Autor Wątek: Lem's neologisms and wordplays  (Przeczytany 43136 razy)

ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Maj 28, 2006, 04:04:15 pm »
Hello all, I'm interested in finding out about Lem's neologisms and wordplays in Polish and their comparison to the English and German translations.

As Mr. Lem himself said in an interview 20 years ago (http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/interviews/lem40interview.htm): "The translations of my works always depended on the inventiveness of my translators; and my best two are, I think, the late I. Zimmermann-Gollheim (German) and M. Kandel (English). Ms Zimmermann-Gollheim succeeded in translating remarkably literally, whereas Mr Kandel has given himself a lot of interpretative latitude, replacing that which he was unwilling or unable to retain with that which was equivalent in English on some higher semantic plane."

At the moment I'm working my way through three later Trurl and Klapaucius stories: "Kobyszcze" (In Hot Pursuit of Happiness / Experimenta Felicitologica, 1971), "Edukacja Cyfrania" (Ziffranio's Erziehung, 1976) and "Powtórka" ("Die Wiederholung", 1979). The first one was translated to English by Michael Kandel and to German probably by Irmtraut Zimmermann-Göllheim (?) The other two have not been translated to English as far as I know, but German translations have been made by Hubert Schumann (how does he compare?)

There don't seem to be many neologisms or wordplays in the German translations. I don't have a copy of Kandel's English translation of "Kobyszcze" to compare. Maybe there aren't many in the Polish originals either? In Cyberiad there were plenty though.

As there don't seem to be very many neologisms in these stories, I'd be very grateful if someone who can read Polish could post a list of neologisms and wordplays found in (any of) these stories along with a short explanation of their meaning. Of course a joke is lost by explaining it, but I'm asking from a translator's point of view.

I wish I'd studied Polish when I was young and had time for such things :-/

Any opinions/reviews about these three stories, by the way? These are all long stories that circle around the same topic - it seems like they would make a nice collection.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 28, 2006, 04:05:59 pm wysłana przez ssipila »

Kagan

  • Juror
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 334
    • Zobacz profil
TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 09:15:18 am »
What about Kandel's TICKUFF! (=FUCK IT in reverse), a direct translation of Lem's AWRUK (KURWA in reverse)? Not every translator understood it (or was given a hint by Lem)... ;)

Cytuj
Hello all, I'm interested in finding out about Lem's neologisms and wordplays in Polish and their comparison to the English and German translations.

As Mr. Lem himself said in an interview 20 years ago (http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/interviews/lem40interview.htm): "The translations of my works always depended on the inventiveness of my translators; and my best two are, I think, the late I. Zimmermann-Gollheim (German) and M. Kandel (English). Ms Zimmermann-Gollheim succeeded in translating remarkably literally, whereas Mr Kandel has given himself a lot of interpretative latitude, replacing that which he was unwilling or unable to retain with that which was equivalent in English on some higher semantic plane."

At the moment I'm working my way through three later Trurl and Klapaucius stories: "Kobyszcze" (In Hot Pursuit of Happiness / Experimenta Felicitologica, 1971), "Edukacja Cyfrania" (Ziffranio's Erziehung, 1976) and "Powtórka" ("Die Wiederholung", 1979). The first one was translated to English by Michael Kandel and to German probably by Irmtraut Zimmermann-Göllheim (?) The other two have not been translated to English as far as I know, but German translations have been made by Hubert Schumann (how does he compare?)

There don't seem to be many neologisms or wordplays in the German translations. I don't have a copy of Kandel's English translation of "Kobyszcze" to compare. Maybe there aren't many in the Polish originals either? In Cyberiad there were plenty though.

As there don't seem to be very many neologisms in these stories, I'd be very grateful if someone who can read Polish could post a list of neologisms and wordplays found in (any of) these stories along with a short explanation of their meaning. Of course a joke is lost by explaining it, but I'm asking from a translator's point of view.

I wish I'd studied Polish when I was young and had time for such things :-/

Any opinions/reviews about these three stories, by the way? These are all long stories that circle around the same topic - it seems like they would make a nice collection.


ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 04:50:39 pm »
Cytuj
What about Kandel's TICKUFF! (=FUCK IT in reverse), a direct translation of Lem's AWRUK (KURWA in reverse)? Not every translator understood it (or was given a hint by Lem)... ;)



Heh, in the German translation it's "TUF!"... of course :)

Kagan

  • Juror
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 334
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 09:02:13 pm »
Cytuj

Heh, in the German translation it's "TUF!"... of course :)

I know some intresting words in German, but tell me what exactly "TUF" means... I do not remember that word from my German classes!

ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 09:16:09 pm »
This is actually a bit of a catch-22 - I'm looking for information that only Polish readers can give, and I can't ask them on the Polish forum because I don't understand any Polish.

I have a copy of these three stories ("Kobyszcze", "Edukacja Cyfrania", "Powtórka") in Polish, and I'd be really interested to see Lem's original Polish wordplays and neologisms explained and then compare them to the English and German translations. I'm interested from a translator's point of view.

Dear moderator, please hint at this thread on the Polish forum :) Any replies are welcome in English, German or French.

ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 09:19:50 pm »
Cytuj
I know some intresting words in German, but tell me what exactly "TUF" means... I do not remember that word from my German classes!


If you did, I'd wonder what kind of school you went to ;) Spelled backwards, it means very similar things as the English and Polish versions.

(Well, YSSUP to be exact, but in a more derogatory tone.)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 29, 2006, 09:51:40 pm wysłana przez ssipila »

maziek

  • YaBB Administrator
  • God Member
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 10594
  • zamiast bajek ojciec mi Lema opowiadał...
    • Zobacz profil
Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 09:51:15 pm »
Cytuj
As there don't seem to be very many neologisms in these stories, I'd be very grateful if someone who can read Polish could post a list of neologisms and wordplays found in (any of) these stories along with a short explanation of their meaning.
Do You mean Polish neologisms in the original explained in English?
Nie mam racji a i tak maździory witosieją w terpentynie!
Z Globalnym uważaj Pan, on tylko udaje tępotę! Potem wciąga do jamy i zagryza!© Remuszko.
Ukłony, maziek

ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 10:09:03 pm »
Cytuj
Do You mean Polish neologisms in the original explained in English?


Yes, I was thinking of the original Polish neologisms (and wordplays) broken down to their component words if needed, and a short explanation of the whole in English.

As an example, take this wordplay in Finnish: "romumaja". It's twisted from a true old Finnish word "tomumaja", consisting of "tomu" (dust) and "maja" (house) meaning "shell of (earthly) dust", i.e. a mortal body of a human being. In the wordplay "tomu" is twisted to "romu" (mechanical junk), so that the meaning becomes "shell of mechanical junk", which to a Finnish reader creates an unmistakable notion of the mortal body of a robot.

I'm hoping that someone might have the patience to offer us translation readers a glimpse of Lem's original verbal acrobatics.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 29, 2006, 10:13:09 pm wysłana przez ssipila »

maziek

  • YaBB Administrator
  • God Member
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 10594
  • zamiast bajek ojciec mi Lema opowiadał...
    • Zobacz profil
Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Maj 29, 2006, 10:27:32 pm »
It will be pleasure! And an exercise i English for me. Well, at first - if You didn't read it before - an explanation of the word  "kobyszcze" - which I've post before in another place:

I can't find another similarity than to "kobyła (kobyla)" what means in a disregarding manner "horse, mare" - adjactives which i connect to "kobyla" are: old, dull. There is also a polish proverb "smieje się, jak kobyla do owsa" what means: one is laughing like a "kobyla" at oats - it's for somebody, who is laughing with no reason. Word-ending "szcze" is archaic and means, that something is bigger than usually.  

So "kobyszcze" is a big, dull thing, which is happy without a reason.

Of coure if we assume, that somebody who laughs is happy.

Well, I try to make a one a day.
Nie mam racji a i tak maździory witosieją w terpentynie!
Z Globalnym uważaj Pan, on tylko udaje tępotę! Potem wciąga do jamy i zagryza!© Remuszko.
Ukłony, maziek

Kagan

  • Juror
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 334
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Maj 30, 2006, 08:45:15 am »
Cytuj

If you did, I'd wonder what kind of school you went to ;) Spelled backwards, it means very similar things as the English and Polish versions.
 
(Well, YSSUP to be exact, but in a more derogatory tone.)

I am still puzzled. "Fuck" means "pierdolic" (or "jebac") in Poland (a rather coarse description of having sex), while "kurwa" means a prostitute (hooker, whore). So tell me please if this "fut"  (if I am right) means "fucking" or is rather a coarse word for a "whore"? Is there any link between German "fut" and Polish "fiut" (colloquial description of penis)? And to Terminus: do not delete this post, PLEASE. I had to use some colloquial English and Polish, otherwise it would be very hard to understand my questions!
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 30, 2006, 08:45:53 am wysłana przez Kagan »

ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Maj 30, 2006, 10:55:05 am »
Cytuj
I am still puzzled. "Fuck" means "pierdolic" (or "jebac") in Poland (a rather coarse description of having sex), while "kurwa" means a prostitute (hooker, whore). So tell me please if this "fut"  (if I am right) means "fucking" or is rather a coarse word for a "whore"? Is there any link between German "fut" and Polish "fiut" (colloquial description of penis)? And to Terminus: do not delete this post, PLEASE. I had to use some colloquial English and Polish, otherwise it would be very hard to understand my questions!


When translating, it is very important not to just translate word for word but to use expressions and figures of speech that are familiar to the reader of the translation.

The point in all these backwards-spelled words is that they are a common curse in the target language - TIKCUF is a curse word in English, AWRUK in Polish, TUF in German. They do not mean literally the same thing, but the general idea of a sexually-oriented curse word spelled backwards is what's important (well, from a translation point of view - all in all I consider this to be a rather cheap joke from Mr. Lem).

Coincidentally, in Finnish "korva" means "ear". This is the only Finnish-Polish language joke I know - a Finnish tourist on the street in Krakow sees a beautiful lady drop an earring, and not knowing any languages he helpfully points at her head and says "korva!"  - and of course gets hospitalized...
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 30, 2006, 11:07:37 am wysłana przez ssipila »

ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Maj 30, 2006, 10:58:18 am »
Cytuj
So "kobyszcze" is a big, dull thing, which is happy without a reason.


That would seem to refer to Trurl's Felix Contemplator Vitae :)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 30, 2006, 10:58:35 am wysłana przez ssipila »

Kagan

  • Juror
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 334
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Maj 30, 2006, 11:58:44 am »
author=ssipila:
When translating, it is very important not to just translate word for word but to use expressions and figures of speech that are familiar to the reader of the translation.
- I know this very well. I'm just asking what "TUF" exactly means in German...

The point in all these backwards-spelled words is that they are a common curse in the target language - TIKCUF is a curse word in English, AWRUK in Polish, TUF in German. They do not mean literally the same thing, but the general idea of a sexually-oriented curse word spelled backwards is what's important (well, from a translation point of view - all in all I consider this to be a rather cheap joke from Mr. Lem).
- OK. It was almost all I wanted to know. But could you be more precise and just tell me if fut=fuck or something else, for example penis (in Polish "fiut")? As to the quality of joke - I thing it was excellent. Mind you, "Bajki robotow" were compulsory lecture for Polish schoolchildren! Polish censors did not understand (or did not want to understand) that AWRUK is just a common KURWA in reverse...

Coincidentally, in Finnish "korva" means "ear". This is the only Finnish-Polish language joke I know - a Finnish tourist on the street in Krakow sees a beautiful lady drop an earring, and not knowing any languages he helpfully points at her head and says "korva!"  - and of course gets hospitalized...
- Kurwa is, as I understand from Latin and it means just a curve... But it also has a meaning in German, as I understand. I heard Marlena Dietrich telling something about "kurven" in a recorded TV interview...



ssipila

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 18
    • Zobacz profil
Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Maj 30, 2006, 12:09:21 pm »
Cytuj
But could you be more precise and just tell me if fut= (...) for example penis?


Actually, the exact opposite of that :) and in a quite low-style derogatory manner. The gender is "die".
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 30, 2006, 12:17:40 pm wysłana przez ssipila »

Pekka

  • Juror
  • YaBB Newbies
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 49
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • Zobacz profil
Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« Odpowiedź #14 dnia: Maj 30, 2006, 04:54:12 pm »
Fellows, I think this question has been asked without significant output under other topics here, but repetitio mater studiorum est, so are there any hidden meanings buried in the names of Solaris characters?

Because of my medical background I know that Sartorius in fact is the body´s longest muscle;  a muscle in the thigh that helps to rotate the leg into the sitting position assumed by a tailor; the longest muscle in the human body. In Finnish it is called the tailor´s muscle.

Is there some hidden implicit connotation for Polsih-speakers. At least the Russians have a saying "as heavy a drinker as a tailor" but probably it is not this...

greetings, Pekka 8)
Pekka from Lahti