Helllllooooooo ladies!

Happy international women’s day!  Not a huge deal in the states, but big in Russia and China.  A shoutout to all the wonderful women in my life, love you muchly and thanks for all the joy you bring me, hope you have a wonderful day.  Saturday I got to go hiking (for real this time), on a real path without stairs.  My roommate’s host family took us about 40km south of Xi’an (still in the city technically funnily enough, that’s what happens when you have a population of 8 million and no need to concentrate them I guess).  It was a great, shortish hike with a lot of climbing, although I stupidly managed to tweak my knee attempting a jump I didn’t need to.  I really need to stop pushing my limits in parkour, stick with what I know is safe.  Fortunately one of the family friends was a doc, diagnosed what was wrong and said I’d be fine after a day.  Which was mostly right, I shouldn’t have tried to climb a big staircase two days later, but now I know that am and resting it more :D.  Find pictures attached.

Classes are still going well, altogether it’s spoken Chinese, classical lit, modern lit, composition, “an overview of China” and two Russian courses that are going well, the Russian prof is a wonderful Muscovite and it feels great to be learning again.  I realize I’m neglecting my political and economic Chinese vocab, but I’m planning on reading more news in the future so that should help with that somewhat.  Going to Beijing on Tuesday for part two of the FACES conference, so I won’t post for a while, but will be sure to gush about it when I get back.

This is a bit of a small post, so here’s something extra I’ve been saving for just such an occasion.

I’ve come back to song translation, something I haven’t done regularly since my last time in China.  In general, translators work into their first language (this generally produces the best results).  However, I find a lot of fun in translating my favorite English songs into Chinese, it lets me get to know the lyrics better and stretch the limits of my Mandarin.  Also, there unfortunately just aren’t that many Chinese songs that move me the same way English ones do.  In that vein, I’d like to share a translation I did of The Animals’ 1964 recording of House of the Rising Sun, back translation and original text are there as well.  I translated this according to one of the interpretations of the lyrics I came up with that worked best in Chinese.  Namely that the singer agreed to serve as collateral on one of their father’s bets.  The bet was lost, and now the singer has been sold into servitude, hence their return to New Orleans to “wear that ball and chain”.  Don’t do like I have done, then tells listeners not to enable their fathers’ gambling habits.  I had a really fun time with this one.  It’s singable, it rhymes, and it was approved by a native speaker.

在新奥尔良有一栋楼
被叫日出之楼
灯红酒绿,紫醉金迷
导致人的堕落

我母亲是个裁缝
给我做条牛仔裤
我爸在新奥尔良
在赌场里居住

赌徒的所需要的
只是箱子一两个
只有两杯下肚之后
才踌躇满志

哦阿姨,告诉孩子
别学我这么做
一辈子泡在罪戾里
在日出之楼度过

一只脚站在站台上
另一只在火车里
我回新奥尔良去
为我爸抵债

在新奥尔良有一栋楼
被叫日出之楼
灯红酒绿,紫醉金迷
导致人的堕落

Back Translation

There is a building in New Orleans
Called the House of the Rising Sun
Scenes of debauchery and an enchanting environment (idiomatic, literally red lanterns, green wine, purple intoxication and gold enchantments)
Result in folks’ downfall

My mother was a tailor
She made me a pair of jeans
In New Orleans my father
lived in a casino

All a gambler needs
Are suitcases, one or two
Only after two glasses have reached his stomach
Is he finally satisfied

Oh auntie, tell the children
Don’t learn from me how to act
To soak one’s whole life in sin
In the House of the Rising Sun

One foot’s standing on the platform
And the other’s in the train
I’m going back to New Orleans
To pay back my father’s debt

There is a building in New Orleans
Called the House of the Rising Sun
Scenes of debauchery and an enchanting environment
Result in folks’ downfall

 

Original:

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I’m one

My mother was a tailor
Sewed my new blue jeans
My father was a gamblin’ man
Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he’s satisfied
Is when he’s on a drunk

Oh mother, tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun

Well, I got one foot on the platform
The other foot on the train
I’m goin’ back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain

Well, there is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I’m one

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