Thank chi Kiêm Yến for the good response. Your writing starts to sound very natural. By “natural” I mean sounding like a native English speaker and not having the “translation” sound of a foreigner.
That’s got me thinking. Maybe it is not too hard to get rid of the “translation language” that we see often on many English-edition of Vietnamese language newspaper. Maybe people are trying too hard to “translate,” instead of simply “writing” their the idea down in English.
Anyway, here is chi Yến’s writing with some editing to smooth it out.
You ask me a very difficult question, brother Hoành! It takes me so much time to find out “who is the boss in my home?”.
I even can not define “the boss”. What does “boss” mean? A person has a powerful position in my home? Or a person that other person must obey? I’ve never imagined there is a boss in my family!
When I was a child, sometimes I saw my father acting like a boss. Everyone in my big family listened to his orders, including my mother. He worked and got money to provide for the family. Therefore, although my mother exhaustedly took care of a large household, she always obeyed him.
I suppose that the woman of today is not the same . Since she gets married and has a family, she makes every effort to build her own one. She inherits the traditional moral standard from mother and, concurrently, participates in the social activities. She has a high responsibility for all things she is involved in. She does chores, cleaning house, preparing meals, washing clothes, feeding children. She reads book, sings songs, and helps children do their homework. She not only takes care her child, but also takes care her husband! She pays attention to his career- creating good conditions for him to work, caring about his look, managing his time. That’s the reason you think woman runs everything and everyone in her home, do you?
How about man? I think he changes so much. His role as “king” is eliminated, because in his home, he has to do chores with his wife. When a married couple go home after working all day, there is no reason why only the woman should be in the kitchen, right? When the woman shows her love, she absolutely wants to receive similar things from her husband. And I think, it’s nicest if both husband and wife share everything, including hobbies such as seeing a film, traveling, listening to music…
Consequently, I will not determine who is the boss in my home. Do you agree with me?
* “All” usually is not as strong in impact as “every”. Use “every” instead of “all” whenever you can. Ex: “I love every student of mine” has stronger emotional impact than “I love all my students.” Why? Because “every” points to each individual, while “all” points to a group.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEKEND
Please translate Tiếng Thu of Lưu Trọng Lư into English.
Em không nghe mùa thu
Dưới trăng mờ thổn thức
Em không nghe rạo rực
Hình ảnh kẻ chinh phu
Trong lòng người cô phụ
Em không nghe mùa thu
Lá thu rơi xào xạc
Con nai vàng ngơ ngác
Đạp trên lá vàng khô
Here is some hints when translating poetry.
1. Jot down the translation in crude English, just to get the meaning down correctly.
2. Play with words–new words, new order of words, now sound, new rhythm.
3. Reduce the number of words to an absolute minimum. (A good poem shouldn’t have any extra word).
All right, have fun. Have a great weekend, everyone.