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|Spanish to English translations [PRO]|
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / help!
|Spanish term or phrase: marina y terrenal|
|This is by Antonio Gala:|
"Así es Valencia. Abierta,
húmeda y maternal. Como una rosa
nutricia y olorosa,
marina y terrenal, suave y alerta."
What can I say? All my ideas fall flat. Any suggestions?
|maritime and earthy|
Here's what's led me to this. In these situations you're always weighing one consideration against another. The decision is a matter of priorities.
1. I think it's very desirable, if possible, to use adjectives. The original is a succession of pairs of adjectives and it would be nice to emulate the almost hypnotic enumerative effect of this. If you change to nouns for this pair it interrupts the flow in this respect.
2. I regard the rhythm here as very important. There is an internal rhyme in "rosa/olorosa", but it can't be preserved and I don't think that matters. But to me the rhythm matters a lot. After "nurturing and fragrant", I think "maritime and earthy", with exactly the same rhythm, goes very well from this point of view.
3. Rhythm is the first thing that makes me prefer "maritime" to "marine", but I think "maritime" is suitable for other reasons; it means adjacent to the sea (a maritime region), and also suggests seafaring: Valencia being open to the sea.
4. I see "earthy" is what you've provisionally chosen, and I like it. "Earthly" would be a more literal choice, and "terrenal" is commonly opposed to "celestial", but it also suggests worldly, down to earth, rooted in the earth, as it were. "Earthy" captures some of these implications.
5. Any choice has drawbacks, mine included, of course, but I think the great thing to avoid here is over-interpreting. It needs something short and binary that captures the character of Valencia in as near as possible the terms of the original.
Note added at 9 hrs (2012-02-24 22:19:43 GMT)
Thanks! To be honest, I like it a bit less than I did when I posted it. I find Carol's version quite persuasive. But I'm not sure.
I keep wondering quite what Gala meant by "terrenal". I completely agree about "earthly in a crass sense" — worldly, if you like: showy, ostentatious, materialist. That's "terrenal" in its proper sense, constrasted with "celestial" (Castilian mysticism and asceticism, that other cliché). This idea is surely present. In fact I also intended the suggestion of vulgarity in "earthy"; there is something vulgar about Valencia (I speak as a resident). But as well as "tierra/cielo", there's also "tierra/mar". The first leads you to "earth", the second to "land". Gala can have both, but we have to choose one or the other. In the end I lean towards "earth". Yes, beyond agriculture and the huerta, there's also something deeper, something chthonic.
You must be right about the regional costume; in a few weeks the streets will be full of Dama de Elche lookalikes, with the quaint twirly bits on the sides of their heads. That is when many of us leave town, if we can: the "diáspora fallera", as a friend of mine put it the other day.
Selected response from:
Local time: 14:40
|Further context considered (this appears in a chapter about the bat being the city mascot), I think I better leave it at this. But I really loved all the contributions and would thank you all. Quote it in another context and the version would probably change, everything's valid.|
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
5 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +5