Jabberwocky

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Curtis Eubanks

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Apr 12, 1993, 6:59:20 PM4/12/93
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Does anyone have a Japanese translation of Lewis Carroll's
Jabberwocky?

-Curtis
--
----
"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a
thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that,"
said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

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David Luke

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Apr 13, 1993, 3:28:14 PM4/13/93
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>Does anyone have a Japanese translation of Lewis Carroll's
>Jabberwocky?

Is this a serious request??? If so, I'd like to see the translation!
(But I'm glad I'm not the one that has to try it...)

I have a hard time imagining any Western poetry with rhyme and meter
being translated into any kind of Japanese without losing a lot. Even
poetry that uses real words.

BURIRIGGU de, SURAIJI na TOOBU wa UEEBU no naka de JAIRU, GIMUBORU shite...
--
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| David Luke Shizukasa ya, iwa ni shimiiru semi no koe |
| lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu |
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Tad Perry

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Apr 13, 1993, 5:20:48 PM4/13/93
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In article <^a$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
>In article <CREUBANK.93...@crls15.is.crl.sony.co.jp> creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) writes:
>
>>Does anyone have a Japanese translation of Lewis Carroll's
>>Jabberwocky?
>
>Is this a serious request??? If so, I'd like to see the translation!
>(But I'm glad I'm not the one that has to try it...)
>
>I have a hard time imagining any Western poetry with rhyme and meter
>being translated into any kind of Japanese without losing a lot. Even
>poetry that uses real words.
>
>BURIRIGGU de, SURAIJI na TOOBU wa UEEBU no naka de JAIRU, GIMUBORU shite...

I propose we go ahead and conjugate these verbs (luckily they can
be--maybe Lewis Caroll was farsighted in his choice of words) to give:

BURIRIGGU de, SURAIJI na TOOBU wa UEEBU no naka de JAITTARI, GINBOTTARI shita.

I think jaittari, ginbottari shita captures a very similar image in my
mind as "did gyre and gimble". Also note my disagreement over the
proper[?] transliteration of "gimble". Particularly before a "b",
Japanese like to go for the nasal 'n' more than 'mu'. Minor point
though.

'Course my wife says this does nothing for her and she can't possibly
imagine anything of what those silly toves are up to... Let alone any
impression that they are living creatures. So the poem is probably at
least partially relying on semantic morphemes giving clues to meaning.

As shown by assonance-rime combinations in English, the initial
consonant or consonant cluster (the "assonance") plus vowel nucleus
and final consonant cluster (together the "rime") give clues to
meaning. I.e. single syllable words starting with 'l' (link, latch,
lock) seem to indicate that the 'l-' assonance carries the meaning
"connected". Meanwhile, the '-oop' rime (hoop, droop, swoop) seems to
carry a meaning of a "curve". Put them together and you get 'loop': a
connected curve. Another example: 'sn-' (something quick as in: snap,
snag, snip) plus '-atch' (something held as in: catch and latch)
equals 'snatch'--"to hold quickly" therefore "to grab".

So the meanings we as English speakers impart to "slithey", "toves",
"wabe", "gyre" and "gimble" are certainly at least partially due to
assonance-rime, and completely lost on Japanese speakers even if we
translate as given above. For "toobu" my wife was interpreting it as
the top of the head. Way off if you ask me. You'd do better to find
out which assonances were being combined with which rimes and then see
if you could find equivalent assonances and rimes in Japanese and make
up your new Japanese words accordingly.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tad Perry Internet: t...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu
CompuServe: 70402,3020
NIFTY-Serve: GBG01266

David Luke

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Apr 13, 1993, 7:28:08 PM4/13/93
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In article <1993Apr13....@gibdo.engr.washington.edu> t...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu (Tad Perry) writes:
>In article <^a$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
>>In article <CREUBANK.93...@crls15.is.crl.sony.co.jp> creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) writes:

>>>Does anyone have a Japanese translation of Lewis Carroll's
>>>Jabberwocky?

>>Is this a serious request??? If so, I'd like to see the translation!
>>(But I'm glad I'm not the one that has to try it...)

>>I have a hard time imagining any Western poetry with rhyme and meter
>>being translated into any kind of Japanese without losing a lot. Even
>>poetry that uses real words.

>>BURIRIGGU de, SURAIJI na TOOBU wa UEEBU no naka de JAIRU, GIMUBORU shite...

>I propose we go ahead and conjugate these verbs (luckily they can
>be--maybe Lewis Caroll was farsighted in his choice of words) to give:

>BURIRIGGU de, SURAIJI na TOOBU wa UEEBU no naka de JAITTARI, GINBOTTARI shita.

I like this better, though it still does nothing for me either.

Are there similar examples in Japanese of nonsense-words made up to conform
to the "normal" flavor of the language, so that they are obviously
nonsense but yet sound right?

Although with so few possible sounds in the language, nearly any random
combination you put together is likely to actually mean something.

Maybe something with made-up giseigo. I have a friend that's really good
at this. Giseigo, that is. I don't know if all the ones he uses are
standard or not, but when he gets going, I think he could tell a whole
story and never use any real nouns or verbs, just sounds.

Tad Perry

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Apr 13, 1993, 8:10:20 PM4/13/93
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In article <}a$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:

[possible translations of jabberwocky and discussion deleted]

>Maybe something with made-up giseigo. I have a friend that's really good
>at this. Giseigo, that is. I don't know if all the ones he uses are
>standard or not, but when he gets going, I think he could tell a whole
>story and never use any real nouns or verbs, just sounds.

Then he is definitely the guy we should employ to do it. We need to
get a consensus opinion about what we feel for "slithey toves", "wabe"
and "gyre and gimble" and have him render it properly.

For me: "slithey toves" is some kind of slimey squishy creature (brown
with some green maybe).

"wabe" strikes me as similar to a bog. No idea how it would
differ from one.

"gyre and gimble" is definitely something between playing and
dancing happily.

The more that other people agree with me, the more likely that
Jabberwocky's nonsense words are actually made up of smaller pieces
with inherent meaning and are therefore not nonsense words at all.

If anyone wonders why I'm bothering, the prospect of translating the
*feeling* of Jabberwocky (at least this one line) into Japanese
successfully is quite intriguing. I have a feeling that it could
be done even though I originally thought the idea was ridiculous.

Yamanari

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Apr 13, 1993, 10:20:58 PM4/13/93
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In article <1993Apr13.2...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu> t...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu (Tad Perry) writes:
>In article <}a$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
>
> [possible translations of jabberwocky and discussion deleted]
>
>>Maybe something with made-up giseigo. I have a friend that's really good
>>at this. Giseigo, that is. I don't know if all the ones he uses are
>>standard or not, but when he gets going, I think he could tell a whole
>>story and never use any real nouns or verbs, just sounds.
>
>Then he is definitely the guy we should employ to do it. We need to
>get a consensus opinion about what we feel for "slithey toves", "wabe"
>and "gyre and gimble" and have him render it properly.
>
>For me: "slithey toves" is some kind of slimey squishy creature (brown
> with some green maybe).


Green plants that grow over the ground like ivy, but
very prolific, and not flat leaved, but with plant-bodies
that look like giant (i.e. zoom *20) "fingers" of the sort
you'd see on a tacky "welcome" or bath mat. Thousands,
covering the forest floor.


> "wabe" strikes me as similar to a bog. No idea how it would
> differ from one.


Lush forest area, ground all covered with green (slithey
toves--see above), and lots of aged trees.

Thick mist.


> "gyre and gimble" is definitely something between playing and
> dancing happily.


Wave back and forth, rythmically and smoothly.


>The more that other people agree with me, the more likely that
>Jabberwocky's nonsense words are actually made up of smaller pieces
>with inherent meaning and are therefore not nonsense words at all.


The beauty of the Jabberwocky is that the sounds are definitely
suggestive, but just what they suggest, I suspect, is entirely
dependant on the person. For instance, I pictured a vibrant
(but bizarre) forest scene, you pictured a bog filled with
slimies. Each is appropriate--and I can even see your Jabberwocky,
but what comes to mind when I read it is mine. IMHO, "glade"
(not the air freshener) is much closer to "wabe"..

I really would _like_ to see some evidence that these words
are made up of distorted primitives of some sort. In fact,
I think any native english speaker who reads it gets a
driving urge to say, "Wabe -- um.. That's really just
'glade' or maybe something more active, it goes with
gyre and gimble (a cyclical activity) so maybe the wabe
has a floor of these slithey toves that go back and forth
back and forth like a giant (green) wave, but normal
plants don't do that, so they must be something else, all
going at once, like..." or whatever their own mind
produces--all sounding as though it makes perfect sense
to them, but when looked at by others, total, illogical
gibberish. (As I'm sure others can conclude reading part
of my own "logic")

Too bad we can't ask Carroll how he came up with the words,
but then, he probably didn't know himself (and would have
been quite suspicious as to why you would ask and who are you,
anyway).

I had a friend who used to insist -- quite adamantly, in fact --
that the whole thing was a jungle fantasy, that the wabe was
a thick, vine covered jungle (rain forest now, I suppose, but
that carries no imagery) with huge trees. The slithey toves
were tree frogs, and the gyring and gimbling was the sound
of the frogs making their warning calls (and foreshadowing
later events) due to the intrusion into their haven.

He used to say that he could almost hear a low, thudding
drum beat while he read it.

>If anyone wonders why I'm bothering, the prospect of translating the
>*feeling* of Jabberwocky (at least this one line) into Japanese
>successfully is quite intriguing. I have a feeling that it could
>be done even though I originally thought the idea was ridiculous.


I think it would be fascinating. You could probably get
a number of entirely different translations (IMHO, relying on
just rendering the english into Japanese -- i.e., "GINBURU"
and such -- is cheating!). And it sure seems to me that
the process that goes on when one reads the Jabberwocky
is at a deeper level, at some level that tries to uncover
meaning through context or association, than giseigo.

--
"OLE 2.0 is the key technology to Windows application integration and with
Win32 is the key requirement for starting towards a future version of
Windows NT, known as "Cairo". -- From: Tim McCaffrey <tim...@microsoft.com>
c.os.m-w.p.win32 Message-ID: <af+...@microsoft.com>

Sheeran Frank

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Apr 13, 1993, 11:06:10 PM4/13/93
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Please read D. Hoffsteader's excellent discussion of translation of
Jabberwocky to French and German, contained in his Meisterwerk

Godel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid

Based on his discussion, I have the feeling that a ok translation
could be done. The basic point is, tatoeba, "slithy" doesn't have a
meaning, but it *reminds* us, maybe subconsiously, of many other
words, maybe slippery, slimy, etc. To translate it, decide on which
words it *does* "remind" you of, and find the words with like meanings in
the target language. The related words in the target language often will
have similar shapes to each other from similar pror-language roots, so
you will often be able to get the same multi-referal resonant effect.

A quick example off the top of my head. Picture an house made of
barch. Barch has some feeling to you, doesn't it? Think about it for 5
seconds. Sounds awfully woody, deshou? It sounds much like bark,
birch, and beech, which all share a common root (root, haha) in
proto-Anglo Saxon. You could find several Japanese words that refer
to woody things that furthermore sound much like each other (because
they share ancient roots) and make a new word that harmonises with
them; you have just "translated" barch :)

Frank Sheeran, who couldn't speak for his Illustrious Employer if he tried.

Iain Sinclair

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Apr 13, 1993, 10:31:10 PM4/13/93
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creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) writes:
>>Does anyone have a Japanese translation of Lewis Carroll's
>>Jabberwocky?

lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
>Is this a serious request??? If so, I'd like to see the translation!

S&H lists a few kanji whose meanings have been translated as Lewis
Carroll `nonsense' words: "frumious", "frabjous", "mimsy". Unfortunately,
I haven't been able to find out exactly why those kanji have been so
translated. Maybe they were used in Chinese poetry or something.

I'll post S&H numbers and/or JIS when I'm able.

--
Iain Sinclair axo...@socs.uts.edu.au

John Crossley

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Apr 14, 1993, 12:27:28 AM4/14/93
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>>>>> Regarding Jabberwocky; rsro...@wam.umd.edu (Yamanari) adds:

> Too bad we can't ask Carroll how he came up with the words, but
> then, he probably didn't know himself (and would have been quite
> suspicious as to why you would ask and who are you, anyway).

Carroll *did* supply an interpretation and explanation of the words, but
separately. If you can find an annotated edition of "Wonderland" and
"Looking-Glass" (I have one done by Martin Gardner, which I highly
recommend), it should have Carroll's explanation, as well as German and
French translations of the poem. I only barely remember my high school
German, but that translation was quite good and preserved the feel of the
original, IMHO.

The problem with knowing Carroll's explanation is that your imagination is
left less free to enjoy personal interpretations of the poem. But I'm sure
Carroll wouldn't claim that his interpretation was the only valid one,
despite his having written it; the poem was "nonsense" after all, and
therefore open to interpretation by anybody.

>If anyone wonders why I'm bothering, the prospect of translating the
>*feeling* of Jabberwocky (at least this one line) into Japanese
>successfully is quite intriguing. I have a feeling that it could be done
>even though I originally thought the idea was ridiculous.

If people are interested, I could summarize Carroll's explanation of the
poem, and maybe even include the French and German translations, which may
help in doing a Japanese translation. A great pleasure/challenge in doing
a Japanese version might be avoiding the overuse of kata-kana, and instead
selecting "nonsense" kanji-compounds that have both a good-sounding
yomikata (furigana would be needed, obviously) and interesting meaning
(overly ambitious, I know, but still interesting).

--John
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
cros...@trc.mew.mei.co.jp |
John Crossley | "It'll come whiffling through the
Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd. | tulgey woods after your ass."
Tokyo Research Center | --Roger Zelazny
Data Communications Management |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Curtis Eubanks

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Apr 13, 1993, 7:56:54 PM4/13/93
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In article <AKIY.93Ap...@siva.cs.titech.ac.jp> ak...@siva.cs.titech.ac.jp (Jun Akiyama) writes:

|In article <CREUBANK.93...@crls15.is.crl.sony.co.jp> creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) asked:


|> Does anyone have a Japanese translation of Lewis Carroll's
|> Jabberwocky?
|

|Wouldn't the ability to translate "Jabberwocky" negate the inherent
|purpose for which Mr. Carroll wrote it? Although Humpty Dumpty's
|explication of the poem does illustrate onw "way" of explaining the
|poem, I think the main idea was to contrast the meaninglessness of
|words to that of the ablity to place meaning to those meaningless
|words. Or something like that...

I know I've seen "Jabberwocky" translated into several other foreign
languages before (but now I can't remember where...perhaps a freshman
Linguistics book?) It might not be easy, but I don't think it would
be impossible.

|But then again, the onomatopoeic nature of Japanese might make it
|easier to get the proper feeling of words like "slithy,"
|"snicker-snack," and "galumphing back." (which is what I'll be doing
|home as soon as I finish this...)

:-) Probably true. The difficult part is to create a nonsense word
that sort of almost means something... I left my copy of "Through the
Looking Glass" at home today or I'd post it.

|(Of course, there might be a Japanese translation of "Jabberwocky," as
|_Alice in Wonderland_ and _Through the Looking Glass_ are bound to be
|translated into Japanese. If so, my foot shall enter my mouth.)

I'll check next time I'm at Maruzen. I'm sure it exists.

-Curtis
|--
| ak...@cs.titech.ac.jp|"For words, like nature, half reveal
| UCLA undergrad (abroad)| And half conceal the Soul within."
| Tokyo Inst. of Technology| --Alfred, Lord Tennyson
| Nat'l Lang. Processing|

Message has been deleted

Alexander Halavais

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Apr 14, 1993, 10:51:00 PM4/14/93
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I have a copy of a book called "ruisu kyaroru shishuu" which includes a
translation and description of Jaberwocky (as well as Snark and a number
of more difficult to find poems). I picked up the book at Kitazawa in
Kanda (Tel. 263-0011). The problem is my Japanese is bad to start with and
has gotten worse due to non-use.

Here is a TRANSCRIPTION of the first verse. I would love to break it up
more for you, but I'm afraid I understand very little of it...

sohayuutorodoki nurayakanaru to-butachi
manmanitegurutenshitsutsu girinensu
genimo yowarenaru boro-mu no mure
unakusameku ha uwonaretaru ra-su ka

BTW, I am headed back to Japan and am in the processs of trying to reduce
the number of books I will have to store/bring, so if anyone is interested
in buying this book from me, please email me.

Alexander Halavais
ahal...@igc.org

Sheeran Frank

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Apr 15, 1993, 7:50:47 AM4/15/93
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From article <AKIY.93Ap...@siva.cs.titech.ac.jp>
by ak...@siva.cs.titech.ac.jp (Jun Akiyama)

> > Wouldn't the ability to translate "Jabberwocky" negate the inherent
> > purpose for which Mr. Carroll wrote it?
>

> [a bunch of ravening babel deleted]

WELL, *MY* babel wasn't ravening! ( I explained how to translate
the word "bartch" quite marvelously. )

And, I forgot what a nice poem that is. Poems I've *really* liked are
very very few. ( "Pale Fire" by Nabakov is also truly fine fine fine.)
You can't just quickly scan over Jabberwocky; the rough terrain of
the synthetic words holds you down to a crawl, and the rythm almost
sucks you forward...

It seems many of us picture the setting as being very damp, dark, green,
and mossy-like... I wonder why?

A couple odd questions, though: Why is a Japanese, Jun Akiyama,
studying at UCLA, but then studying *abroad* back in Japan ?!?!?
Your English seems perfect, but if you were born in America, I would
have though you would have recieved an American personal name
(like Christine Yamaguchi, gold-medalist and all of the kids of foreign
grad students I know, all 2 of them:).

And, if you are as truly bi-lingual as any of the above would indicate,
please, give us kawaisou na 1.27-lingualists your analysis of the
translation. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Curtis Eubanks

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Apr 14, 1993, 7:47:47 PM4/14/93
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Well, I might as well post the first couple of verses in English and
include the explanation that is in my version of "Through the Looking
Glass." In the back of my edition, some of the words and lines are
translated into Japanese, so I'll use those when available.

JABBERWOCKY

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy here the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

1. brillig (as Humpty Dumpty explains it): brillig means four o'clock
in the afternoon---the time when you begin *broiling* things.
The period from 3pm-5pm is called SHEN1SHI2 申時 in the old
Chinese calender.
I looked up the word "SARU" (申) in the KOUJITEN and the 3rd
meaning reads:
3. A time period in the old calendar, corresponding to around
four o'clock in the current scheme. Also, the period from
around 3 pm to 5 pm. See TOKI.

"Broil" in Japanese is ABURU, but I don't know if this would be
culturally appropriate. Let's use it anyway.

brillig << broiling (time, around 4) <==> SARU+ABURU = SABURU

Hmm, SABURU sounds like verb, so we add a TOKI (time).

brillig: SABURUTOKI, or SARUDOKI

The rest of these were taken from the back of my book.

2. slithy toves: slithy is a combination of lithe & slimy.
SHINARAKA NA TO-BU (しならかなトーブ).

3. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
SANPUKU NI SENKAI SENKOU SHITA 山腹に旋回穿孔した
Whirling around, boring holes in a hillside????
Maybe the translator was just trying to keep the alliteration here.

4. mimsy: flimsy + miserable. The translation: AIJYAKU 哀弱
AI = kanji for miserable/pity AWAremu
JYAKU = weak (YOWAi)
I couldn't find this word in any dictionary, so I suppose it's a
made-up one (かばん語).

5. borogrove: a kind of parrot. BORODORI ぼろ鳥

6. The momes rath outgrabe: USUNORO KAME GA KI-KI- NAITA
うすのろカメがキーキー鳴いた.
USUNORO means dimwit or blockhead. I don't know if there's really
such a thing as an USUNORO KAME (dimwit turtle?) but I guess this
means "The dodo turtle cried "kee kee."

So the first verse, would go something like:

JABA-UoKKI-

SARUDOKI NI SHINARAKANA TO-BU GA
SANPUKU NI SENKAI SENKOU SHITA
KOKO DE NO BORODORITACHI HA AIJYAKU DE ARI
USUNORO KAME GA KI-KI- TO NAITA

ジャバーウォッキー

申時にしならかなトーブが
山腹に旋回穿孔した。
ここでのぼろ鳥たちは哀弱であり
うすのろカメがキーキーと鳴いた。

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!"
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch.

WAGA MUSUKO YO, JABA-UoKKU NI KI WO TSUKERO,
KAMITSUKU KUCHI, OSOIKAKARU TSUME!
JABUJABUTORI NI KI WO TSUKERO,
OKOTTA BANDA-SUNATCHI WO SAKEYO.

我が息子よ、ジャバーウォックに気をつけろ、
噛みつく口、襲いかかるつめ!
ジャブジャブ鳥に気をつけろ、
怒ったバンダースナッチを避けよ。

The next two verses, anyone game?

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought---
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through!
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy here the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lars Huttar

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Apr 15, 1993, 1:19:10 PM4/15/93
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> 1. brillig (as Humpty Dumpty explains it): brillig means four o'clock
> in the afternoon---the time when you begin *broiling* things.
> The period from 3pm-5pm is called SHEN1SHI2 申時 in the old
> Chinese calender.
> I looked up the word "SARU" (申) in the KOUJITEN and the 3rd
> meaning reads:
> 3. A time period in the old calendar, corresponding to around
> four o'clock in the current scheme. Also, the period from
> around 3 pm to 5 pm. See TOKI.
>
> "Broil" in Japanese is ABURU, but I don't know if this would be
> culturally appropriate. Let's use it anyway.
>
> brillig << broiling (time, around 4) <==> SARU+ABURU = SABURU
>
> Hmm, SABURU sounds like verb, so we add a TOKI (time).
>
> brillig: SABURUTOKI, or SARUDOKI

Nice work. :)

Does any Japanese speaker find that rendering evocative?

> 3. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
> SANPUKU NI SENKAI SENKOU SHITA 山腹に旋回穿孔した
> Whirling around, boring holes in a hillside????
> Maybe the translator was just trying to keep the alliteration here.

No, this is pretty literal...
gyre => gyrate => whirl around
gimble => gimlet => bore holes (although I like to think of "gambole" too)
wabe ... I dunno where the hillside comes from; I thought this
was supposed to be an area of lawn around a sundial.

At least that's what I dimly remember from somebody's explanation of
the English version... maybe it was Carroll's own explanation.

"mimsy" makes me think of whimsy, more than miserable.
flimsy, whimsy => airheaded hilarity

"mome rathes outgrabe"
I've heard "mome" is supposed to be a contraction of "[far] from home",
but it sounds to me like a very solemn moan/gnome/tome/mum (silent) kind of
thing.
wrath, outrage, grab
I picture a troll-like creature, sitting in fetal position and harboring
a violent but hopeless resentment.

> "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!"
> The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
> Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
> The frumious Bandersnatch.
>
> WAGA MUSUKO YO, JABA-UoKKU NI KI WO TSUKERO,
> KAMITSUKU KUCHI, OSOIKAKARU TSUME!
> JABUJABUTORI NI KI WO TSUKERO,
> OKOTTA BANDA-SUNATCHI WO SAKEYO.
>
> 我が息子よ、ジャバーウォックに気をつけろ、
> 噛みつく口、襲いかかるつめ!
> ジャブジャブ鳥に気をつけろ、
> 怒ったバンダースナッチを避けよ。

Can we find some way to communicate Toves, Jabberwock, Jubjub,
Bandersnatch, Tumtum etc. other than phonetically?

I would try Jabberwock, but I haven't the faintest idea how to get the
nuances of "gibber", "jab", and "whack" into Japanese. I picture a
large beast that makes loud noises that sound like almost-intelligible
human voices. (Mixed with whiffling and burbling.)

As you were saying about "brillig", the communicative value of some
of these words depends on cultural background as well as on language.
For instance, "Jubjub bird" reminds me of fairy tales like the rocs
in Sinbad the Sailor: a ferocious, solitary bird that lives on
an island somewhere, from which few have returned to tell the tale.


What I would like to see is some *native* Japanese nonsense poems,
with accompanying analysis/explanation. That would probably give
insight into the best way to translate "Jabberwocky".

Lars Huttar The round world keep high triumph
hut...@hp750.itg.ti.com And all that is therein.

Sheeran Frank

unread,
Apr 16, 1993, 6:16:19 AM4/16/93
to

> > brillig << broiling (time, around 4) <==> SARU+ABURU = SABURU
> >
>
> Nice work. :)
>

Agreed, Quite awesome.



> What I would like to see is some *native* Japanese nonsense poems,
> with accompanying analysis/explanation.

I rolled this one myself:

The monk Goan travelled with two accolytes to Kawajima temple.
Stopping for a rest, the monk order the accolytes to make him a
hammock of their robes. They obeyed. Goan burned the hammock,
and asked the accolytes where Nirvana was. Shuuhi applauded.
Koshin screamed. They proceeded naked to Kawajima.

Analysis: Find the clouds! Wake the clouds! The Master Goshimi
so ordered. Why do Shuuhi and Koshin walk in the clouds? This is
the key.

Tried any good Zen Koans lately? They all have accompanying
analysis/explanation, but not usually much help :)

Douglas Hoffstaeder (in his immortal tome, Godel, Escher, Bach: the
Eternal Golden Braid) tied a discussion of Zen and Zen Koans in
along with the subject of, oddly enough, the translation of
Jabberwocky into foriegn languages.

This book, which every last person should read, is, in a word, "self-
referentialism." It covers the topics of Godel's theorem, art of Escher's
later period (the famous period), the construction of Bach's fugues and
canons, artificial inteligence, self-modifying code, paradoxes, Natural
Language, DNA and How It Works, etc. The work is constructed of
12 Dialogues and 12 Chapters, echoing the arrangement of Bach's
"The Well Tempered Clavier."

The Dialogues generally present the same topic as the following
chapter, in an inplicit manner. The characters of the Dialogues
include a Tortise and Achilles, who start off the book with Zeno's
paradox. Zeno himself times there race.

David Luke

unread,
Apr 16, 1993, 5:44:03 PM4/16/93
to
>In article <}a$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:

>We need to
>get a consensus opinion about what we feel for "slithey toves", "wabe"
>and "gyre and gimble" and have him render it properly.

>For me: "slithey toves" is some kind of slimey squishy creature (brown
> with some green maybe).

> "wabe" strikes me as similar to a bog. No idea how it would
> differ from one.

> "gyre and gimble" is definitely something between playing and
> dancing happily.

I always got the impression of some kind of forest-like place, with tall,
fern-like plants (maybe kind of like seaweed, but growing on land)
undulating and waving around.

>The more that other people agree with me, the more likely that
>Jabberwocky's nonsense words are actually made up of smaller pieces
>with inherent meaning and are therefore not nonsense words at all.

I think each person that reads it probably gets a slightly different
impression, but in general I think there will be a lot of agreement.

Lem Fugitt

unread,
Apr 16, 1993, 4:17:16 PM4/16/93
to
In article 93Apr1...@hp750.itg.ti.com, hut...@hp750.itg.ti.com (Lars Huttar) writes:
<=>In article <CREUBANK.93...@crls15.is.crl.sony.co.jp> <=>creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) writes:
<=>I would try Jabberwock, but I haven't the faintest idea how to get the
<=>nuances of "gibber", "jab", and "whack" into Japanese. I picture a
<=>large beast that makes loud noises that sound like almost-intelligible
<=>human voices. (Mixed with whiffling and burbling.)

Somehow your description of the 'large beast' reminds me of some
of the stories that some Japanese parents told their children
about the invading troops in 1945....

---
=======================================================
| lem.f...@Corp.Sun.COM Nihon Operations Support |
| (415) 688-9570 (Voice) (415) 688-9025 (Fax) |
| "The map is not the territory" |


Tad Perry

unread,
Apr 16, 1993, 9:17:48 PM4/16/93
to
In article <?b$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
>In article <1993Apr13.2...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu> t...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu (Tad Perry) writes:
>>In article <}a$@byu.edu> lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
>
>>We need to
>>get a consensus opinion about what we feel for "slithey toves", "wabe"
>>and "gyre and gimble" and have him render it properly.
>
>>For me: "slithey toves" is some kind of slimey squishy creature (brown
>> with some green maybe).
>
>> "wabe" strikes me as similar to a bog. No idea how it would
>> differ from one.
>
>> "gyre and gimble" is definitely something between playing and
>> dancing happily.
>
>I always got the impression of some kind of forest-like place, with tall,
>fern-like plants (maybe kind of like seaweed, but growing on land)
>undulating and waving around.
>
>>The more that other people agree with me, the more likely that
>>Jabberwocky's nonsense words are actually made up of smaller pieces
>>with inherent meaning and are therefore not nonsense words at all.
>
>I think each person that reads it probably gets a slightly different
>impression, but in general I think there will be a lot of agreement.

In fact, the number of people saying they imagine a forest/jungle type
place is rather astonishing to me. (I'm basically alone in imagining a
wabe as a bog.) The more I consider the topic the more convinced I
become that even monosyllabic words like: "wabe" and "bog" are made up
of even smaller parts that give clues to their meaning. Also, that
examples of this are most notable in words of Anglo-Saxon or early
origin (rather than say French). When I look at words like "slithey",
"tove" and "wabe" there is a distinct Anglo-Saxon feel to them which
make me think they are made up of these parts.

Message has been deleted

Curtis Eubanks

unread,
Apr 18, 1993, 7:06:05 PM4/18/93
to
In article <1993Apr16....@omrongw.wg.omron.co.jp> she...@ndg.co.jp (Sheeran Frank) writes:
>Douglas Hoffstaeder (in his immortal tome, Godel, Escher, Bach: the
>Eternal Golden Braid) tied a discussion of Zen and Zen Koans in
>along with the subject of, oddly enough, the translation of
>Jabberwocky into foriegn languages.

Yes! This is where I saw the poem translated into French and German.
Now all I have to do is to find the Japanese version. I'm sure
someone in the office has it.

Now that Akiyama-san has posted the whole thing I guess it's not
necessary, but maybe they have a different translation.

>This book, which every last person should read, is, in a word, "self-
>referentialism." It covers the topics of Godel's theorem, art of Escher's
>later period (the famous period), the construction of Bach's fugues and
>canons, artificial inteligence, self-modifying code, paradoxes, Natural
>Language, DNA and How It Works, etc. The work is constructed of
>12 Dialogues and 12 Chapters, echoing the arrangement of Bach's
>"The Well Tempered Clavier."

Agreed! And his Metamagical Themas is also excellent reading, (but
we're starting to stray from sci.lang.japan...) I wonder how the
Japanese translations of these books are. There are a lot of
English-specific portions of the book where he plays with anagrams,
typography, etc. In one diagram, he spells a huge word "MU" with the
"M" made up of a snaking "HOLISM" and the "U" of a snaking
"REDUCTIONISM". But then, each letter of HOLISM is made up of smaller
"reductionism" words and vice versa. Finally, each of those letters
is made up of tiny "MU"s. I wonder if they redid these diagrams in
Japanese using "ZENTAI" or "KANGEN"(?) (How do you say "reductionism" in
Japanese?)

Curtis Eubanks

unread,
Apr 18, 1993, 7:19:26 PM4/18/93
to

>In fact, the number of people saying they imagine a forest/jungle type
>place is rather astonishing to me. (I'm basically alone in imagining a
>wabe as a bog.) The more I consider the topic the more convinced I
>become that even monosyllabic words like: "wabe" and "bog" are made up
>of even smaller parts that give clues to their meaning. Also, that
>examples of this are most notable in words of Anglo-Saxon or early
>origin (rather than say French). When I look at words like "slithey",
>"tove" and "wabe" there is a distinct Anglo-Saxon feel to them which
>make me think they are made up of these parts.

However, "vorpal" sounds pretty French. In the French translation,
the word is left unchanged.

Curtis Eubanks

unread,
Apr 18, 1993, 7:17:15 PM4/18/93
to

>...
>includes many Carroll poems, as well as translations for them). As a
>sample of the book, I will now attempt to give to you, "Jabberwocky"
>in its Japanese translation. (Note: Each line is first printed in the
>...

Thanks for taking the time! The Japanese is quite above my level,
but I'll take a longer look at it tonight. (I couldn't find some of
the words even in my Kojiten :-( ) But your partial explanation did
help quite a bit.

I know I'm stating the obvious, but translating poems, much less
nonsensical ones, seems to take quite a bit of literary talent.

I was watching "The Simpsons" the other day which a friend with
satellite TV copied for me. My copy is only in English, but I'm
interested in how it sounds in Japanese. Does anybody watch the
Japanese version? How well does it flow? For the Halloween special,
they did a hilarious mini-cartoon to Poe's "The Raven." I wonder how
that came out in Japanese.

>--
> ak...@cs.titech.ac.jp|"For words, like nature, half reveal
> UCLA undergrad (abroad)| And half conceal the Soul within."
> Tokyo Inst. of Technology| --Alfred, Lord Tennyson
> Nat'l Lang. Processing|

-Curtis

Alexander Halavais

unread,
Apr 17, 1993, 12:55:00 PM4/17/93
to

I too thought of the setting as distinctly bog-like, however there is the
possiblility that the forest is not implied linguistically, but leaked
over from the line drawing that accompanies the text in most editions.

On "gyre and gimble" -- I have always thought that these terms were based
in gyrate (senkai suru) and gimbal (jouheika), both nautical terms, both
giving the impression of pitching and rolling

Alex Halavais
ahal...@igc.org

Dan Harkless

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Apr 19, 1993, 9:23:26 PM4/19/93
to
In article <HUTTAR.93A...@hp750.itg.ti.com> hut...@hp750.itg.ti.com (Lars Huttar) writes:
>
>"mome rathes outgrabe"
>I've heard "mome" is supposed to be a contraction of "[far] from home",
>but it sounds to me like a very solemn moan/gnome/tome/mum (silent) kind of
>thing.
>wrath, outrage, grab
>I picture a troll-like creature, sitting in fetal position and harboring
>a violent but hopeless resentment.

I always pictured rodent-like creatures coming out of the ground.
'Mome' and 'raths' suggest 'mole' and 'rats' to me. And 'outgrabe' sounds
like emerging from the ground.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Dan Harkless | "The sore in my soul |
| d...@cafws1.eng.uci.edu | The mark in my heart -> Front 242, |
| dhar...@bonnie.ics.uci.edu | Her acid reign..." Tragedy >For You< |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Howard Landman

unread,
Apr 19, 1993, 10:46:10 PM4/19/93
to
>In article <1993Apr13.2...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu> t...@gibdo.engr.washington.edu (Tad Perry) writes:
>> "gyre and gimble" is definitely something between playing and
>> dancing happily.

In article <1993Apr14....@wam.umd.edu> rsro...@wam.umd.edu (Yamanari) writes:
> Wave back and forth, rythmically and smoothly.

"Gyre" clearly has connotations of rotating, as it comes from the same root
as "gyroscope" and "gyration". :-) And it has a soft G.

"Gimble" is very close to "gambol", "gimbal", and "nimble". It has a hard G.
Maybe some play on "gambatte" would work ... (had to get the requisite
Nihongo content in there somehow!)

I believe that Lewis Carrol published a detailed explanation of all the
nonsense words in Jabberwocky. The explanation is funnier than the poem!

gyrate, v. 1. To revolve on or around a center or axis. 2. To circle or
spiral.

gyro or gyroscope, n. A device consisting of a spinning mass suspended
such that its spin axis maintains a fixed angular orientation
when not subjected to external torques.

gambol, v. To leap about playfully, frolic.

gimbals, pl.n. Two rings mounted on axes at right angles to each other so
that an object will remain suspended in a horizontal plane inside
them regardless of the motion of their mounting.

nimble, adj. 1. Quick and light in movement or action. 2. Quick and clever
in understanding or responding.

The overall impression of "gyre and gimble" is thus that of cavorting about
in a carefree manner while spinning or circling.

Howard A. Landman
lan...@hal.com

S.C.T. Martin

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Apr 20, 1993, 1:13:40 AM4/20/93
to
On 18 Apr 93 23:06:05 GMT, creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) said:

cruebank> "reductionism" words and vice versa. Finally, each of those letters
cruebank> is made up of tiny "MU"s. I wonder if they redid these diagrams in
cruebank> Japanese using "ZENTAI" or "KANGEN"(?) (How do you say "reductionism" in
cruebank> Japanese?)

"Reductionism"

You have a choice of two:

kato no tanjyukan (simplification of excess)

or

kangen jyugi (reduction belief)
--
__________________________________________________________________
|S.C.T. Martin|Fujitsu S.S.L. Limited|mar...@kawa.ssl.fujitsu.co.jp|
|------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality |
| Jules de Gaultier |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Curtis Eubanks

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Apr 20, 1993, 6:43:08 PM4/20/93
to

|On 18 Apr 93 23:06:05 GMT, creu...@is.crl.sony.co.jp (Curtis Eubanks) said:
|

|creubank> "reductionism" words and vice versa. Finally, each of
|creubank> those letters is made up of tiny "MU"s. I wonder if they
|creubank> redid these diagrams in Japanese using "ZENTAI" or
|creubank> "KANGEN"(?) (How do you say "reductionism" in Japanese?)


|
|"Reductionism"
|
|You have a choice of two:
|
|kato no tanjyukan (simplification of excess)
|
|or
|
|kangen jyugi (reduction belief)

^^^^^shouldn't this be shugi?

I found a copy of the Japanese version of Godel, Escher, Bach and
"reductionism" is translated as "KANGENRON." This is as opposed to
holism, "ZENTAIRON."

ij...@vaxb.acs.unt.edu

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Apr 22, 1993, 5:45:57 PM4/22/93
to
In article <}a$@byu.edu>, lu...@newt.ee.byu.edu (David Luke) writes:
> [...] Giseigo [...]

What is "giseigo"? Some sort of nonsense sounds?

David Luke

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Apr 26, 1993, 10:27:41 AM4/26/93
to

Onomotopoea. Words which mimic the sounds of real things. In Japanese,
these usually are 4 syllable, with the second two being repeats of the
first two. Words like "tekoteko" (the sound of walking), "potapota"
(water dripping), "shinshin" (snow falling thick and fast), etc..

Technically, there are two kinds of such words, "giseigo" (described above)
and "gitaigo", which are similar but express things other than sound. Like
"kankan (okoru)", (to be very mad), "bukubuku" (loose-fitting or baggy,
for clothing), "chikuchiku" (one of the different types of pain), etc..

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