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Fourth ProZ.com Translation Contest

Italian to English


Source text:

«Gattaccio! Scendi!»
Dallo studio, immersa nell’ennesima traduzione, sento le urla di Alessandra, la mia secondogenita, che inveisce contro Marlon, il micione ex-randagio, attualmente re del divano di casa.

Fuori, un timido sole settembrino scalda il vuoto della giornata senza Giorgio, il grande e ormai un uomo, partito per l’università: temerario, tenero, toccante.

Chi l’avrebbe detto che la sua mancanza avrebbe ferito con queste fitte che arrivano a tradimento? Non so se il dolore nasce dalla convinzione che ormai ha spiccato il volo e la vita non sarà mai più come prima, o dalla semplice angoscia degli anni che passano come lampi in un temporale estivo. E dal dubbio che questi figlioli non me li sono goduti, non li ho amati e cresciuti come avrei dovuto. Come avrei potuto.

Alessandra si è subito appropriata del nuovo ruolo di figlia unica, ruolo ambito per 16 anni e adesso tutto suo, perlomeno fino al ritorno del “big brother” per le vacanze.

I suoi umori si alternano tra la soddisfazione di avere finalmente soggiogato mami e papi, e la solitudine di chi non si era resa conto di quanto amasse il fratello. Adesso chi le spiegherà il latino? Più importante, chi le presterà il telefonino quando la sua scheda è scarica?

Sento dei passi avvicinarsi, gatto Marlon che protesta … «Mammina, hai visto quant’è carino? Senti, ma il tuo cellulare mica ti serve in questo preciso momento?»

Alessandra una soluzione l’ha trovata. E Marlon, dalle sue braccia, mi fissa con sguardo laconico.

Entry #1978 - Points: 24 - WINNER!
Claire Titchmarsh (X)
“Naughty cat! Get down!”
Immersed in the umpteenth translation, from the studio I hear the shouts of my second-born Alessandra berating Marlon, a former stray, now a rather portly cat lording it over the family sofa.

Outside, the September sun brings a feeble warmth to a day that is empty without Giorgio, my eldest. Now a man, he has left for university: spirited, sensitive and tugging at my heart.

Who’d have thought that his absence would have cut so deep, with these sudden, Show full text

Bravissima. Your translation makes it look easy. :)
Angela Arnone
Congratulations Claire: I'm coming clean and admitting I was the author of this piece, completely autobiographical (names were changed to protect the innocent, although Marlon is thrilled to be such a star). You've done a marvellous job, because I admit I added a few tricky bits that you've handled with flair.
Claire Titchmarsh (X)
Thank you for the feedback and thanks to Angela for setting the piece which was fun to do. The alliteration part was like trying to do the Times crossword and all the options I came up with sounded contrived, so in the end I decided that meaning should predominate over form.
texjax DDS PhD
Congratulations Claire, davvero brava!
Well done Claire. I also tried my hand at it, but upon reviewing it, I accidentally deleted half of it and did not realize it until it was too late. Yep, I did. I admit that your version is excellent. You were able to convey nuances of meaning from the original text with great ability. Superb work!
Lindsay Watts
Congratulations Claire!
Definitely the winner.
wordsworldwi (X)
Complimenti Claire!
Entry #1720 - Points: 13
“Bad cat! Get off!”
From the study, immersed in my umpteenth translation, I hear my second-born Alessandra railing at Marlon, former stray cat and current king of the sofa.

Outside, a meek September sun warms the emptiness of this day without Giorgio, a man by now, my oldest who has left for college: reckless, raw, heart-rending.

Who would have thought that his absence would hurt with pangs amounting to betrayal? I don’t know if the pain comes from the knowledge that he has Show full text

Rowan Morrell
If my own entry is not destined to win, then this is the entry that I think should. It's about the only entry that (almost perfectly) replicates the illiteration of the three descriptive adjectives about Giorgio, and is a reasonably smooth read overall, although I'm not sure about "pithy stare" at the end. But all in all, not too shabby.
Excellent creative rendition. I also have reservations about "pithy stare" but nevertheless, excellent work!
Angela Arnone
Dear Aaron, a lovely version. Thanks to you for working on it and bringing to life my kids and my cat, not to mention the melancholy of growing older.
Entry #1966 - Points: 13
Rachel Fell
“You mangy cat! Get off there!”
From the study, immersed in my umpteenth translation, I hear Alessandra, my second child, shouting at Marlon, the stray cat we adopted, currently lying stretched out on the sofa like a king.

Outside, a faint September sun spreads its warmth into the emptiness of the day without Giorgio, my first-born child, now grown up, who has left to go to university: audacious, warm and endearing.

Who would have said that his absence would have caused such Show full text

Rowan Morrell
Not bad at all. Perhaps more effort could have been made to retain the alliteration in the second paragraph, and I prefer "laconic stare" to "laconic look" (that's just a personal taste thing though). But all up, a very decent entry that should be reasonably high up there when the voting closes.
Rachel Fell
Thank you to those who voted for my effort and congratulations to Claire (definitely the winner by far)!
texjax DDS PhD
Complimenti Rachel!!! Great job!
Angela Arnone
Rachel, what a nice touch you've given to my life. Thanks for spending time on it.
Entry #2105 - Points: 11
Lindsay Watts
«Darn cat! Get down!»
From the study, engrossed in my umpteenth translation, I hear the shouts of Alessandra, my second child, cursing Marlon, our large moggie, once a stray, who now reigns supreme on the sofa in our house.

Outside, a faint September sun warms the bleakness of the day without Giorgio, my eldest son, who is now a man and has left for university: fearless, kind-hearted and sensitive.

Who would have thought his absence would hurt with these pangs that take you by Show full text

Entry #2266 - Points: 8
Patricia Crotty
“Get down you stupid cat!”
I hear my second-born child, Alessandra, howling at Marlon, the stray-no-more cat who had recently taken up residence on the couch as I work on my umpteenth translation in the study.
A weak September sun warms the empty space left by the departure of my first-born child, Giorgio. He is a man now and has just flown the coop to University: unafraid, sentimental, touching.
How could I have ever known that his absence would have stabbed with such unexpected force? Show full text

Angela Arnone
Thanks Patricia, for your excellent version. I've enjoyed picking up the various nuances, which I knew would be tough.
Entry #2048 - Points: 6
Russell Jones
“Down Moggie!”
The yells reaching me in the study, in the middle of yet another translation, are those of my second child Alessandra, screaming at Marlon the cat, once a stray but now king of the sofa in our house.

Outside, the weak September sun takes the chill off a day that’s empty without Giorgio, who’s grown up, become a man and gone away to university full of enthusiasm, endearment and emotion.

Who’d have thought his going away would inflict such pain it feels like Show full text

Rowan Morrell
Nice job on the alliteration in the second paragraph, which was one of the trickiest parts of the text, and which not many entrants picked up on. Not sure about "Down Moggie" or "Mummikins", and I think "laconic stare" would be better than "laconic look". By and large though, a good solid entry that should do well.
Russell Jones
Felt I had to try, knowing Angela and something of this recent event in her life - and so well written. My son (and daughter) both left home this year too. Many thanks to those who voted for me and congratulations to Claire.
texjax DDS PhD
Complimenti Russel, è stato molto piacevole leggerti!
Angela Arnone
Russell, you are always such a gent! Thanks for your lovely rendition and for remembering how tough it's been. BTW, I didn't vote at all, as I thought it would not be loyal to show preference to any of my ProZ.com mates.
Entry #1594 - Points: 4
Rowan Morrell
"Here kitty, kitty, kitty!"

In the study, lost in my umpteenth translation, I hear Alessandra, my second child, yelling for Marlon, once a stray kitten but now king of the sofa.

Outside, a wan September sun warms the emptiness of a day without Giorgio, my daring, caring and sharing eldest child, who has now become a man and gone to university.

Who would have thought that his absence could hurt with these pangs that amount to feelings of betrayal? I don't know if the pain comes Show full text

Rowan Morrell
Italian-English is not one of my "working" language pairs, and I guess it showed. :-( With 20/20 hindsight vision, I think I messed the start up and my choice to swap alliteration for assonance in the second paragraph wasn't such a bright idea. However, the pairs in which I have the most working experience - French-English and German-English - are the ones I got the most points in, so it's all good. :-) Congratulations to Claire. Nice work!
Angela Arnone
Oh, Rowan, I love this "daring, caring and sharing" - that's just what he is! Thanks for all your comments in analysing the others too. A true linguist.
Feedback - Fourth ProZ.com Translation Contest
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Patricia Crotty
Thanks for setting an entertaining piece Angela! I wouldn't even have dreamed of attempting the last contest because of the difficulty of the piece, but was at least encouraged to try my hand with this one, and enjoy it in the process! Patricia
Rowan Morrell
I have to agree with Patricia. This was a fun and interesting text, and a contest piece SHOULD have tricky bits! (The alliteration of the three "T" adjectives was the hardest bit for me.) I found it an enjoyable text to translate, even if I didn't handle some of it quite as well as I could have done - or should have done. ;-)
Rachel Fell
I haven't done one of these before and it was enjoyable, though I wasn't wholly satisfied with some of what I put either! I think it was "Marlon" who initially drew my interest...
Angela Arnone
Thanks to all of you for having a bash. It wasn't as easy as it looked. I did my own translation for Florencia and it wasn't anything like as good as any of these ... but in my mind, Marlon is "King of the Couch" and he is thrilled at being a ProZ pussy cat. His is the only name I didn't change as he deserves a story of his own, but there are days when we called him "Hoover" as not a crumb survives his guzzling gob ...
Lindsay Watts
This was a new experience for me, and a very enjoyable one too I've got a few cats myself and, like Rachel, I think it was "Marlon" who initially attracted my interest.
I very much enjoyed the challenge and am already looking forward to the next one!

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