Baudelaire’s ‘Les Hiboux’ in Dialèt Bresà

Flickr/Creative Commons/Farid Fleifel

Flickr/Creative Commons/Farid Fleifel

Here is another of my translations from French into Dialèt Bresà, one of the Gallo-Italic languages of the north of Italy. This time I have translated Baudelaire’s ‘Les Hiboux’, another poem taken Les Fleurs du Mal ( I Fiùr del Mal). I would like to thank the group Bresà, el nòs dialét for their help with some of the lexical difficulties I have encountered, especially in translating the title of this poem ‘Le Sanfarde’ (‘Les Hiboux’, ‘The Owls’), a word that I did not know in my own dialect, or that perhaps I had forgotten.

Our dialect, arising from a culture still very much linked to a life spent in the mountains and valleys in constant contact with nature, has a very colourful and rich vocabulary to describe flora and fauna. I am from one of these valleys, but not being a hunter or farmer myself, I sometimes forget or ignore these specific terms, which I have often substituted with the more standard Italian version (in this case ‘I Gufi’), even when talking dialect to my grandmothers. Although it does not offer very many resources in Bresà, the internet can sometimes be helpful. For example, here is a very useful image I have randomly found online, serving as a support to translate the ‘ifs’ of the original version into Bresà (or Bresciano), which I have circled in the picture:

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 15.06.25

Audio file downloadable here.

Le Sanfarde




Sota i tass neger che i a quarcia
Le sanfarde le sta töte bèle urdinade
E come dei Signur forester
Coi so üci ros le te fülmina. E le pensa.

Sensa fa ‘na mosa le sta le
Fin’a l’ura del dulùr
Quant che riva zo le scür
A pucià via el sul che mör.

A chèi che sa entender chèsto far l’ensegna
Ch’al mont boa aiga pora
De müis e del bordèl;

Chèi che se esalta per ‘n ombrea che pasa
I porterà semper la gran crus
D’aiga vulit cambia de posto.

© ValentinaGosetti

Les Hiboux
Original French Version
Version originale en français



Sous les ifs noirs qui les abritent
Les hiboux se tiennent rangés
Ainsi que des dieux étrangers
Dardant leur oeil rouge. Ils méditent.

Sans remuer ils se tiendront
Jusqu’à l’heure mélancolique
Où, poussant le soleil oblique,
Les ténèbres s’établiront.

Leur attitude au sage enseigne
Qu’il faut en ce monde qu’il craigne
Le tumulte et le mouvement;

L’homme ivre d’une ombre qui passe
Porte toujours le châtiment
D’avoir voulu changer de place.

— Charles Baudelaire



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