My exceedingly good friend and kick-ass Japanese student Raechel is listing portions of her translations over at her blog, and I thought that as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I’d follow suit. Raechel, with many years of her language under her belt, is doing far more than I can, but I’ve been enjoying the snippets I can manage at this point in my studies.
The first real Greek I did were some fragments from Menander:
A life without marriage is a life without pain.
Bad friends bear bad fruit.
An ill-timed pleasure gives birth to harm.
The next was from Sophokles’ Philoktetes, lines 792-796. Philoktetes has just discovered he has been left behind on an island and his companions have left without him to go to Troy.
“Oh how awful!
Again, how truly terrible! O my two commanders,
Agamemnon, Menelaos, how after all this time
could you nourish this sickness instead of me?”
Woe, woe is me!”
The final lines of Euripides’ Alcestis (and Bakkhai, as a matter of fact):
Many are the forms belonging to the gods.
and the gods accomplish many unexpected things,
and the things expected are not accomplished,
but of the unexpeted things, the god discovers a way.
This story was of this sort.
Finally, here’s a few of the final lines of Aischylos’ Eumenides (754-756):
“O Pallas! You who have been the savior of my family,
you have allowed me to return to the paternal homeland of which I was deprived.”
Badassery, to be sure. Next I’m working on a selection from Persians. Woo!