Talk:Balade to Rosemounde

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Are we really sure tregentil means very gently? John Vandenberg 04:38, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Googling, I see it's "not been explained" whether it means 'very gently' or was the name of a scribe writing for Chaucer. Since none of Chaucers other manuscripts are signed by scribes, it seems most likely to me to be the "very gently" explanation. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 05:50, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Partial revert[edit]

I'm doing a partial revert and just wanted to explain why

  1. When translating poetry, you don't try to maintain some of the flow and tone, thus something like "Makyth" would become "Maketh", not "Make" - it's still understood by the common reader, but sounds like poetry - not like two guys chatting over a water cooler.
  2. Similarly, just because google shows that a "tyne" is a barrel, so is a basin. And any poet would presumably be using "Basin" before "Barrel" in a love poem.
  3. "Oft" is an entirely legitimate English word, we don't need to contribute to the degradation of the English language by only using the "400 most common words" in our speech.
  4. "trew" seems to be used as an adjective, not a title. Thus it would be "I am truly Tristram/Tristan", not "I am True Tristan"
  5. We link to what Galantine is, we don't need to add words that aren't in the original for no reason just to explain that it's a type of sauce. That's the point of wikilinks.

I'm leaving the other changes intact, but would like input on the mapamounde - the term "encircling" suggests a globe (round) not a map (rectangle), but at the same time, the English word "map" is conjoined with the french 'Monde' (world). Technically the word means both, so it's just a stylistic question of which people would prefer - 'globe' or 'map of the world' ? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 15:55, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The poem refers to galantine-sauce, a soaked and spiced bread sauce, which is very different from w:galantine, a dish of deboned stuffed poultry. Your simplification is also incorrect; it refers to the actual text in book 2 of "Fifteenth-Century Cookery-books", published 1450 (see text of reference), not to "15th-century cookbooks" in general which probably did not contain the humorous passage.
The context suggests "True Tristam", not "truly Tristam", because (a) the Sir Tristam being referred to is known to be an example of truth and constance, thus the name True Tristam; and (b) this is an allusion (note that he didn't sign as Tristam), so he's not "truly Tristam". "True Tristam" is also the interpretation in Rev. Walter W. Skeat's "The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer", so this is isn't just some wild whim on my part. ;) —{admin} Pathoschild 18:15:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
THe link I provided is to the text of the actual 15th-century cookbook, not just an essay that mentions it. I'd argue that "somebody else interpreted it X" isn't really grounds for making our interpretation say that, if that were the case all translations would be identical. "I am mad" and "I am truly mad" are both allusions to one's sanity - neither one is any more truth than the other, so "truly Tristan" still feels more valid than "True Tristan" which is a name Tristan was never known by - if we're just colloquialising Tristan's nomer, then "Tristan the True" even would make more sense, though personally I still side with truly Tristan.Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 19:06, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I didn't see any links you added to the text; could you point out where exactly you did that? The header just mentions the unlinked words '15th-century cookbooks'.
The link I provided above is not 'some essay that mentions it', but to the compilation and analyses by the scholar who discovered the manuscript. The text itself uses the wording "That I Am trew Tristam the ſecunde", literally translated as "That I am true Tristan the second". The Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary also concurs, defining "trew" as "True. [Obs.] --Chaucer."
This interpretation is further backed by its use to mean "true" in Cother writings, such as in The Testament of Cresseid, where the following examples clearly mean "true" rather than "truly": "O fals Cresseid and trew knicht Troylus!" (literally, "Oh false Cresseid and true knight Troylus!", note contrast with fals) and "Thocht some be trew, I wait richt few ar thay". See also The Canterbury Tales, which contains "they trewe frendes alle, and thy linage, whiche that be trewe and wise" and "certes many another man hath founden many a womman ful goode and trewe".
A case could certainly be made for lowercase "true", but I don't see any strong evidence that he meant "truly". —{admin} Pathoschild 23:33:05, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
"Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books" is the name of the 19-th century reprint of the cookbooks, believe they're on Google Books if you wanted to check/link the footnote. I'm fine either way with True/truly, it just seems wrong to me - but if you want to change it, it's not worth a revert war to me. Let's just compromise and go with the lower-case letter, so it doesn't seem like "True Tristan" was an actual name for the character. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 00:40, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
That's okay with me. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:51:56, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

While I see no problem with "oft", I think we should remove the obsolete -eth suffixes from the Modern translation. These are not part of modern grammar, and adding them simply for poetic license is unnecessary since the actual poem is right alongside. Further, while the meaning of "Maketh" is obvious to you or I, it might not be to anyone who has not studied any Middle English texts, particularly non-native readers. The modern English translation should accurately translate the poem into modern English; the original poem will take care of being good poetry far better than we can. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:51:56, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

By that argument we should reduce Victor Hugo's "malheureuse" into "bad" because it's an easier, one-syllable word. The purpose of a translation is to create a work as similar in tone and wording to the original as possible - while being decipherable. By your reasoning, we'd reduce the Ten Commandments to "Don't kill people, Don't perjure yourself, Respect mai authoritah'" because it's more "modern" - but where possible, we just want to help/nudge Chaucer's spelling into recognisable words where we can, and only change words if we have to do so (like "tyne") because they're entirely unknown these days. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 02:27, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Your analogies are inaccurate; "malheureuse" certainly does not translate as simply "bad", while "maketh" certainly does translate as "make". You refer to translations of the Ten Commandments, but you might notice that modern translations say "You shall not kill"; it is the medieval King James Bible that says "Thou shalt not kill", because that was the current English of the time.
If we can preserve the poetic flourishes in the translation, then let's certainly do that; but let's not mix and match modern and Middle English because we think that adds a certain je ne sais quoi. Or, if we do, at least let's not call it "modern English". :) —{admin} Pathoschild 05:23:24, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

My thoughts[edit]

What do you think about doing what was done at Elegy_II_Comparative_text (note the link to Elegie II). I would definitely like a copy of the Middle English text available without interpretation.--BirgitteSB 19:55, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

You can read the Middle English text on the page alone if you'd prefer, and can even select it alone for copying if you want to use it elsewhere. Could you explain the advantages of separation? —{admin} Pathoschild 20:07:23, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Because it is distracting to read the Middle English as it is. I understand why some might want a "translated" version even though metre and rhyming schemes are destroyed in the process, not mentioned some subtly in meaning. However it is quite non-standard. Searching Google Books for Rosemounde AND Madame I could not find a single version that was not solely in Middle English. We should offer a standard version as well--BirgitteSB 01:00, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I'd definitely prefer to see us host translations (where we also host the original) in this format whenver it's practically possible - rather than keeping them on separate pages. Suppose a person person clicks this text (as featured, newTexts, whatever) - they take a twenty-second glance and either say "wtf, I don't speak that!" or "That looks like a lame poem" - this way they at least get the chance to experience both, without having to hunt around for "Hrm, I wonder if there's a modern translation in the header somewhere..." Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Christopher Marlowe 01:08, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I would prefer keeping this text on one page as well; this is much neater and less redundant, and provides more reading options for readers. One idea is a script that can hide elements based on classes and URL parameters. For example, Balade to Rosemounde?jshide=middleEnglish would hide any element (like the table cell) on the page with the "middleEnglish" class. Then we could have a simple set of links in the header like this:
Reading options: Original with translation / original only / translation only.
This could be used for annotations, too. —{admin} Pathoschild 02:00:37, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree that side by side is the best format to host translations. I am talking about a page hosting the original. I don't mean to split of the modern version by it self, but rather to simply host the original version as well as the side by side. And I also support this version being the featured version as was done in the example above. I do think it is the best introduction to random internet surfers, but it is not the only presentation of value.
In the long run this poem will definitely be on more than one page. It really just a matter of how we go about it rather than whether to have a only have a single presentation or not.--BirgitteSB 14:10, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with BirgitteSB's suggestion of placing the original on its own page; that will also help with the image. We can have the original and the image on one page, and the original and the translation on another. This avoids the layout problems of three columns. John Vandenberg 10:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I played around with the columns, did it make any difference? I strongly believe that all three should be included on a single page, of course :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Pulitzer-winning writings 01:21, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Balade to Rosemounde - 600x800.png
It looks crap at 800x600 using the default monobook skin. John Vandenberg 06:30, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


The second last line concerns me. To recap, it could be "he will be a thrall", or "he wills her to find a thrall". The essence of the poem is given an extra twist by using the second meaning, as it suggests that love is manageable. I can find commentary for the former[1], but not the latter. I would be happy if we can attribute our translations interpretation to an expert. John Vandenberg 10:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't really suit the tone of the poem, to suddenly have the speaker say "Oh well, in the end you'll decide that I'm the one for you", it seems much more like a resigned "Oh well, I wish you luck". But that's just coming from (as previously mentioned, an English graduate) me. Though I'd argue that "Wikisource translations" lose something if we rely strictly on copying others translations and thematic notes on an idea. I don't mind if there's consensus to go with either the Oh well, in the end you'll decide that I'm the one for you" version or the "Oh well, I wish you luck" version, I just don't think "what a Chaucer professor once said" should bear any extreme relevance. It's similar to the tub/basin comment, sure we found somebody else who used "tub" as their translation, but "basin" is just as accurate, and much more poetic - ergo we use it :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Pulitzer-winning writings 01:26, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The choice between tub and basin is artistic flair - two alternate meanings are not. To me, the "he will be her thrall" wording would not imply that she decided that he is the one for her - rather it means he will be her thrall with or without her approval. But that is just me - I only wanted to raise this, to be sure, to be sure. If you are sure, that is fine. I should have said I would be happier if an external expert agreed with us. Ultimately, putting this on the front page is a good thing - if an expert comes along all stroppy about our translation, they can change it. John Vandenberg 06:23, 13 November 2007 (UTC)