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Ya nesla svoju bedu.. (Я несла свою беду...) (English translation)

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Russian

Ya nesla svoju bedu.. (Я несла свою беду...)

Я несла свою Беду
По весеннему по льду, -
Обломился лёд - душа оборвалася,
Камнем под воду пошла, -
А Беда - хоть тяжела,
Да за острые края задержалася.
 
И Беда с того вот дня
Ищет по свету меня, -
Слухи ходят - вместе с ней - с
Кривотолками.
А что я не умерла -
Знала голая ветла
И ещё - перепела с перепелками 1
 
Кто ж из них сказал ему,
Господину моему, -
Только - выдали меня, проболталися, -
И, от страсти сам не свой,
Он отправился за мной,
Ну а с ним - Беда с Молвой увязалися.
 
Он настиг меня, догнал -
Обнял, на руки поднял, -
Рядом с ним в седле Беда ухмылялася.
Но остаться он не мог -
Был всего один денёк, -
А Беда - на вечный срок задержалася...
 
  • 1. A famous Russian tongue-twister У перепела и перепелки пять перепелят I think this allusion says that the rumours spead very quickly and each talker twisted them in their own way
Submitted by nadja.anton.5 on Fri, 20/03/2015 - 20:55
Last edited by sandring on Fri, 13/04/2018 - 12:12
Align paragraphs
English translation

As I Was Carrying my Bane

As I was carrying my Bane
On ice in springtime, -
The ice gave way - my soul lost hold,
Like a stone it fell underwater, -
But Bane - even though ponderous,
grasped sharp edges and managed to stay afloat.
 
And Bane since that day
Relentlessly seeks me everywhere, -
Rumours and echoes of Rumours -
Are Bane's companions.
And that I had not died -
Only the bare willow tree knew
As well as the various quails
 
I wonder who spoke
To my Lord, -
Which creature - gave me away, did not keep my secret, -
And not himself because of the passion he felt,
He followed me,
But with him came both Bane and Rumour.
 
He overtook me, reached for me -
Embraced me, carried me in his arms, -
Beside him, upon the saddle, Bane smiled.
But my beloved could not stay -
All in all it was just one day,
But Bane - for all eternity remained...
 
Submitted by netokor on Tue, 10/04/2018 - 16:51
Last edited by netokor on Thu, 12/04/2018 - 22:48
Author's comments:

What a lovely song. Sadness can be a facet of beauty. Suggestions, corrections from Russian-language experts are most welcome. The fifth verse fo the second stanza should be corrected to: "А что я не умерла"

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Comments
Brat    Tue, 10/04/2018 - 17:25

A nice translation, but a few corrections:

S1L1 I bore my sorrow - > Here the Past Continuous, or even the PP Cont. is needed. Like "I'd been carrying my bane..."
S1L2 In icy Springtime -> on ice in springtime
S1L3 my soul was torn -> my soul lost hold (and thus fell)
S1L6 Was caught and brought to a standstill by sharp edges. -> I don't think using the passive voice is a good idea here, because the girl's Bane is spelled starting with a capital letter, as if it was a person's name, so it's supposed to act on its own. So it would be better to say that Bane grasped the sharp edges and managed to stay afloat.

S3L1 Which of them -> Whoever (that's shorter) Wink smile
S3L3 They only -> But they (someone of them)

netokor    Tue, 10/04/2018 - 22:09

Thank you very much for proofreading. Very kind of you. I'll get to it in a little bit, as soon as life leaves me alone for a short while!

netokor    Tue, 10/04/2018 - 23:34

Done, my friend! (I like "affliction" more than "bane.") Much obliged! If it had not been for your corrections I would have missed the personification of her affliction. This makes the song all the more powerful and poetic. Thank you again!

P.S. I have found that in order to understand Russian, it really helps if you are Russian! Regular smile

petit élève    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 00:06

I've fixed "А что я не умерла"

Brat    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 14:27

Gosh! I haven't even noticed the lapse because I didn't even read the lyrics remembering it by heart.

petit élève    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 14:30

btw, I'd really appreciate your second opinion on my interpretations.
I would not want to harm the Russian too much in my French version.

petit élève    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 00:43

I agree past continuous is appropriate there, but not past perfect continuous : "[as] I was carrying my misfortune [the ice gave way]"

Беда с Молвой -> both misfortune and rumour are personified here. I suppose "Rumour" is the embodiment of the gossiping noises that follow Misfortune everywhere (Слухи ходят - вместе с ней - с кривотолками)

Кто ж из них сказал ему,
Господину моему, -
Только - выдали меня, проболталися, -> I understand that as "One of them must have let my Lord know [about my survival]. At any rate, [someone's] careless talk gave me away"
i.e. "them" refers to the willow and the quails perched on it, and "только " rather means "anyway", "all I know is..."

What do you think?

Brat    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 14:40
petit élève wrote:

I agree past continuous is appropriate there, but not past perfect continuous : "[as] I was carrying my misfortune [the ice gave way]"

It depends on what a translator may wish to emphasize. The variant with the P.Continuous is the very first to cross the mind.

petit élève wrote:

Беда с Молвой -> both misfortune and rumour are personified here. I suppose "Rumour" is the embodiment of the gossiping noises that follow Misfortune everywhere (Слухи ходят - вместе с ней - с кривотолками)

That's a good note. Thumbs up

petit élève wrote:

Кто ж из них сказал ему,
Господину моему, -
Только - выдали меня, проболталися, -> I understand that as "One of them must have let my Lord know [about my survival]. At any rate, [someone's] careless talk gave me away"
i.e. "them" refers to the willow and the quails perched on it, and "только " rather means "anyway", "all I know is..."

What do you think?

Well, this line is a little bit 'compressed', because it should have something at the beginning to be grammatically complete. Like this: Не знаю, кто ж из них сказал ему...
At the original view the line could be also interpreted as a rhethoric question. Wink smile That's why I suggested the "whoever" construction: "who ever""whoever". Regular smile
As for the "Bane" I completely agree with Igeethecat. It's a kinda ill luck that was meant by the author. And the main plot is about how the girl danced away a chance of getting rid of her Bane. And as it often happens, Love was the only one to blame. Wink smile

petit élève    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 00:51

"I had been bearing" would imply she did this for quite a while, but you can only thread on thin ice for so long, unless you're walking in circles or the lake is of the Ladoga kind Wink smile

I'm not too keen on "whoever", because it somewhat loses the connection with the tree and the birds. Especially in English, where personification of all sorts of things is a lot less common than in Russian poetry.

"bane" sounds good to me as far as meaning is concerned, though that has an unusual ring, again due to the personification of an abstract concept.

I'm curious about what makes you think the girl asked for it. I rather understand the story as her being an unwilling victim of an ill-fated love. At the beginning of the song she's running away from him, then he catches up with her and, as expected, proves to be a fickle lover.
Or did I miss something?

Igeethecat    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 03:46

I don’t think she tried to “run away” from him, rather she was under his spell, she knew that it was a bad love and she’s been “walking on thin ice” in this relationship until something bad happened. Her heart is broken, but she still badly loves him. This curse follows her, so do the rumors. ‘The tree and the birds’ who know about her feelings, spread the word. Someone (not necessarily tree or birds) tells it to her Lord, the rest you got right.

This is my free interpretation of the story

petit élève    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 07:08

This metaphor of walking on thin ice does not really ring a bell. We don't have it in French, so I don't really know how to interpret it. I'll trust your native judgement on this then.

I suppose it makes more sense in Russian to remain vague about who or what did betray her secret. That's one of the great features of the language to allow to be precise or not. But in a language like French that rather favours precision, I find the equivalent of "whoever" pretty odd. And since "Кто ж из них" rather points to the birds and the tree, I'd rather use an equivalent of "one of them".

Brat    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 15:17

Look, the 'icy' metaphor is about the girl's life. Wink smile She'd been living (not very well) with her Bane as if she was walking on a very thin spring ice, and when, all on a sudden, but yet unsurprising, some 'accidental' Disaster happened (a huge one, as she almost died), she thought: "That's it, enough! The Disaster fordid my Bane, from now on I'll live much better. But hell no, her Bane survived, and returned accompanying her beloved man.
That's why I tend to use the "bane" word to describe the spot. Because they often say "a (the) bane of my (whole) life" in English. Regular smile
Then about birds and trees. Well, it comes as an exclamation, frankly. Look at the "ж" particle, it gives such an exclamatory hue to the phrase. I won't read tea leaves trying to ponder on how it would be better to say in English, because it is impossible to make the exact translation due to the word order restrictions present in English. The only thing that comes to my mind is to ask @Gavin to tell us what his wife would exclaim when speaking about which kind of devil that was who put an idea to marry her husband into her head. Regular smile Then we could derive some stuff from there, I guess. Wink smile

Gavin    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 13:43

"Walking on thin ice" is indeed a well established metaphor and seems to work well.

I agree though that 'bane' is a challenging choice. You are quite right we do talk about things being the 'bane of my life" (or my existence) but that is pretty much the only time the word survives in modern English. "Affliction" or "burden" would be more common - a quite nice one is "cross" - "that will be my cross (to bear)" for example. Don't know if you would find that preferable?

sandring    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 13:46

Quite the opposite, Gavin. It's really "bane" That's the right touch, I was surprised at such an exact match.

Gavin    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 13:51

Fair enough - that's why I say 'challenging' as it's not very common in contemporary English but sure, the meaning is good. The fact that it can be interpreted as a name too is fortuitous. Regular smile

Brat    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 14:04

It's not that common in Russian too to say as the poet did.
And the original word "беда" is not common itself, either. It's much more idiomatic nowadays.
It comes from the same Indo-European roots from which the English "bad" comes.
And thus "bane" looks to be closer than anything.
BTW, in my Russian eye the line looks like as if the girl carried her mischievous pet named "Bane" (a nice name, though) and then the ice cracked... Regular smile

petit élève    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 14:23

Btw. Gavin, If you want a change from Russian, it's my turn to ask you to be gentle. I probably wrote a couple of unintentionally funny lines there .

netokor    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 03:30

Excellent! Thanks so much! It will be polished soon! Regular smile

petit élève    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 03:35

Better wait for a native second opinion.
I happen to love Vyssotsky (and his wife), but my Russian is not really a reference Regular smile
I tried a French version, but I hope this discussion will help me get a few lines straight.

netokor    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 03:38

I'll wait, but your suggestions make so much sense. The message becomes more focused. Thank you both for taking the time to proofread. Also this is a wonderful learning experience.

Igeethecat    Wed, 11/04/2018 - 04:59

I agree with Brat - carrying my bane sounds better in this context, than bearing affliction. Нести - in this context closer to English ‘to carry’.
И беда здесь - is stronger word, than affliction, misfortune or sorrow.

Below is the link to some Russian idioms about беда if you are interested:
http://sbornik-mudrosti.ru/poslovicy-i-pogovorki-pro-bedu/

А Беда - хоть тяжела - maybe ‘But’, not ‘And’?

netokor    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 14:29

Always interested in idiomatic expressions Thanks very much!

netokor    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 14:24

OK, I'm back. Thank you all so, so, so much! I'll study all of these suggestions (fascinating reading for language freaks like us!) and edit accordingly. Warmest regards!

netokor    Thu, 12/04/2018 - 14:50

Done, my friends! Any other corrections or suggestions are always welcome. Regular smile

sandring    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 12:26

I think the translation looks quite impressive now, many thanks to all the contributors. Good job! My two cents. See the footnote to the original lyrics. My option for the translation refers to the twister "Queen Quail is Quiet".

And Bane since that day
Has relentlessly been seeking me everywhere, -
Accompanied by Gossips
And loose talk
The fact that I had not died -
Only the bare willow tree knew
As well as all kinds of unquiet queen quails

netokor    Fri, 13/04/2018 - 15:36

¡Esperanza! ¡Gracias, amiga! Regular smile

netokor    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:00

Esperancita querida, I don't like the word "Gossips." I don't know why. It doesn't sound poetic to me. Do you think "Whispers" would work? The overall tone of the poem would imply that these are sinister whispers by people who are gossiping about this unfortunate love affair. Let me know. Saludos afectuosos, e

Igeethecat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:23

IMHO, whispers worked fine, I didn’t know why you changed them to rumors, but both do the job
Your translation is beautiful, just let it be

netokor    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:31

Thank you! I'll do it! Regular smile You are so kind!

Brat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:24

Oh, there is a pretty lot of synonyms in English: "claver" (the one I like best), "slander", "tittle-tattle"...

petit élève    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 17:28

Oh, Brother, I always find your digging into the backyard of English vocabulary a true delight Regular smile
Seriously, you enriched my vocabulary quite a bit.
However, "claver" is not even in the Oxford dictionary. Apparently that's a Scottish thing.
As for tittle-tattle, as far as I know it's a verb. The corresponding noun would be "tittle-tattling" Teeth smile

Brat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 17:34
petit élève wrote:

However, "claver" is not even in the Oxford dictionary. Apparently that's a Scottish thing.

It's a Celtic one. Wink smile I got it from one of my Scottish friends, who often says "clish ma claver" when he's on his booze. Teeth smile
And "tittle-tattling" seems to look like the gerund.
But nevertheless it's more like a mere chatter...

petit élève    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 18:10
Brat wrote:

"tittle-tattling" seems to look like the gerund.

why yes, that's a common way of deriving a noun from a verb

Brat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 18:22

That's interesting having in mind that the Russian "слухи" come from "слухать (слушать)" as well as "кривотолки" come from "толковать"... Though we don't have the true gerund in Russian, some derivatives are still possible, you know.. Wink smile

Igeethecat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 18:27

Толковать, но криво - О, богатый и могучий русский язык !

netokor    Mon, 16/04/2018 - 14:14

О, невозможный русский язык!
-Эрнэсто Regular smile

petit élève    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 18:28

I never doubted that. I tend to view Russian vocabulary as an ocean of unfathomable depth.

Gavin    Mon, 16/04/2018 - 08:13

I've certainly never heard of claver - one for the celtic gossips that one!

The scottish "haver" is fairly well known in English, probably via The Proclaimers song 500 miles. We do have blather - but these both mean to talk incessantly and pointlessly rather than "gossip"
per se.

Gossip and tittle-tattle are more or less identical and can both be verbs or nouns -
That's quite enough gossiping, I won't hear any more of your tittle-tattle! Regular smile

In fact tittle-tattling as a verb although quite possible is a little awkward -

Stop tittle-tattling! (hmmm)
Don't tittle-tattle! (not bad)
That's quite enough tittle-tattle! (better)

petit élève    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:26
5

A fine example of successful cooperative work

netokor    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:30

Merci mon ami. Vous avez raison. Nous devrions être en charge du monde, pas des politiciens fous. Vous êtes très aimable! (I think that's right!) Regular smile

petit élève    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:51

Thank you, and indeed I can't fault your French Regular smile

Igeethecat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 16:46

I agree, your translation is beautiful!
Me encanta mucho

netokor    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 18:23

¡Gracias! A mí también me encantan tus traducciones. Algunas están en mi lista de favoritas y las estudio para continuar aprendiendo tu lengua tan fascinante para mí.

Igeethecat    Sat, 14/04/2018 - 21:37

Yo no hablo español buen, pero i am trying
¡Gracias for what you said about my translations! (That is what you meant , right?)

My Spanish sucks
correct my Spanish, I don’t mind

netokor    Sun, 15/04/2018 - 13:28

Believe me. Your Spanish is infinitely better than my Russian!

"No hablo español bien." "Bien" is an adverb. "Buen" is an adjective that has dropped the normal "o" when placed before a singular masculine noun: "buen libro" "buen amigo."

"Bien" never changes.

The adjective forms agree with their nouns:

Amigo bueno, Amiga Buena, amigos Buenos, amigas buenas.

Now I feel free to pester you with Russian grammar questions! Regular smile

Igeethecat    Sun, 15/04/2018 - 16:35

No problema. Siempre quiero ayudarte
Всегда поможем, чем можем

netokor    Sun, 15/04/2018 - 22:45

Я тоже всегда буду тебя помогать! Regular smile

netokor    Sun, 15/04/2018 - 23:24

Got it, my friend!

Я тоже всегда буду тебе помогать!