Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Chaucer analysis and translation

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Chaucer analysis and translation

    I just wanted to make sure I got the translation of this text right. If there is a way you'd translate it different than me, please let me know!

    Original text:
    Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye.
    Upon an amblere esily she sat,
    Ywympled wel, and on hir heed an hat
    As brood as is a bokeler or a targe;
    A foot-mantel aboute hir hipes large,
    And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe.
    In felaweshipe wel koude she laughe and carpe.
    Of remedies of love she knew per chaunce,
    For she koude of that art the olde daunce.




    This is my translation:
    Gap-toothed was she, it is the truth I say.
    Upon a pacing horse easily she sat,
    Wearing a large wimple, and over all a hat
    As broad as is a buckler or a targe;
    An overskirt was tucked around her buttocks large,
    And her feet spurred sharply under that.
    In company well could she laugh and chat.
    The remedies of love she knew, perchance,
    For of that art she'd learned the old, old dance.

    I'd also like to know the significance of her riding a horse so easily and the detailed description about her clothing. I am thinking the horse thing is somehow sexual, and the clothing is to make her seem like a gold digger. I think she is described as a manipulative woman. Possibly even heartless because of her "knowing the dance of love".

    Got any ideas?

  2. #2
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    6,081
    Blog Entries
    78
    Here is how I would translate it:

    Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye.
    Upon an amblere esily she sat,
    Ywympled wel, and on hir heed an hat
    As brood as is a bokeler or a targe;
    A foot-mantel aboute hir hipes large,
    And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe.
    In felaweshipe wel koude she laughe and carpe.
    Of remedies of love she knew per chaunce,
    For she koude of that art the olde daunce.

    In other words... why would you need to translate it? In other words... there is no need to translate Chaucer. Just some good foot-notes and annotations should do. As for the interpretations... considering this is but a second post perhaps you might like to expand upon your own ideas initially lest we come to the conclusion you are but seeking someone to help you do your homework.
    Last edited by stlukesguild; 10-06-2010 at 12:52 AM.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    51
    I think that Chaucer deserves a translator in his own right, that an elucidation of those lines, the archaic spelling, would not go amiss. I find him one of the most intractable writers I have ever read. A translation would not affect his dialect, only his spelling, which is often beyond comprehension, and which slows the reading down intolerably. Otherwise, he demands an unnaturally patient reader.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    4
    Translating is a good practice to begin to understand Chaucer. While it's true that in translation many things are generally lost, I feel readers must first learn to translate in order to understand what is being said and to help with re-reading in the orginial text at some point in the future.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •