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"Pan Tadeusz" - difficult English translations?


passsivus
6 Mar 2019  #1
The Polish epic poem 'Pan Tadeusz' has just come out in a new English translation. I understand this poem is very important in Poland and is recited in schools. Could members please confirm and comment.

When I was in Poland I was told by an academic that it is very difficult to translate poetry from Polish to English because Polish verse lines end with a soft feminine way whereas English endings are hard. I did not really understand this. Could members help.

Also I do realize that the invocation in the Pan Tadeusz poem is about Lithuania and not Poland and I realize the historical context of this. But how about the present day? Is there a special relationship today between Poland and Lithuania still....in any way...cultural, economic, political?
terri 1 | 1,621
6 Mar 2019  #2
I had a book, where on one side was the Polish version and on the other the English version from the early 1990's and still have it.
pawian 159 | 9,552
7 Mar 2019  #3
I understand this poem is very important in Poland and is recited in schools. Could members please confirm and comment.

Yes, I confirm, it is the greatest piece of poetry written in the Polish language.
Translation, to be successful, requires a master in both languages. Google for the English translation of Locomotive (Tuwim's Lokomotywa), simply amazing.

Is there a special relationship today between Poland and Lithuania still....in any way...cultural, economic, political?

Relations are mixed. Check this thread:
https://polishforums.com/news/lithuanian-diplomatic-war-last-47397/
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
7 Mar 2019  #4
I managed to slog through it while still a third year Polish student. With lots of annotations and a teacher's skilled hand to guide me, I finally vanquished "smok wilnowego"!

:-)
pawian 159 | 9,552
9 Mar 2019  #5
Well, I must admit I sloped fully through it as an adult when I read the whole piece to my kids (elder ones) during evening reading sessions.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
9 Mar 2019  #6
Being a Polish native speaker does help.
pawian 159 | 9,552
9 Mar 2019  #7
Yes, but an adult one. I suppose only a fully mature person can really grasp that incredible richness of Pan Tadeusz. It is an amazing work of poetic art. I have already read it to my elder kids, now the younger generation is going to hear it. I can`t wait. Hell, I am so selfish - I read to my kids what I like myself. :)
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
9 Mar 2019  #8
At the time, I was roughly thirty and had already completed Intermediate Polish. As with Shakespeare, possibly Ivanhoe is a better example, one can spend

a lifetime and still not mine its riches, as a native English speaker included!
pawian 159 | 9,552
9 Mar 2019  #9
I read Shakespeare at uni but didn`t appreciate it. Just like Pan Tadeusz, as a elementary school boy, when we did it as another position from the compulsory reading list. That appreciation comes with age. Is it maturity or a desire to come back to your young times? I still don`t know.
Lyzko 22 | 6,543
10 Mar 2019  #10
Probably somewhere in the middle, pawian:-)


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