Thursday, October 5, 2017

Jakdan’s predecessors

Despite the glowing praise that Jakdan receives in the preface for being an expert translator of poetry, he wasn't the translator of the first poem in his collection—or at least he wasn't the only translator, or the first.

The Kangxi emperor apparently produced two works (or two versions of a single work) titled A Free and Unfettered Poem (逍遙詞), of which Jakdan chose the second version as the opening poem for his collection. Despite the carefree feel of the original title, Jakdan calls his version A Lament on the World (Ma. jalan be nasara uculen, Ch. 嘆世詞). In fact, I think some of the wording may have been changed to make it more mournful, but that will have to wait for another blog post.

I say that Jakdan’s translation of this poem is not completely original because much the same Manchu text can also be found, without a Chinese parallel text, in a volume at the Bibliothèque nationale de france. At the end of the BNF poem there is a date of Kangxi 60 (1721), which was probably 60 years before Jakdan was born. Of course that may be a date associated with the original poem and not of the translation, but I believe most of the Manchu materials at the BNF were gathered during the Jesuit missions, which ended with the expulsion of the Jesuits in the mid-18th century. Even if one discounts the date at the end of the poem, it would be quite a stretch to date this text to any time in Jakdan's lifetime.

The most reasonable explanation, I think, is that Jakdan included this earlier translation because he considered it an excellent work, and wanted to begin by paying homage to a predecessor, or to the tradition of poetic translation itself. Perhaps he started with a slightly different version of the text, and maybe he made some minor changes that he saw as improvements, but overall he left much of it alone.

An interesting feature of this poem is that it “works” in both Manchu and Chinese. As a Chinese poem it has an -ang rhyme, and as a Manchu poem it has an -a rhyme. In fact, I have seen nothing textual to say whether the poem was originally composed in Chinese or Manchu, or whether it was composed in both languages at the same time (as was probably done for some other imperial poems.)

Here are the Manchu versions:


Jakdan Manchu

han-i araha emu meyen-i uculen

jalan be nasara uculen

bithei urse,bithei urse,
usin-i haha,usin-i haha,
weilere faksi,weilere faksi,
hūdai niyalma,hūdai niyalma,
inenggidari kata fata,inenggidari kata fata,
niyalma banjifi, niyalma banjifi
erebe gaisuerebe gaju 
terebe gama,terebe gama,
hendure balame,hendure balama
wesihun fusihūn teisu bi,wesihun fusihūn teisu bi,
jabšara ufararangge,jabšara ufararangge
bodoro mangga,bodoro mangga,
gin gu-i yafan,ai gin gu yafan
bolori edun,bolori edun,
u giyang ni bira,u giyang ula
dobori biya,dobori biya,
o fang gurung fulahūn,o fang gurung fulahūn,
tung ciyo kara aba,tung ciyo kara aba,
dule emgeri haṇ dan-i gese tolgišaha,dule emgeri haṇ dan-i gese tolgišaha,
yargiyan-i nasacuka,
yargiyan-i usacuka,
erebe saci,
abka be sebjeleme,damu abka de sebjeleme
hesebun be sacina,hesebun be sacina,
teisu be dahame,teisu be dahame
an be tuwakiya,an be tuwakiya,
nenehe wang,nenehe han
amaga wang serebe ai gana,amaha han sere ai tusa,
yendehe gurun,yendehe gurun
gukuhe gurun serebe, ai gana,gukuhe gurun sere ai ganaha,
bucere hanci uksalara de mangga,bucere hamici ukcara de mangga,
julgeci baturu haha siran siran-i ufaraha,julgeci ebsi baturu kiyangkiyan sa siran siran-i ufaraha,
muduri taktu,
garudai-i leose serebe jocina,
aisi jugūn,
gebu tangka serebe yakacina,
derengge saikan iletu ilgai dele,yala derengge saikan ilhai dele 
bayan wesihun orhoi dubei gecen dabala,bayan wesihun orhoi dubei gecen secina,
jalan-i baita uttu oho be saci,jalan-i baita be tuwaci gemu uttu be dahame,
yendere gukure be aiseme mujilen de dara,yendere gukure be aiseme mujilen de dara,

muduringga taktu

garudai asari sere be jocina,

aisi-i jugūn

gebu-i tangka sere be naka,
yargiyan-i nisicuka-i usacuka,

jabduha ucuri ekisaka tefi,
alin-i dalba,
bigan tala,
aba saha,
sula tehe de,
irgebun irgebume,irgebun nure-i emgi sebjeleme bicina,
nure omime,
gūnin-i cihai emgeri gingsifi bedereci,emgeri gingsici, bedererengge
ai tookan,ai tookan,
emgeri uculefi,emgeri uculeci,
šanyan muke buru bara,mederi muke buru bara,

edun biya be irgebume,

buyecuke sur sere be baihana,
hacingga ilha ilaci,hacingga ilha ilaci,
alha bulha geren gasha guwendeci,alha bulha, geren gasha guwendeci,
jiji jaja,jiji jaja,

alin-i dalba,

muke-i dalba,

bigan tala

aba saha,
ere nergin de absi saišacuka,ere nergin absi saišacuka,
taka emu coman nure be wacihiya,taka emu coman nure be wacihiya,
yasa habtašara sidende,yasa habtašara sidende
juwe erei šulu herecun akū de šaraka.juwe erei šulu herecun akū šaraka.

elhe taifin-i ninjuci aniya

No comments:

Post a Comment