ProZ.com translation contests »
5th ProZ.com Translation Contest: "Travel"

Preparing
Submission phase  
Oct 31 '07Nov 26 '07
Hybrid phase  
Nov 26 '07Dec 5 '07
Finals phase  
Dec 5 '07Dec 21 '07

About the Submission phase

During the Submission phase, entries may be submitted in any language pair, per contest restrictions. Contestants are allowed to edit their entries until the end of the Submission phase.

At the end of the Submission phase, all language pairs with submitted entries will be "paused" for review by the contest administrator.

About the Hybrid phase

During the Hybrid phase, individual language pairs can be placed in any of the Submission, Qualification, or Finals phases, depending on how many entries have been submitted.
  • Pairs which received fewer than 3 entries during the Submission phase will likely be placed in an "extended submission" period. If at least 3 entries are eventually submitted, the pair will be moved forward to the Finals phase.
  • Pairs which received between 3 and 7 entries will likely be placed directly into the Finals phase, where site users who list that language pair in their profile may vote for what they feel are the best entries.
  • Pairs which received more than 7 entries will likely be placed into the Qualification phase, where site users rate and tag entries in an effort to determine a smaller pool of entries which should move forward into the Finals phase.

About the Finals phase

During the Finals phase, all language pairs which have received at least 3 entries will be open for site users to vote for what they feel are the best entries. Pairs with fewer than 3 entries will not be able to have a winner determined.

At the end of the Finals phase, votes will be tallied by site staff, and winners in each pair will be announced.
Competition in this edition of ProZ.com translation contests is finished. Winners have been announced in 46 language pairs. Click here to view the winners »


Source texts — Jump: English, French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish

The following are the source texts for this edition of the ProZ.com translation contests. Contest participants are given the opportunity to submit translations of these texts into the languages of their choice. If three or more translators translate a text into a given language, the contest is "on" in that language pair. To learn more about the source texts, see the "About the source texts" section below.
English
All travel is now merely a means of moving a camera from place to place, all travellers are ruled by the all-powerful lens. Visitors old-fashioned enough to wish only to stand and look with their anachronistic eyes are shoved aside by the photographers, who take it for granted that while they do their ritual focusing, nothing else may move or cross their vision. Those peculiar souls without a camera must step aside for those more properly occupied, must wait while the rituals take place, and must bide their time while whole coaches stop and unleash upon the landscape the Instamatic God. And the populations of whole countries seeing themselves cannibalised, swallowed up, vacuumed into the black-ringed staring eye, wrench what they can from the cannibals. You want picture my house, my camel? You pay.

None of this would matter, perhaps, if anything worthwhile was being accomplished. If all the constant busyness and clicking produced, at its end, what had not existed before, images of beauty captured or truth told. But, sadly, this isn't so. The camera is simply graffiti made respectable.

The camera is the means by which we stamp ourselves on everything we see, under cover of recording the Wonders of the World already wonderfully
recorded by professionals and on sale at every corner bookshop and newsagent. But what use to show Aunt Maud, back home, postcards of the Tuscan landscape, since we are not in the picture to prove that we were there?

No stretch of rocks has verity unless I am within it. No monument exists
but for my wife, leaning against it. No temple is of interest without my face beside it, grinning. With my camera I appropriate everything beautiful, possess it, shrink it, domesticate it, and reproduce it on my blank sitting-room wall to prove to a selected audience of friends and family the one absolutely vital fact about these beauties: I saw them, I was there, I photographed them, and, ergo, they are.

from "Amateur Photography: the World as it isn't and our Fred" by Jill Tweedie in the Guardian
French
Je pensais en route : Est-ce un grand mal de ne pas avoir vu Smara au soleil couchant, de ne pas m’être assis devant ces ruines, de ne pas avoir appuyé longuement mes yeux sur ses édifices, sur ses horizons ? – Peut-être pas. Je ne me sens pas d’humeur à imiter Chateaubriand sur le Forum romain.
Je ne suis pas venu ici pour cela.
Le corps : ces choses qui me préoccuperaient, ptôse des organes, les dos qui se voûte – ici peu importe.
Que peu de haltes encore j’espère – que peu de nuits ! Ces haltes, les dernières, quand il n’y en aura plus qu’une, que deux avec les chikhs, quelle valeur renouvelée elles prennent, elles prendront pour moi: le partage en cinq parts de la viande, le tirage au sort, etc., comme les dernières cerises les plus belles, au fond du compotier.
Le retour : en plus de cette joie profonde, admirable, venant de nos vies renouvelées ou plutôt hardiment poussées sur un chemin merveilleux – que je ne dirai point –, je songeais, avec quel plaisir, au bain chaud que je prendrais tout de suite – à la première minute –, au premier repas, à la première nuit. Ne plus avoir de poux, ne plus avoir si froid ou si chaud. Dormir dans un lit. Manger. Retrouver tout cela après deux mois très durs, l’acte accompli.
Marché hier soir de 5 heures et demie à 8 heures et demie à travers des vallonnements assez forts. C’est pendant cette marche que je me fis ces réflexions ; (…)


“SMARA. Carnets de route d’un fou du désert” par Michel Vieuchange Éditions Phébus, Paris, 1990. Page 218-219.
Italian
Superati i 51 anni, il pensiero scansa la stanchezza e si rifugia nei sogni di 30 anni or sono, tornando al giorno in cui raggiunsi la maggior età. Quel giorno mi dissi che avrei viaggiato in tutti quei luoghi esotici e lontani che mi attiravano con promesse di appagamento di ogni specie.

E di viaggi ne ho fatti, ma raramente quelli che avrei sperato. Solo adesso, entrando nel secondo mezzo secolo della mia vita, accetto che va bene lo stesso non essere andata alle Maldive, non aver preso l’Orient Express, non aver soggiornato al Ritz. Forse farò ancora in tempo e forse non me n’importa neanche più tanto.

I viaggi sono stati altri, spesso faticosi, come il primo lungo cammino che mi aspettava dopo quel fatidico compleanno. Un crudo e buio viaggio verso la maturità, tenendo per mano un padre che chiudeva il suo soggiorno terreno ben troppo presto.

Così, nel mio diario di viaggio, stipo ricordi che non si catturano con la macchina fotografica … le voci dei miei avi siciliani che vibrano tra i ruderi di Selinunte … lo sguardo dei ragazzi di strada di Johannesburg, venuti da noi e restii a tornare nella loro terribile realtà … le lacrime dei veterani dello sbarco a Pachino tornati su quella stessa spiaggia a distanza di 60 anni … la neve che fiocca sul filo spinato di Auschwitz … la paura dei miei compagni di viaggio nella malattia che, avendo portato via mio padre, tornò a chiamare anche me. Ma io feci orecchie da mercante.

Angela Arnone. "Diario di viaggio".
Romanian
Pe vremuri (hei, hei, nu chiar pe când cu descălecarea lui Mihai la Alba-Iulia!), exista în Cluj o stradă numită Amurg (notaţi: nu „Amurgului”, Amurg). Întotdeauna mi-a plăcut acest nume de stradă; mi se părea ciudat, aparte, straniu, poetic, „punător pe gânduri”. Numele îmi plăcea, strada nu. Nici nu prea avea ce să-ţi placă. O stradă plină de absenţe. Copleşită de absenţe. Adică, de ajungeai pe-acolo, puteai fi sigur că nu vei întâlni pe nimeni (poate câte o gospodină în capot, care trecea alături, la altă gospodină îmbrăcată în capotul ei, sau, potrivit anotimpului, în combinezon; cam atât). De prin curţi te mai lătra câte un câine care ţinea să se afle în treabă. Culmea (fireşte, depinde din ce sens o luai) strada ducea înspre... amurg. Nici după ce am aflat că pe această stradă a locuit (în gazdă) nevastă-mea, pe când nu era (nevastă-mea), dar era studentă.
Ce, naiba, puteai căuta pe strada asta!?! Ni-mic. Nimic. Nu tu prăvălii, nu tu o crâşmă, cât despre firme, pe-atunci, nici vorbă. („Pe-atunci” = în urmă cu vreo, pardon, 30-40 de ani, adică acum cam 1500 de zile; vă daţi seama? 36.000 de ore! Minute? O mulţime.) Aşadar: ce puteai căuta pe strada asta? Neamuri (nu era cazul meu), gagici (n-am văzut), frumuseţi arhitectonice (nici vorbă), umbra copacilor de pe trotuar (nu erau, nici trotuar nu prea era)... atunci, ce? Ori, în mod obligatoriu (de pildă dacă erai poştaş, miliţian sau executor judecătoresc – iarăşi nu era cazul meu), ori de-a nebun (era cazul meu). Adică, încerc să explic:
Atât de altcumva era strada asta încât de multe ori, de multe ori, m-am dus pe-acolo (şi, zău, aveam cam 1/3 din anii mei de astăzi) doar ca să păşesc dinspre levant spre amurg, sau dinspre amurg spre răsărit. Nu avea nici o importanţă.


Tudor Ionescu, „Amurgul pierdut”, published in „Tribuna” (issue 120, 1-15 September 2007)
Translations submitted (4 pairs)
Spanish
Admiré de niño la clarividencia del caballo para orientarse en la ida o el regreso y, sea de noche o de día, en la tormenta o bajo el vendaval, admiré el olfato de los perros para volver al sitio del que parten por más que de él se alejen, o el acierto infalible del gato para encontrar el rum­bo que tras sus andanzas lo devuelve siempre a su casa. Yo no lo tengo ni cuento tampoco con ese invalorable sentido común a la mayoría de los humanos para orientarse en las calles y las rutas o en parajes nunca vistos tanto como en aquellos en donde apenas se estuvo una única vez. Yo me pierdo irremediablemente cuando me alejo de los circuitos habituales. Privado del don de la ubicación, incapaz de abstraer, de discernir y calcular donde tanta falta hace, los sitios que no frecuento son para mí inalcanzables y a ellos jamás llegaría si alguien no me condujese o no me dejara guiar por los que entienden. Sujeto fa­talmente a mi pobre percepción, no sé ir, no sé volver y soy incapaz de remontar mi invalidez. No puedo, no aprendo, no entiendo y nada me dice un plano acerca de mi ubicación. No tengo brújula interna ni don alguno de representación y en cuanto a los puntos cardinales jamás supe dónde están. Todo esto, claro, favorece mi pro­pensión a la inmovilidad. Para no exponerme a vivir perdido, trato de no alejarme de los escena­rios familiares. Poco me convoca fuera de mi ba­rrio y trato en lo posible de que mi vida social nunca lo exceda. Nada más ajeno a mí que el es­píritu de un expedicionario. Invierto las direccio­nes y suelo situar a la izquierda lo que estuvo desde siempre a la derecha, y cuando lejos de mi casa dejo el coche estacionado, lo busco al que­rer volver por el lado en que no está y pierdo así un tiempo enorme resolviendo lo que nunca de­bió convertirse en problema.

KOVADLOFF, Santiago. “Soliloquio del extraviado” en Una biografía de la lluvia. Emecé ensayo, Buenos Aires (2004).

About the source texts

The source texts for ProZ.com translation contests are typically selected by ProZ.com members with a goal of providing interesting and challenging material that enables top translators to show their talent.

To ensure a fair competition, efforts are made to avoid texts for which published translations exist. If you know of the existence of a published translation of any of these source texts into any language, please notify the site staff with a support request.

The views expressed in these texts should not be considered representative of the views of either ProZ.com staff members or the members of the ProZ.com community who have selected the texts.


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