Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jakdan's Preface

The following is a rough translation of the preface to Jakdan's eight-fascicle work of translations and original compositions. I'm pretty sure I've gotten the general gist, but I will probably come back to it and fiddle with the details over the next week.

I suppose it may have been written by Haiyu, but it isn't clear.

irgebun uculen be ubaliyambuha bithei šutucin.

Preface to the book of translations of poetry and songs

sio feng ja halangga agu serengge, sede oho bime tacire de amuran, gala ci bithe hokoburakū, yala amgacibe getecibe manju bithe debi, omirelame jeterelame ubaliyambure babe gūnirengge secina.

The gentleman Xiufeng (秀峰) of the Ja (扎) clan, being of a certain age and loving to learn, whether asleep or awake he is at his Manchu books, a book never leaving his hands. I would say he is thinking about points of translation even while he is drinking and eating.

tere inenggi de agu-i ubaliyambuha irgebun uculen ucun gargangga ucun be gajifi fusihūn minde tuwabuha bime, geli šutucin arakini serede, fusihūn bi ini gūnin be jendu gaime, fisembume hendume ubaliyambumbi serengge, terei nikan hergen-i gūnin be sibkifi, manju gisun-i ubaliyamburengge kai.

One day he brought the poetry and songs that he had translated and allowed me to see them, and when he said that someone should write a preface to it, I understood his unspoken thought, and obliquely said, "Translation means examining the meanings of the Chinese characters and rendering that into the Manchu language.

nikan hergen be sibkiha, manju gisun-i ubaliyambume jabduha manggi, udu gisun ubaliyambure mudan acabure, sijirhūn ubaliyambure forgošome ubaliyambure lakcabure sirabure nemebure meiterei adali akū ba bicibe, unenggi anggai mudan fuhali yargiyan ome, gisun-i ici yala acaname muteci, tuwarala urse, esi šungkengge ocibe arsaringge ocibe, gemu ferguwebuci ome ofi, faitan be tuwara adali getuken, falanggū be jorire gese iletu ojorakūngge akū ombi

After you examined the Chinese characters and rendered them into the Manchu language, even though there may have been places where it did not seem possible to translate the words, to match the rhyme, to render the straightforward as well as the convoluted, to expand on what is terse and to reduce what is verbose, nonetheless you have created truly natural rhymes, and you have indeed been able to fit them correctly to the words, such that all who see them, whether they be people of refinement or ordinary folks, they might all wonder at it. Everything is as clear as looking at an eyebrow, as plain as pointing at the palm of the hand.

aika irgebun uculen ucun gargangga ucun be ubaliyamburengge oci, šu fiyelen be ubaliyambure ci uthai cingkai encu ohobi.

If this is what it means to translate verse, poetry, songs and lyrics, then it is something utterly different from the translation of essays.

aici šu fiyelen oci, golmin foholon-i gisun bimbime, mudan uran-i hergen baitalarakū.

With regard to the translation of essays, lines may be long or short, and one doesn't make use of rhymes and verses.

ubaliyambure de manggašarakū oci tetendere, fuhašahai gūninjara be baibure aibi.

In the case that there are difficulties with translation, one can just think it over carefully, can't one?

terei irgebun uculen-i jergi duin hacin oci, hergen-i ton-i memerebumbime, geli urangga-i wajima-i kemnebumbi.

[But] these four types of things, verse, poetry, songs and lyrics, one must be stubborn about the number of syllables, and parsimonious with the ends of verses.

ere yargiyan-i mangga ningge kai.

This is what is really difficult.
jaide oci banjibure niyalma, gūnin be gisun ci tulgiyen baktambuci tetendere, ubaliyambure niyalma, gisun-i dorgide mujilen dursukileme muterakū.

And then, while the original author can put up with the meaning that is outside of the words, the translator cannot tamper with the ideas that are within them.

urunakū fudarame forgošofi mudan acanara, kemuni jurcenjeme hiyaganjame gisun banjinabure ohode, faksikan-i gūnin teni bultahūn-i ofi, banjibure niyalmai gūnin be buruburakū ojoro be dahame, ere ele murin tarin-i acanaci mangga ningge.

It is all the more difficult to accommodate awkward cases, such as when the rhyme has been turned upside down and inside out, when contradictory and disorderly language has been used, or when the original author's intent has been obscured because only his witty ideas have come to the fore.

aikabade manju gisun-i kooli kemun waka seme wakašaci, toktofi amba deribun ci jurcehe da ci aliha.

If one disparages the Manchu language, saying it has neither rule nor measure, then certainly one undertakes the great beginning from a contradictory foundation.

ganio be algimbuha yobo be ilibuhangge be, ulebuci ojorakū seme hendumbidere.

I would say that it should not project strangeness and provoke humor.

tuttu seme tere duin hacin oci, sunjata nadata hergen bicibe, minggan tumen gūnin baktakabi.

In which case, as for those four types of things, if they are five or seven syllables each, then they can encompass ten million ideas.

aika fe durun-i songkoi memereme ubaliyambuci, terei muru urunakū ubaliyambume tucibuhengge moco laju, hergen gisun sijihūn memereku ofi, oilorgingge gaifi yargiyangga be waliyahabi seme basuburakū oci, toktofi gisun nemebufi gūnin be dalibuhabi seme deribumbime, irgebure jorin ci ambula calabure de isinambi.

If one translates slavishly according to the old forms, then what one produces from translating their shapes will certainly be awkward and clumsy. Because the syllables and words will be stiff and inflexible, if people don't mock you for grasping the surface meaning and missing the deeper truth, then they will certainly start to say you have increased the words and obscured the meaning, and you will have greatly departed from the aims of poetry.

tuttu urunakū hergen-i oilo be dulemšeme dorgideri fuhašame, gisun-i giyangna be waliyafi bakcilame ubaliyambume memere waka hokotai waka.

Thus to take no care for the surface meaning of the words and be fastidious about the inner meanings, to discard the commentary and translate in opposition to it, is neither slavish nor divergent.

fetereku akū gakarashūn akū ome, fulu nonggire ba akū bime, lak sere ferguwecuke eṇ jeṇ-i, banjibure niyalma-i anggai ici gisun-i mudan be, hoošan-i deleri iletusaka, hūlaci fatar sere de isibure ohode, amala teni ganio be algimbuhakū bime esi ganio ombi. yobo be ilibuhakū bime esi yobo ombime, deribun da ci umai jurcehekū nikai seme ferguwembikai sehebe arafi, sio feng siyan šeng de alibufi tuwabuhade, siyan šeng fuhali uru sehe turgunde, erebe šutucin araha.

Being neither overly critical nor overly detached, without any case of excess, with marvelous and exact completeness, you take the correct rhythm of the original authors' words and make it clear on paper. When one reads it, if one does so diligently, then what is strange about it is that it does not project strangeness, and what is amusing is that it does not become a joke. One wonders at the fact that it has not deviated from its fundamental origin." I wrote this down, and when I presented it to Mr. Xiufeng, the gentleman said it seemed to be correct, so I made it into this preface.

julge te-i gebungge saisai uculen ucun be sonjofi ubaliyambuha bithe.

A book of translations of selected poetry and songs of famous intellectuals from ancient times to the present.

gulu fulgiyan-i manju gūsai ubaliyambure dosikasi jakdan ubaliyambuha.

Translated by Jakdan, metropolitan graduate translator, of the plain red Manchu banner.

gulu fulgiyan-i manju gūsai ubaliyambure tukiyesi hainioi acabuha.

Collated by Haiyu (海玉), provincial graduate translator, of the plain red Manchu banner.

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