Translation

2007 September 16

Translating Moscow Nights

Topics

Moscow's Red Square at sunset

My friend Andrei, from Moscow School No. 45, got married in September 2007. Since his American wife's family was mostly from Massachusetts, the wedding was held in Salem. Large bride's party; smaller groom's party able to make the trip from Russia. I wanted to bring a little balance to the reception, so I toted along my 6-string and was allowed to serenade the couple with the old Russian standby Подмосковные вечера (Moscow Nights). Back in the mid-1980s, the opening bars were used by the Moscow radio station to introduce the evening news.

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2010 October 10

Translating Le Moribond

Topics

Portrait of Jacques Brel

NL-HaNA, ANEFO / neg. stroken, 1945-1989, 2.24.01.05, item number <914-8399>, license: CC-BY-SA

I’m not fluent in French, but when I heard the original Jacques Brel song on which the 1973 pop hit “Seasons in the Sun” was based, I could tell it was a very different song. I was surprised to discover that the lyrics translation had been done by famous poet Rod McKuen. How could he have gone so far astray in his translation?

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