Alys in Pow an Anethow in Kernowek - Alices Adventures in Wonderland in Cornish

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
Morvran
Posts: 2192
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:48 am

Post by Morvran » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:02 pm

A translation can never be more than a shadow of the original. If you don't understand the original language then then you have to put up with second-best, and hope you've got a good translation. I imagine that most Swahili speakers don't have good enough grasp of English to read Lewis Carrol, and the same may still be true for a few Germans and Italians, however it's certainly not the case for speakers of Cornish and Irish, all of whom are native English speakers (or in a very few cases, native bilinguals). Translating this book therefore serves no useful purpose whatsoever IMO -- the time might have been better spent creating a new work in Cornish, or translating from a language that most/many Cornish readers don't understand. As it is this work has been produced simply as act of propaganda and/or vanity by its author. It will of course sell as a pretty collectors' item. It value to the Revival is tending to zero.

User avatar
Marhak
Posts: 11075
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:46 am

Post by Marhak » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:33 pm

A curmudgeonly acknowledgement at best. Sales so far don't seem to support your view, Keith.

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:35 pm

Keith, I doubt that it's for you to tell Nicholas what he should spend his time on. Have you spent any time creating a new work in Cornish, or translating something from a language that most/many Cornish readers don't understand?

User avatar
Eddie-C
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:31 am

Post by Eddie-C » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:37 pm

According to the 'Lyenn Kernewek' page on Wikipedia, Keith Bailey translated 3 little Gaelic booklets by Lisa Storey into Kebmyn, back in 1993, and nothing much wrong with that at all.

The originals are fine wee books for very young speakers, with charming stories and delightful pen-&-ink drawings. I used them myself as Gaelic readers for my (bilingual) sons, and with the greatest of pleasure.

However, there are a few points worth noting:
-- aimed as they are at very young speakers, the books don't have very much text in them, and what they do contain is linguistically very simple.
-- good thought they are, they hardly count as a challenging task for the translator, in either size, style or scope.
-- Keith 'morvran' Bailey produced them 16 years ago.
-- KB doesn't appear to have produced anything since then.

Thus, on the basis, apparently, of a few very small translations from the early '90s, and (as far as we can discern) no other writings at all, Keith seems to think he has the writer's credentials to critique the choice of translations of Nicholas Williams -- who has been a prolific writer and translator in and on Cornish (and Irish) for all of that period.

If so, he is sadly deluded. I may be (and, doubtless, often am) being a little dim, but I fail to see how Keith ain't just talking a load of, let's say, bram an gath!

Keith, sens dha dyn ha ro chons dhe'th tavas, forghek kyn fo!



edited by: Eddie-C, Jan 23, 2009 - 09:47 PM

User avatar
Marhak
Posts: 11075
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:46 am

Post by Marhak » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:39 am

I'm often pulled up by Keith and his mates for not being as orally fluent as I might be (and I have explained why that is). How do we know that he is as fluent as he claims to be? How fluent is he in the written word? Eddie mentions the three little book(lets) that Keith translated, and which seems to be the sum total of his productive output. Basically, just a few hundred words.

Artist Kurt Jackson produces themed books of his paintings, with quite complex language being used in the forewords to each. The first was fairly brief; the others were several hundred words apiece. He asked me to translate these into Cornish, which I did, so the published forewords of these four books are bilingual.

This translation work, done between 2004 and 2008, is several times the length of Keith's, which is all he has to show for his professed fluency of either the spoken or written word.

I do not imagine that my translations are perfect but no one, absolutely no one, has offered any criticism of them over the 5 year period that has passed since the first of them.

Might I suggest that the picture painted of me by Keith and his colleagues (such as Pawl, Pieter and Penny - all the Ps, and one drop short of a good pee)is somewhat slanted and deliberately so?

User avatar
Eddie-C
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:31 am

Post by Eddie-C » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:40 am


Keith 'begrudger' morvran said:
It will of course sell as a pretty collectors' item.

Oops; should have been a singular genitive there, Keithie! Never mind; the linguistically uneducated make such mistakes all the time, and they're none the worse for that, I can tell you!

I'm going to buy my copy of Alys yn Pow an Anethow to read, not to 'collect'. I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into 144 pages of outstanding Cornish prose. The sample of Williams' translation we can see on the Evertype web site suggests that the Cornish is of superb quaility. Even if you don't use (or favour) the KS orthography. the quality of the translation --and the typesetting-- shines through. It should help me improve my grasp of the language!

And if you don't like reading diacritics, just ignore them: they're a heck of lot more transparent than additional, spurious vowels or consonants stuffed into the text!


Keith 'whinger' morvran said:
IIt value to the Revival is tending to zero.

Oops! -- should have been a tricky little there, Keithie, although I *LUV* the stylishly geminated in ! We're talking heavy-duty Primary School syntax here, dood, not to menshun the über-cool add-hokk spelling!

But, alas, you're letting your anti-NJAW prejudice get the better of you there, O splenetic one. If there's anything whose value to the Revival is "tending to zero", it'll be the raddled old face you see in the bathroom mirror now and then, at Brushee Keethee Teethee time.

In the meantime, we can look forward to the next additions from Nicholas Williams to the body of Revived Cornish literature. Personally, I can hardly wait to see what's next! 'Whore and Pease", perhaps, "Decline & Fall of the KK Empire" or George Orwell's '1987'!

By the way, Keith: what've `**YOU** got in the pipeline, eh? 16 years is a heck of a long time to have 'Translator's Block', isn't it?

So ... anything at all?

Do tell, dear boy!

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:47 am


Eddie-C said:
[quote=Keith 'whinger' morvran]IIt value to the Revival is tending to zero.

Oops! -- should have been a tricky little there, Keithie, although I *LUV* the stylishly geminated in ![/quote]Now, now, Eddie. You should know... that's not gemination. It's compensatory lengthening.

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:51 am

..



edited by: Evertype, Jan 23, 2009 - 11:55 PM

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:54 am

And before you are tempted... No, "compensatory lengthening" is not a service that a spam e-mails will offer you.

If "its" were "shortened" by loss of the 's' (which it isn't really; it's a joke) the loss of that length might be compensated for by lengthening the "i".

Morvran
Posts: 2192
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:48 am

Post by Morvran » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:31 am

Unlike some people I try to understand my own limits and work within them. In the present negative climate I'm disinclined to produce anything in Cornish. I was asked to produce the translations you refer to. I did another one which the KK lot never got round to publishing, so I agreed to it going out in UC, at Ray Chubb's request. I have not been asked to do anything since, and since there are many people far more skilled, why should I?

Works in Cornish by ME : ZERO
ditto by Eddie : ZERO

At least I've produced something, although I make no particular claims of its value.

In fact my main role in producing these books was to contact the author on behalf of Dalleth and obtain permission to use the stories and illustrations. Actualy translating the texts was a fairly trivial part of the affair.





edited by: morvran, Jan 24, 2009 - 09:28 AM

Morvran
Posts: 2192
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:48 am

Post by Morvran » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:35 am

Well thanks to Eddie's reference, I've now read through the English text of "Alice". A rather quaint period piece, bit of a curiosity, but why the fuss? Is this supposed to be great literature? What have I missed? All I can see is a bit of childish wordplay here and there, such as would greatly amuse a victorian middle-class seven-year-old, which fair enough is all it was ever intended to do.

I cannot see how this is in any way relevent to Cornish, Cornwall or even the present century. Except perhaps in so far as the standard of logic exhibited by most of the characters is on a par with that displayed here by Eddie, Marghek, ME and the gang. :-O



User avatar
Eddie-C
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:31 am

Post by Eddie-C » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:13 am


morvran said:
Works in Cornish by ME : ZERO
ditto by Eddie : ZERO
At least I've produced something, although I make no particular claims of its value.


Your 1st statement is doubtless correct, at least as regards the 16 years since you translated the Lisa Storey books.

By contrast, your 2nd statement ignores both two crucial facts, and one repeated hint here on C24:

1) I've been learning Cornish for about 2 1/2 years, while you've been at it since (presumably) before 1993. I also know my limitations, and, having tried my hand at some translations, realised I wasn't yet ready to tackle what I want to achieve. Not yet, anyway, but I'm getting there.

2) In the meantime, working within my limitations, and using what expertise I do have, I conceived and produced the 'Lyverva hep Cost' project. That has been warmly received within the Cornish speaking community (as far afield as Australia and the USA), and there will be 2 sequels ready for release in the near future. No, it's not "in Cornish", but it's still a valued and innovative contribution to the Revival.

3) Still working within my limitations, I have several Cornish language books ready for proofing by my publisher; they'll doubtless come out as and when they fit into his/her busy schedule. Marhak has seen some early drafts of them and made approving noises (even here on C24).

And, if those books are well received, I have plans for others in a similar genre.

I'm working hard to increase my competence in the language, and when I'm ready for more advanced projects, I have plenty of ideas for what to write. But other than to say that I'm a life-long fan of hard SciFi, I shall say no more about my tastes in literature.

Unlike you, I find nothing 'negative' about the 'present climate'. Indeed, with the new status and support that the language has gained with the SWF in both Education and Local Government, there are more opportunities than ever before for new resources to be created in Cornish. The recent publication of Alys in Pow an Anethow is only the first of many, I'm sure.

Many of us will be really looking forward to hearing about all this in more detail at Lost Wydhyel next weekend. The MAGA meeting should be really interesting -- what a shame you won't be there, Keith, eh?



edited by: Eddie-C, Jan 24, 2009 - 10:46 AM

User avatar
Eddie-C
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:31 am

Post by Eddie-C » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:44 am


morvran said:
. . . I cannot see how this is in any way relevent to Cornish, Cornwall or even the present century . . .

There's your 'present negative climate', Keith: right there in the blind spot in your own head!

If you were right, then since Evertype has published 3 editions in Irish, Cornish and English, he's going to be hugely out of pocket when all of those 'irrelevant' anachronisms flop. Just think of all those unsold worthless books mouldering in the warehouse, costing him money each and every day.

Poor Michael -- and poor you too, having to restrain your gleeful Schadenfreude at his misfortune!

It's a pity that this professional publisher, with his many years of experience in the business, and a string of successful books in his back list, didn't realise his limitations and think to avail himself of your expertise as a publisher. He could have saved himself from this looming personal Credit Crunch that you've predicted for him.

Do remind us, dear chap, how many books have you published over the years, Keith?

I do hope it's more than the ZERO you awarded yourself for how many Cornish books you've written.

It is more, surely!?

ps. Amazon UK shows the following search results:
'Alice in Wonderland' -- 2331 books
'Lewis Carroll' -- 4482 books
Not bad for an 'irrelevance to the present century', eh?
:lol:




edited by: Eddie-C, Jan 24, 2009 - 10:50 AM

User avatar
Evertype
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:29 am
Contact:

Post by Evertype » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:48 pm


morvran said:
I was asked to produce the translations you refer to. I did another one which the KK lot never got round to publishing, so I agreed to it going out in UC, at Ray Chubb's request. I have not been asked to do anything since, and since there are many people far more skilled, why should I?

I'd be delighted to publish your work, Keith, if you'd consent to it being published in KS. :-)


Works in Cornish by ME : ZERO
ditto by Eddie : ZERO

I'm not a translator. Eddie has spoken for himself.

User avatar
Eddie-C
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:31 am

Post by Eddie-C » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:28 pm

Oh, silly me [sic]!

When Keith said, 'Works by ME : ZERO', I thought he meant 'Works by ME MYSELF : ZERO', that is 'Works by Keith', with the capital letters used for emphasis.

I was also deeply impressed with his professional use of typographical niceties to add expressiveness to his text. Those emphatic caps, added to the tastefully antiquarian spaced colons with their hint of Victorian typesetting.

Indeed, I was struck with how uncharacteristically bashful this appeared to be, to discount his translations of the Lisa Storey books, just because they were so small and elementary.

And all the time he was not being modest and stylish at all, but merely writing bad English and being horrid to Michael (and to ME!). Now, if he'd only written proper English and paid proper attention to those tricksy little punctuational diacritters, we'd have had "Works by M.E. : ZERO" and there'd have been not the slightest ambiguity or confusion at all.

But, of course, we know (because he's told us --in his favourite phrase-- "over and over till he's blue in the face" (cyanosis does require medical attention, you know) that he won't have no truck whatsofeckingever with those diacritters . . .

. . . even if they would make his writing clearer . . .

. . . like KS would!

:-)


Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests