Fyodor Tyutchev - Напрасный труд — нет, их не вразумишь... (English translation)

Russian

Напрасный труд — нет, их не вразумишь...

Напрасный труд — нет, их не вразумишь, —
Чем либеральней, тем они пошлее,
Цивилизация — для них фетиш,
Но недоступна им ее идея.
 
Как перед ней ни гнитесь, господа,
Вам не снискать признанья от Европы:
В ее глазах вы будете всегда
Не слуги просвещенья, а холопы.
 
Submitted by St. Sol on Fri, 09/02/2018 - 00:28
Submitter's comments:

Май 1867.

Align paragraphs
English translation

They Can't Be Brought To Reason - Not A Chance...

They can't be brought to reason - not a chance,
The more they're liberal, the more they're vulgar,
Civilization's their fetish dance,
But its idea dodges them, no wonder!
 
It doesn't matter, gents, how low you bow
Before Old World: it'll never recognize you,
For in its eyes you'll always be lowbrows,
But not the kindred servants of enlightenment.
 
Quality RU-EN and EN-RU translations by Ironic Iron.
Bringing joy of Russian music and poetry to the world.
When sharing, please thank & credit: (c) St. Sol @ LT.
Submitted by St. Sol on Fri, 09/02/2018 - 01:38
Author's comments:

Equirhythmic rhymed translation.
The 1867 address to Russian liberals that still rings true today.
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The running meter:
[ -^ -^ -^ -^ -^ ]
[ -^ -^ -^ -^ -^- ]

Comments
St. Sol    Fri, 09/02/2018 - 17:51

You know that Tyutchev wrote poetry in French as well, right?

Brat    Fri, 09/02/2018 - 17:55

And what about Pushkin?

St. Sol    Fri, 09/02/2018 - 17:59

Well, it is like comparing V. Vysotsky and V. Tsoi: one was a great artist, the other was a prophet.

Brat    Fri, 09/02/2018 - 18:03

Did Tsoi write in French?

petit élève    Fri, 09/02/2018 - 18:03

Pushkin? For all I know his most famous poems were translated by Turgeniev and Flaubert. I doubt Puskin could beat Flaubert in French, the guy is among the finest writers France ever had.

petit élève    Fri, 09/02/2018 - 18:20

I had a look at some of Tyutchev's poems in French. I must say I'm impressed by his mastery of the language.
Apparently he was admirative of Lamartine, but Tyutchev's French sounds the most elegant of the two by far!

petit élève    Sat, 10/02/2018 - 08:54

I actually remember reading it, probably another doomed attempt of my poor Russian teacher to get me interested at the time Teeth smile
Of course it's well written, but full of little flourishes that make it a bit tiring to read.
By comparison, Tyutchev's French is much more efficient and expressive.

Brat    Sat, 10/02/2018 - 09:04

Sasha was only 15 when he wrote it. Wink smile
I'll publish some more French poems by Pushkin on LT.

Brat    Sat, 10/02/2018 - 13:16

Regarde le. Pouchkine a traduit ces chansons russes en français pour son ami L. de Weimars. N'est-ce pas intéressant? C'est dommage que à cette époque, il n'y avait pas des PCs, pas des smartphones, pas d'Internet, pas de LT. Mais dans le même temps, c'est dommage que à notre époque on n'a pas Pouchkine.
 

petit élève    Sat, 10/02/2018 - 13:28

With a slight polish that would be perfect French Regular smile
que à -> qu'à
pas de PCs / smartphones
dans le même temps -> en même temps

Indeed, that's also what Okudzhava thought Regular smile

I don't know if the transcription is to blame, but this French is a bit peculiar.
For one thing all diacritics are missing, but that's probably due to a keyboard problem.
Then it uses archaic forms of past that disappeared a few centuries ago ("étoit" instead of "était").
Finally, the vocabulary is a bit odd, even for 19th century French.
There are a few grammar errors too, but again that might be a transcription problem.

Brat    Sat, 10/02/2018 - 14:37
petit élève wrote:

With a slight polish that would be perfect French Regular smile
que à -> qu'à
pas de PCs / smartphones
dans le même temps -> en même temps

Regular smile That's why I chose Italian as my second foreign language at school. For it has much less subtle 'satané' things like these. Teeth smile That doesn't mean, though, a great knowledge of it, because I've already forgotten most of what I learnt at school. Cry smile

petit élève wrote:

Indeed, that's also what Okudzhava thought Regular smile

I don't know if the transcription is to blame, but this French is a bit peculiar.
For one thing all diacritics are missing, but that's probably due to a keyboard problem.
Then it uses archaic forms of past that disappeared a few centuries ago ("étoit" instead of "était").
Finally, the vocabulary is a bit odd, even for 19th century French.
There are a few grammar errors too, but again that might be a transcription problem.

Again, you are right about the diacritics, it could be easily lost by those who didn't dare to find all these é,à,ù,ç,è.
As for the vocabulary, it corresponds to that of the Russian songs, because they were already old enough at that time... Though they were still clearly understandable by the people of those days. And nowadays only a few can tell you what "исполать" means, for instance. Wink smile (It means 'gratitude' or something around it, BTW)
And, besides, you may want to look at how Tsvetayeva translated Lermontov's verses. -> http://www.tania-soleil.com/stihi-lermontova-na-fr/

petit élève    Sat, 10/02/2018 - 22:13

Tsvetaeva is so very Russian, it's odd to see her write in French. Very nice, of course, full of energy like all her poems.