DIFFICULTIES IN POETRY TRANSLATION FROM FOREIGN LANGUAGE TO HINDI

Abstract: Sanjeet Kumar Gupta

Assistant Professor, Purnea University, Purnia

Poetry is a place where a poet intends to express his or her ideas of a certain thing or a situation by words, rhyme, rhythm, and some other poetic devices. Poems could be written in different languages throughout the world but they carry certain meanings and purposes which tend to be universally understood regardless which language they were written in. The aesthetic values, expressive values, collocation, poetic structure, metaphorical expression, sounds are the key elements where the translator should be careful.
Key-words: translation, aesthetic values, expressive values, collocation, poetic structure, metaphorical expression, sounds.
As we know the poem holds an important place in the lives of the people throughout history and across cultural and national boundaries. Poems could be written in different languages throughout the world but they carry certain meanings and purposes which tend to be universally understood regardless which language they were written in. In this case, we need the help of a translator who can keep the meaning of the poem in its translation in another language as it was in the original one. Nevertheless, many translators face difficulties and have problems when translating a poem.
In this article, I am  going to find out some problematic issues that are common in poetry translation. Specifically, more emphasis will be put on the word choice and rhyming problems.
A translator of poetry may face the linguistic, literary, aesthetic, as well as socio-cultural problems during his engagement in translation. Linguistic problems may include the collocation and hidden logic which is also called to be non-standard syntactic structure. As for the translation of the collocations, the translated version of the poem should not look awkward to the reader: usually in the English language we say “to make a speech” and not “to say a speech” or “to run a meeting” and not “to do a meeting” and so forth. One thing to keep in mind is that collocations do not really tend to be similar in different languages; conversely, they are differently made and may be used in different ways to mean totally different expressions.
Another point to consider in terms of linguistic matter is the obscured or hidden (non-standard) syntactic structures. Such kinds of structures may be written in a poem on purpose as a part of the expressive function of the text. For this reason, these kinds of organizations should be rendered as closely as possible.
According to Newmark  the useful procedure is to find the logical subject first, and then the specific verb. The most important matters are these factors only. Once we discover those two elements, the rest will fall into place. After that the translator can reconstruct the structure in the target language as closely as possible to the original structure.
It is also claimed that some certain factors that cause hardship in translating poetry are aesthetic and literary problems. They are related to poetic structure, metaphorical expressions as well as sounds. These aesthetic values do not carry an independent meaning, but they are correlative with the various types of meaning in the text. This means that if the translator destroys the word choice, word order, and the sounds, he or she spoils the beauty and the expression of the original poem. Gracefulness, gentleness, for example, will be ruined if the translator provides unsophisticated alliterations for the original carefully-composed alliterations. 
A Hindi version of a Spanish poem can be taken as an instance here:
अहा ! चीड़ का विस्तार, सरसराहट टूटती लहरों की,
रोशनियों का धीमा खेल, अकेली घण्टी
साँझ की झिलमिली गिरती है तुम्हारी आँखों में, गुड़िया,
और भूपटल पर जिसमें यह धरती गाती है!

गाती हैं तुममें नदियाँ और मेरी आत्मा खो जाती है उनमें
जैसा चाहती हो तुम वैसा भेज देती हो इसे जहाँ चाहे
तुम्हारी उम्मीद के धनुष पर लक्ष्य करता हूँ अपनी राह
और एक उन्माद में छोड़ देता हूँ अपने तरकश के सारे तीर
हर तरफ़ से देखता हूँ धुंध से ढँका तुम्हारा कटि-प्रदेश
तुम्हारी चुप्पी पकड़ लेती है मेरे दुखी समय को;
मेरे चुम्बन लंगर डाल देते हैं
और घरौंदा बना लेती है मेरी एक विनम्र इच्छा
तुम्हारे भीतर स्फटिक पत्थर-सी तुम्हारी पारदर्शी भुजाओं के पास
आह ! भेद-भरी तुम्हारी आवाज़, जो प्रेम करती है
मृत्यु-सूचनाओं के घंट-निनादों से, और उदास हो जाती है
अनुगूँजित मरती हुई शाम में !
एक दुर्बोध समय में, इस तरह मैंने देखा खेतों के पार,
गेहूँ की बालियों की राहदारी करते हुए हवा के मुख में
The Spanish version of the above provided poem was written by Pablo Neruda with adequate elegance and delicacy that a reader may effortlessly comprehend how the poet feels about poetry. However, the translator strived to utilize more close words in case he was not able to find the exact translation of a particular word or phrase. The Spanish version is available here as a proof:
Ah vastedad de pinos, rumor de olas quebrándose,
lento juego de luces, campana solitaria,
crepúsculo cayendo en tus ojos, muñeca,
caracola terrestre, en ti la tierra canta!
En ti los ríos cantan y mi alma en ellos huye
como tú lo desees y hacia donde tú quieras.
Márcame mi camino en tu arco de esperanza
y soltaré en delirio mi bandada de flechas.
En torno a mí estoy viendo tu cintura de niebla
y tu silencio acosa mis horas perseguidas,
y eres tú con tus brazos de piedra transparente
donde mis besos anclan y mi húmeda ansia anida.
Ah tu voz misteriosa que el amor tiñe y dobla
en el atardecer resonante y muriendo!
Así en horas profundas sobre los campos he visto
doblarse las espigas en la boca del viento.

Now, let’s make a comparison of the translated and original versions of the poem. Some words Like “ brazos de piedra transparente" were translated more professionally in the target language.   All that matters is the reasonableness of the translator to deliver the information to the reader in a clear and understandable way keeping the aesthetic values as well as the poetic structure.
In the above-mentioned translated version of the poem, the translator is really successful in putting the close equivalent. for example:
चीड़- pino
धनुष- Arco
तरकश- flechas

But here the translator is struggling to bring out the rhyme of the poem.
For example:
अहा! चीड़ का विस्तार, सरसराहट टूटती लहरों की,
रोशनियों का धीमा खेल, अकेली घण्टी
साँझ की झिलमिली गिरती है तुम्हारी आँखों में, गुड़िया,
Ah vastedad de pinos, rumor de olas quebrándose,
lento juego de luces, campana solitaria,
crepúsculo cayendo en tus ojos, muñeca,

According to William R. Schmalstieg, a professor of the Pennsylvania State University, the difficulty of translating poetry is twofold: the words and meaning on the one hand, the flow and rhythm (or rhyme) on the other.  This is mainly because the translator knows the foreign language too well and his or her language too poorly or vice versa.
As it is obvious to everyone that the poetry translation requires a plenty of time to carefully choose the right word which can clearly provide the idea of the original form in the translated version too. This means that a translator needs to be patient and possess the knowledge of literature as well as critical thinking on his own translations.

References 
1. Bass nett, Susan, Translation Studies, Revised Edition, Routledge London and New 
York,1994. 
2. Bell, Roger T., Teorfa §i practica traducerii, trad. Catalina Gazi, ed. Polirom, Bucure9ti, 
2000. 
3. Duff, Alan, The Third Language, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1981. 
4. Gentzler, Edwin, Contemporary Translation Theories, Routledge, London 
5.http://kavitakosh.org/kk/html

6. http://www.rinconcastellano.com/biblio/sigloxx_27/neruda_20poe.html

1 comment :

  1. A serious reflective article on translation. This article shows both the problems encountered in poetry and how translators overcome them. Successful translation is the key that helps the heart to taste a masterpiece despite social and cultural differences.

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