bebida de mi frente

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by jasminasul, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. jasminasul Senior Member

    Hi, I am trying to find a short way to translate "bebida de mi frente". The poet speaks about sweat falling from men´s brows:

    El sabor de la tierra se enriquece y madura:
    caen los copos del llanto laborioso y oliente,
    maná de los varones y de la agricultura,
    bebida de mi frente.

    The flavour of the soil grows richer and riper:
    it rains flakes of painstaking, odorous tears,
    manna from the men and the seeded fields,
    draught from my brow.
  2. Oldy Nuts

    Oldy Nuts Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Spanish - Chile
    Jasmin, el poeta fue tan poético que me queda la duda de si no se está refiriendo al sudor como una bebida; es decir, algo "que se puede beber de mi frente"...
  3. jasminasul Senior Member

    Hola Oldy. Sí, eso es lo que estoy intentando expresar, pero no quiero poner la palabra "drink". Para él, el sudor es el símbolo del trabajo puro y enriquecedor de los hombres del campo. ¡Qué difícil es esto!
    draught 4. a portion of liquid to be drunk, esp a dose of medicine
  4. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    The soil rains flakes of tears? That doesn't work for me ...
  5. Oldy Nuts

    Oldy Nuts Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Spanish - Chile
  6. jasminasul Senior Member

    I´m glad to see you didn´t kill Sofía;) I can´t really go on about the rest of the fragment because they´ll delete me, but in this case it rains would be an impersonal clause. What I am trying to say is that it is raining sweat flakes, but if it is wrong I´ll think of something else.
    Thanks K.
    Sí, esa sería una solución.
  7. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Switching subjects like that is confusing. "Painstaking" doesn't work either -- it refers not to hard work but attention to detail. I would say "flakes (or something else, preferably) of laborious, odorous tears fall."
    Does "copos" sound as weird to you as "flakes" does to me? Could it not be anything else?
    That said, I think "draught from my brow" works fine.
  8. jasminasul Senior Member

    Everything in Miguel Hernández sounds weird to me. He has a simple but strange language, that´s why I like it. I would never say "copos" in reference to a liquid, and I wouldn´t say "llanto laborioso" either, but you are right, "laborious" is much better.
    Umm, I am thinking that I could use threads instead of flakes.
    Thank you both.
  9. pubman Senior Member

    I guess you've thought of "droplets" perhaps not poetic enough
  10. Antpax

    Antpax Ex-Moderador

    Spanish Spain

    Tal y como yo lo veo, aunque como se ha comentado Miguel Hernández es complicado, la idea que quiere transmitir es que el sudor de la frente cae por la cara y acaba en la tierra, como si fuese un maná que la enriquece.

    Así, el sudor se asemeja al llanto, porque cae como lágrimas, y lo llama copos, creo que porque el maná caido del cielo, era similar a la nieve.

    Ojo, que es mi interpretación, que no estoy seguro. Ahora lo de pasarlo al inglés lo dejo a los profesionales.


  11. jasminasul Senior Member

    No me considero profesional ni mucho menos. El problema con las traducciones que he leído es que no reflejan lo que quiere decir el autor, así que he intentado escribir mi versión que no es para ser publicada.
    Gracias a todos.
  12. Juan Carlos Garling

    Juan Carlos Garling Senior Member

    Spanish Chile/Argentina
    Literal translations do not always work.

    bebida de my frente = sweat from my brow.
  13. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Where's the poetry in that?
  14. ThreeWishes Junior Member

    NE England
    English UK
    Hi all,
    I agree with JC Garling - sweat from my brow is the best suggestion so far.
    If you are going to use 'draught', I prefer 'draught of my brow' - as in the poem 'draught of sunshine' by Keats.

    I also agree that 'flakes' doesn't work in this context - a flake is something, well, flakey - a thin bit of skin or stone or breakfast cereal, but not a liquid. I don't have a better suggestion than Pubman's droplets, though.

    que le rinde - (this is my new expression of the night: see another post elsewhere)
  15. Lurrezko

    Lurrezko Senior Member

    Junto al mar
    Spanish (Spain) / Catalan
    Yo ignoro si draught of/from my brow funciona en inglés, pero desde luego sudor de mi frente está lejos de lo que el poeta quiso decir. El sudor de la frente del hombre es la bebida de la tierra, de tal manera que el uso de bebida los implica a ambos. Los une, para ser más precisos.
  16. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    I agree: If he had meant "gotas" and "sudor," that's what he would have said.
  17. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    I quite like the first line. For the rest:
    the wailing falls in labourious, redolent flakes,
    manna from the males and the plough,
    the drink from my brow.
  18. Oldy Nuts

    Oldy Nuts Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Spanish - Chile
    Our best living poet, Nicanor Parra, spent nearly a decade in translating Shakespeare's King Lear. It took him so long because he didn't really translate it, but completely rewrote it in Spanish. For which he spent many years studying King Lear and most of Shakespeare's work, until he felt reasonably sure he understood the real meaning and scope of what the original author wrote. In my opinion, the result was a masterpiece in "translations".

    A small anecdote in case it means anything to those participating in this discussion.

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