of sixteen-year-old charges, including me, that each of us would have to memorize and recite a poem to the class; she suggested "anything from the Oxford Book of English Verse." Some of my classmates raced to find the shortest and easiest to memorize. (Should you ever need to do this, it's "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.") Meanwhile I took a moment to make sure I was awake and had really been handed such a blank check, then sat down to memorize "The Goblin Market." I was looking forward to my classmates' reactions to:

She cried 'Laura,' up the garden,
'Did you miss me ?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me...'

Came the day, and alas I had got no farther than "Clearer than water flowed that juice/She never tasted such before" when Judith woke up, realized what was coming next, and stopped me in my tracks with a frosty "Thank you, Mr. Renfro, that *WILL* be all."

Some people take all the fun out of everything.

Sep. 15th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks for validating the tea-mug poem translation--I know I can trust you on that, which I cannot with some of my more colorful commenters. :) Beigushan, from what I can find online, is indeed beautiful.

Now, The Goblin Market. Okay, many thoughts here. May have to go into numbered list.

1) First impression from reading the excerpt in your comment (because I hadn't read the poem before) was, "Hah! Sounds like something Robert Smith would have liked."
2) Upon looking it up online, I learned it was by Christina Rossetti, who, yep, was the exact poet whose work, or so I hear, inspired at least a few Cure songs full of eerieness and/or forlornness.
3) You are hilariously awesome to pick that to recite aloud. Mischievous literature geeks are the best sort.
4) Dude, that is a long poem to memorize. You're also impressive. (The only poem of any length I can recite is Jabberwocky. Like everybody.)
5) Ooooh la la! This poem is gold to the paranormal romance writer! And um, yeah, surely even the Victorians noticed the overt biting and sucking going on. Still, I may actually have to stick this in my "story idea file" and use it sometime. For a modern paranormal romance, however, I'd need more nuance than "maiden good, goblin evil." This day and age, after all, it's "maiden conflicted, goblin sparkly and heartthrobby."

All in all, thank you for bringing it to my attention. :D
Sep. 19th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
5) "She sucked and sucked and sucked the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore,
She sucked until her lips were sore..."

Um, yeah, Christina, that's... subtle. Real subtle.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )