Aesop in Béarnais (by Damien Mooney)

I am very excited to be featuring my first post by a guest author, my good friend and colleague Damien Mooney, an Irish linguist who has translated for us one of Aesop’s fables, ‘The North Wind and the Sun’, into Béarnais, a local language spoken in the south-west of France. Damien has even included a recording of a native speaker reading it!

A couple of words on the translator:

261587_10151410556749892_366881391_nDamien Mooney studies the loss of regional varieties of language. He has researched the loss and retention of local pronuciation features in south-western regional French as well as the local language of the region of Béarn, ‘le béarnais’. Damien has broader interests in the so-called ‘langues de France’, examining their social and linguistic decline and, more recently, attempts to promote, preserve and revitalise these languages. He views the celebration of minority languages, both within and outside France, as central to our construction and negotiation of personal and group identity, and as a means of challenging the prevalent centralising forces active in the modern era.

Audio file downloadable here.

(Please find below translations of this text in French and English, and links to Ancient Greek and the Italian version to help those of us who are not familiar with Béarnais)

La Bise et lou Sourélh

(Tradusit per Damien Mooney)

La bise e lou sourélh que-s peleyaben, cadû asseguràn qu’ère lou méy hort. Quoan bedoùn û biadyadoù qui-n anabe, arroupàt héns lou soû màntou, que-s hiquèn d’abìs : lou purmè qui s’y escadoùrẹ entà-u ha tirà, que seré espiàt coum lou méy hort. Alabéts, la bise que-s hiquè à bouhà en s’y han à mourt, més méy e bouhabe, méy lou biadyadoù e-s troussabe héns lou soû màntou. Per la fî, qu’arrenounciè. Alabéts, lou sourélh que coumencè à arrayà e au cap d’û moumén, lou biadyadoù, escalourìt, que-s tirè lou màntou. Atàu, la bise qu’aboù de recounéchẹ que lou sourélh qu’ère lou méy hort.

© DamienMooney



La Bise et le Soleil

Version française du texte d’Ésope

La bise et le soleil se disputaient, chacun assurant qu’il était le plus fort. Quand ils ont vu un voyageur qui s’avançait, enveloppé dans son manteau, ils sont tombés d’accord que celui qui arriverait le premier à le lui faire ôter serait regardé comme le plus fort. Alors, la bise s’est mise à souffler de toutes ses forces, mais plus elle soufflait, plus le voyageur serrait son manteau autour de lui. Finalement, elle renonça à le lui faire ôter. Alors, le soleil commença à briller et au bout d’un moment le voyageur, réchauffé, ôta son manteau. Ainsi, la bise dut reconnaître que le soleil était le plus fort.

The North Wind and the Sun

English Version of Aesop’s text

The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger when a traveler came along, wrapped in a warm cloak. They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other. Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him; and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt. Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took his cloak off. And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.

Clicca qui per la versione italiana.

Click here for the Ancient Greek version.


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