Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Beowulf: The New Lucy Rose Translation

Dear Bloggies,

Yup, this is my new nickname for you guys. Do you like it? I know you don't. Sorry about that. It's pretty bad.

As I am sitting in my dorm trying to "translate" from the Old English I am watching people trickle back from the President's Ball. They look very tired. I am also very tired, but I have enjoyed this "translating". I use the quotation marks because I am not using any scholarly knowledge of Old English (I do not speak that. I speak Current English.) Our teacher just told us to attempt to understand the writing and do our best to translate what we can.

It is actually kind of hilarious. I jus peeked at the comparison between my "translation" and the actual translation by Dr. Howell D. Chickering Jr.

Here's a fun sample:

Actual Old English Beowulf
Ofsloh ða æt þære sæcce,  þa me sæl ageald, 
huses hyrdas.   Þa þæt hildebil 
forbarn brogdenmæl,   swa þæt blod gesprang,
hatost heaþoswata.  Ic þæt hilt þanan 
feondum ætferede,   fyrendæda wræc,
deaðcwealm Denigea, swa hit gedefe wæs.

The Lucy Rose Translation of Beowulf
Awful that at there such,   that my soul was afraid,
houses of hydras.  They that are holdable,
forebear, chain-mail,        from that blood sprang, 
you hate heath-sweater.   Each that hold thanes 
thanedom afterward, fire-died race,
death-realm Danes,         from heat had died.

The Howell Chickering Translation of Beowulf
When my chance came I cut down the monsters,
those hall-guards,     with edges;
the wave-sword burned up,     quenched in that blood,
a hot battle-pouring.     From my enemies
I plundered this hilt,       revenged their crimes,
the many Danes killed,     as was only fitting.

I hope that was fun for you.

Have a great night, Friends. I hope to drop in again tomorrow to say "Hi",
but Tuesdays are my brutal day (Improv practice goes till 11!).

- LR

Here's another funny snippet.

Lucy Rose Translation:
Then was given gold to hold, golden galleons,
until air-worked;   heat on that was worn
after dolphins play     The Danes were free,
wonder-smithy worked;   and that this world 
grave-heart rubber,       God’s enemy. 

Actual Translation:
Then was the golden hilt given into the hands
of that elder warrior, the hoary battle-chieftain,
the ancient work of giants. It turned into the keeping
of the lord of the Danes, after the crumbling of devils,
the work of miraculous smiths.
And when that fierce-hearted fiend gave up
the world, God’s adversary,

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