2008년 5월 4일 일요일

Witch on a journey

Some think that it is futile to translate poems, or lyrics for that matter. Many people try anyway. Here is my take on translating one of my favorite Korean pop songs.

Witch on a journey
included in "Welcome To My Beach", Kona (1997).

Now listen to my words
at least once a day
clean your crystal balls
get up early in the morning
drink a cup of white milk
and three lemon candies a day
don't forget to brush your teeth
before you sleep

A new wind is blowing for your journey
now raise your little broomstick
and fly to the blue sky
don't worry
and remember

Our beginning more mysterious than magic
the night and the shining promise
I will believe and wait
for the day you will come back to me
and we will start again
new days
in the wonderful world

Black cat's name's Pippi
and black dress is ironed
have you forgotten anything?
check again!

(Repeat)

댓글 4개:

James :

Sanghyeon,

It was a treat to find this on your blog; thanks for sharing your translation work with me (and your other readers).

I've often wondered about the elements that define Korean poetry, having once tried to write it myself, only to realize that I just didn't know how; should things rhyme, follow rhythm, make use of parallel structure, be personified, abandon structure for blank verse? Without any experience with Korean poetry, I had no reference for what constituted quality, or the building blocks for quality, when trying to write it. The experience reinforced my impression that a good writer begins as an enthusiastic reader, to develop and ear, and individualized taste.

What is your own sense of the value of this experience translating the lyrics of a song from one language to another?

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