Tuesday, 5 February 2013

How would you say that in Derja?


'It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression. Accordingly it is to literature that we must look, particularly in its more concrete forms, namely in poetry and drama, if we hope to discover the inward thoughts of a generation.'
Alfred North Whitehead


4 comments:

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

I think I'll take you up on that challenge. Here's how I would translate it, if my main concern were translation...

النظرة الملموسة نتاع العيباد في الأدب لي تصيب التعبير نتاعها. علابيها لازم نحوّسو في الأدب، سيرتو في أشكالها الملموسين كثر لي هوما الشعر والمسرح، إيلا بغينا نكشفو الأفكار نتاع واحد الجيل.

But if I wanted anyone to actually understand it, I'd go for something more like this:

العيباد يعبّرو على النظرة الملموسة نتاعهم في الأدب. علابيها اللي بغى يعرف واش راهم يخممو واحد الجيل كي يكونو وحدهم، لازم يحوّس في الأدب، سيرتو الشعر والمسرح علاجال هوما ملموسين كثر.

Really I ought to do something to eliminate ملموس too, but I can't think of any quick enough way to explain the concept of "concrete", especially since I'm not sure what he means by it here in the first place!

Nadia Ghanem said...

Hello Lameen! Thanks for popping by :) and trying out the translation into Derja. I've asked friends now that I am in Algeria, how they would translate, or rather how they speak of 'concrete'. We haven't come up with a solution yet! I will definitely let you know what the proposals were when I've rounded them up.

As you point out, Whitehead uses 'concrete' in a surprising way and that is what I really like about this line, and that is what's rather striking in his message I feel. Perhaps it is surprising to find fiction, or literature, qualified as concrete. I understand it to mean 'real', opposed to fictitious, to fabricated (as in not fairy tales).

This line sums up what I think about modern Algerian literature, by that I mean Algerian fiction which is to my mind the most honest historical record of what has been happening to people since independence. It is in Algerian modern literature that we will need to look to discover what really happened to and within DZ society, at a time when history books couldn't (for various reasons) tell and keep.

Which brings me to ask: how do you say fictitious in Derja :P

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

fictitious: محاجية برك :)

Emad Odel said...

Hello, I can think of this word: "lamas" becomes "mess" in Tunisian, so "malmūs" can be "memsus".
Though, for the word "naḍra", you can't find the root N-Ḍ-R in Tunisian (I don't know if it exists in Algerian), it's replaced by Ġ-Z-R or X-Z-R, so the meaning of the word "xezra" can be extended to have the same meaning as "naḍra".
The problem here is that the reader has never ever studied in Maghrebi, so it's hard for him to understand such words. So, after finding the right translation of English words, those new words have to be supported by governments in their education systems.