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The Translation of Poems: Languages’ Peculiarities

Multiple works of outstanding poets are translated to introduce them to people all over the world. In the same way, many works were written by Pablo Neruda, including “Muchos Somos,” were translated into English and other languages. At the same time, the translation of poetry is a highly challenging process as a translator should keep not only the poem’s meaning by the author’s original style as much as possible. In the case of “Muchos Somos” and its translation “We Are Many,” a translator has successfully managed to translate the poem word by word saving its structure – thus, readers have received an opportunity to understand this masterpiece dedicated to self-reflection to the fullest extent and praise the author’s talent. At the same time, due to the peculiarities of languages and the translator’s intention to keep the translation to the original in meaning as close as possible, “We Are Many” has lost the original’s song-like motive associated with withdrawal and contemplation.

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At the same time, it will be wrong to say that the translator did not try to reflect the beauty of Neruda’s language in the translation and did not use the same vocabulary. For instance, some words are replaced with more delicate and poetic expressions: deliciosas precauciones – precious reasons not to, los filmes de vientos y balas – the movies with gusts of winds and bullets. At the same time, the translator deliberately replaced the original’s words with words that have slightly another meaning, for example, rehabilitarme – return to myself (not rehabilitate myself). Although this choice does not change the meaning dramatically, in the translation, the author is presented as more kind to himself, and his actions are regarded as less negative.

The translation cannot outmatch its original due to multiple reasons, including the translator’s competency and languages’ peculiarities. However, from a personal perspective, it is necessary to translate poems to acquaint people with masterpieces in unfamiliar or less common languages, for example, Persian, Azerbaijanian, or Tagalog (Betts, n.d.). As language cannot be separated from culture, through poetry people may become familiar with others’ values and beliefs.

Reference

Betts, J. (n.d.). Famous examples of poems in Tagalog. Your Dictionary.

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StudyCorgi. "The Translation of Poems: Languages’ Peculiarities." December 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-translation-of-poems-languages-peculiarities/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Translation of Poems: Languages’ Peculiarities." December 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-translation-of-poems-languages-peculiarities/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Translation of Poems: Languages’ Peculiarities'. 20 December.

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