Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Translated Poems Translated

For some reason I figured it'd be a silly idea to run a few famous poems through a Google Translate gauntlet and check out the end result. I then attempted to decipher the version that had been somewhat lost in translation, but upon finding that that was nearly impossible, I decided to provide somewhat of a commentary instead. The bold print is the translated poem, and the italicized, yellow print is mine.

Sonnet XVIII
by William Shakespeare

I, I'll wear a summer day?
A stuttering man contemplates impractical fashion choices.
Fine arts, you warmer:
Who needs a furnace when you’ve got the fine art to keep you warm?
Stormy winds, no Darling Buds of Jake Moon
The cold, brisk winds cause EastEnders’ star Jake Moon’s “darling buds” to dissipate.
Rent on a specific day of the press:
The paper arrives on Sunday. I expect you to be moved in at dawn and out by dusk. Be sure you’re back by next Sunday.
And at some point too hot sky shining eyes
And later on less cold ground dull nose?
In many cases, the occurrence of gold is shown in gray,
In this occurrence, the gold is, in fact, not gold.
Fair market decline for some time,
Can’t argue with that.
Foster the course of nature, or in the case do not change:
Either guide nature with the aid of indefinite supernatural powers or go the hell home.
However, your eternal summer shall not fade,
Eternal summers tend not to fade. They’re eternal, after all.
NOR you lose the permission that ow'st value
That’s why you have to use it or lose it.
They boast NOR death, the wander'st on the back
I don’t think death would appreciate all the discourtesy.
To gain time, and if you grow'st,
Odd, I tend to lose time as I grow’st.
        Person to breathe in a position, or you can see so many eyes, as
        For a long time, I live for them, it gives you life.
I think this is representing the breathing exercises performed at those new mom prep classes.

Budless Jake Moon. 

Dust of Snow
by Robert Frost

and Raven
hit me
A man aroused by the thought of S&M eggs on a crow.
powder snow
From hemlock trees
Snow falls from trees sometimes.

Given that my heart is
mood changes
Is this bipolar man regretting his decision?
And saved some part
Since that day, I regretted it.
Oh, yep. He is. His desire to be dominated by the crow was only a fleeting fantasy.
To The River
by Edgar Allan Poe
English>Haitian Creole>Cebuano>German>Macedonian>English

Fair River! Bright, vivid colors
           Crystal, loss of water,
An impartial river uncharacteristically brags about its flashy appearance and loss of weight.
They are a symbol of light
              Beauty - heart appears -
              Maziness fun art
Pretty sure this has something to do with clip art.
The daughter of Alberto's age;
Alberto (aka Father Time) gives birth through the measurement of time, obviously.

But if waving -
              Then sparks and flickers –
Oh, the river is combustible?
Why are there so many beautiful rivers
              Believers alike;
When non-living things suddenly gain sentience, they tend to be easily swayed.
Because in my heart, as the flow
           Image Repair lie –
Error 404: Heart not found.
Heart, which shook the beam
Someone threw a heart into a beam like a major league pitcher.
           Soul-searching eyes.
Eyes in search of on a proper pair of shoes. Oh, ‘soul’ not ‘sole’? Well then, I don’t know.

Ah, now the poem makes sense. It was a volcanic river.


  1. Well, these poems certainly came out mangled. I never knew that Shakespeare was a fan of Eastenders. Perhaps he enjoys a bunch of cockneys running around calling everyone "slaaaaaaags", which was probably a massive influence on his work.

    1. Luckily, I've been fortunate enough not to have ever seen the show. I actually had to look up a Jake Moon, since the only one I knew of was a singer who was impossible to find a pictures for.

  2. You can translate things into Haitian Creole? My family crest actually includes the phrase: "Either guide nature with the aid of indefinite supernatural powers or go the hell home." It's worked so far. I go home a lot.

    1. Yeah, I don't know why it was listed as Haitian Creole instead of just Creole. Anyway, my family crest includes the phrase: "Use it or lose it." We're on the brink of extinction.

  3. And that's why I hate poetry. It just doesn't flow, it's so awkward. Stupid words.

    1. It has the flow of a river without water. A dry riverbed filled with awkward, stupid word.

  4. This discourages me. See, I'm in the midst of writing the definitive translation of James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" into German via French, and now I'm not sure I'm going to be able to catch all of the nuances.

    1. Oof, that is quite an undertaking. I feel as the differences will translate to more than just nuances, but that's okay. I think it'll come out better that way. It'll make for much more commentary.

  5. I never did understand Shakespeare - your version makes much more sense to me!

    1. My thoughts exactly. All his obscure attempts at insults distract from the meanings of his poems... I think.

  6. I don't know what the hell Cebuano is, but it sounds sexy. Especially if you end up with something like 'Image repair lie.' I'm gonna have to remember that sweet little line to melt off my ladies undergarments next time I'm feeling feisty.

    1. "Image repair lie" sounds like it could be the name of some obscure indie band. And, I think Cebuano is a dying language like Welsh and English.

  7. I meant my comment on the blog with Google Translate. I hope you enjoy!

    ... well that wasn't funny. I typed "I translated my comment on your blog post through google translate. I hope you enjoy!" into google translate and went from Haitian Creole to German to Icelandic back to English and thats all that happened? Four words different! I thought it would be funnier. Sorry for commenting so boringly on your post.

    1. Ah, well now you have to translate it in your own words... Sorry, my response isn't as funny. I tried running the poems through even more languages, but at a certain point they wouldn't translate back to English.