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问世间情为何物, 直教人生死相许

English translation: TRY

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17:32 Mar 4, 2007
Chinese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
Chinese term or phrase: 问世间情为何物, 直教人生死相许
问世间情为何物, 直教人生死相许
I would appreciate if someone can offer any suggestion in translating this in a more poetic way? Sorry for going over the word limit for question asked but I believe these two should be considered together. Thanks.
Wilman
United States
Local time: 17:19
English translation:TRY
Explanation:
我在网上看到一个翻译

What is love? 
I ask the world

How does it make me care less about my life 
and care more about being with you?

我自己也随便翻了一下,完全是意译,相去可能甚远

Can somebody tell me,
What is love supposed to be?

That makes death a beauty,
as long as you are with me.

之后又在网上查了一下这首词的典故,发现翻译得有出入。原先以为是有不求生则同襟,但求死则同穴的意思,似乎并非如此。如下:
章宗泰和五年,元好问十六岁,随继父到太原赶考。在汾河边遇到了一位猎人。猎人告诉了元好问一件奇异的故事。几天前,猎人捕获了两只大雁,雄雁脱网而出,雌雁则被缚网中。猎人将雌雁擒回家,雄雁凝望着网中的雌雁,一路跟随,在空中悲鸣盘旋不去。而雌雁亦在网中呜咽,不吃不喝。后来猎人杀死了雌雁,看到爱侣已亡,那雄雁竟一头从空中栽下,以头撞地,殉情而亡。

年轻的元好问被深深地感动了,他没有埋怨猎人的无情。他从猎人手中买下了这对大雁,将这对忠烈的爱侣埋葬在了汾河边,并用石头垒起了墓,为他们的爱情写下了一首《雁丘词》,用的是《摸鱼儿》的词牌:

问世间、情是何物,直教生死相许。

天南地北双飞客,老翅几回寒暑。

欢乐趣,离别苦,就中更有痴儿女。

君应有语。渺万里层云,千山暮雪,只影为谁去。

横汾路,寂寞当年萧鼓,荒烟依旧平楚。

招魂楚些何嗟及,山鬼自啼风雨。

天也妒,未信与、莺儿燕子俱黄土。

千秋万古。为留待骚人,狂歌痛饮,来访雁丘处。

就典故看来,可能以下翻译好一点
Can somebody tell me,
What is love supposed to be?
That makes me hold no fear in the face of death.
With your absence,
My existence is meaningless on earth.
呵呵,没事闲笔,请勿见笑
Selected response from:

sunnyxia
Local time: 22:19
Grading comment
Agree with tulip, it's a beautiful translation. Thank you all for your suggestions.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3FYINai-Ching Ting
2 +4TRY
sunnyxia
4What is love, you ask, that makes one says till death do us part.
Denyce Seow
4Asking what is love in front of altar, God said only death can tear you two apart.servien


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
FYI


Explanation:
Asking people on Earth what love is meant to be?
It even makes one willing to commit his/her own life just for it.

Nai-Ching Ting
Local time: 16:19
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  pkchan
34 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Jason Ma
8 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  Wenjer Leuschel
21 hrs
  -> Thank you!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +4
TRY


Explanation:
我在网上看到一个翻译

What is love? 
I ask the world

How does it make me care less about my life 
and care more about being with you?

我自己也随便翻了一下,完全是意译,相去可能甚远

Can somebody tell me,
What is love supposed to be?

That makes death a beauty,
as long as you are with me.

之后又在网上查了一下这首词的典故,发现翻译得有出入。原先以为是有不求生则同襟,但求死则同穴的意思,似乎并非如此。如下:
章宗泰和五年,元好问十六岁,随继父到太原赶考。在汾河边遇到了一位猎人。猎人告诉了元好问一件奇异的故事。几天前,猎人捕获了两只大雁,雄雁脱网而出,雌雁则被缚网中。猎人将雌雁擒回家,雄雁凝望着网中的雌雁,一路跟随,在空中悲鸣盘旋不去。而雌雁亦在网中呜咽,不吃不喝。后来猎人杀死了雌雁,看到爱侣已亡,那雄雁竟一头从空中栽下,以头撞地,殉情而亡。

年轻的元好问被深深地感动了,他没有埋怨猎人的无情。他从猎人手中买下了这对大雁,将这对忠烈的爱侣埋葬在了汾河边,并用石头垒起了墓,为他们的爱情写下了一首《雁丘词》,用的是《摸鱼儿》的词牌:

问世间、情是何物,直教生死相许。

天南地北双飞客,老翅几回寒暑。

欢乐趣,离别苦,就中更有痴儿女。

君应有语。渺万里层云,千山暮雪,只影为谁去。

横汾路,寂寞当年萧鼓,荒烟依旧平楚。

招魂楚些何嗟及,山鬼自啼风雨。

天也妒,未信与、莺儿燕子俱黄土。

千秋万古。为留待骚人,狂歌痛饮,来访雁丘处。

就典故看来,可能以下翻译好一点
Can somebody tell me,
What is love supposed to be?
That makes me hold no fear in the face of death.
With your absence,
My existence is meaningless on earth.
呵呵,没事闲笔,请勿见笑



    Reference: http://news.guoxue.com/article.php?articleid=9878
sunnyxia
Local time: 22:19
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Agree with tulip, it's a beautiful translation. Thank you all for your suggestions.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  pkchan
1 hr
  -> thanks a lot.

agree  tulip855: It is a beautiful translation.
3 hrs
  -> thank you, tulip.

agree  Chun Un: Well done!
3 hrs
  -> Many thanks.

agree  Jason Ma: Creative.
5 hrs
  -> Thx, Martin
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

20 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Asking what is love in front of altar, God said only death can tear you two apart.


Explanation:
English

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20小时 (2007-03-05 14:00:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think I can both add " two" between " you" and " apart" or not. If I add, it means to make two lovers seperate, if I don't use the word " word", it can mean the person " you" are painful to be aparted from his lover, and love causes pain. " tear apart" indicates " to break heart" too.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20小时 (2007-03-05 14:02:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Asking what is love in front of altar, God said only death can tear you apart.

servien
Local time: 16:19
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
What is love, you ask, that makes one says till death do us part.


Explanation:
Another suggestion.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 23 hrs (2007-03-05 17:16:31 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or
What is love, you ask, that makes one promise till death do us part.

Note: "says" should be "say"

Denyce Seow
Singapore
Local time: 05:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52
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Changes made by editors
Mar 8, 2007 - Changes made by Jason Ma:
Language pairEnglish to Chinese » Chinese to English
Mar 8, 2007 - Changes made by Jason Ma:
Language pairChinese to English » English to Chinese


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