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>> No. 6246 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 8:44 pm
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>The winner of the 2015 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation, Allen Prowle, has withdrawn his entries and returned the prize money, amid claims of "blatant plagiarism".

>According to the Nederlandse Poëzie Encyclopedie newsblog, "International research by poetry translators and specialists in plagiarism from the UK, Netherlands and Denmark shows that in actual fact these aren’t superb translations at all, but blatant plagiarism. Allen Prowle, the lauded ‘translator’ simply lifted five translations wrought by the late James Brockway and the living Willem Groenewegen from the internet, slightly adapted them and subsequently submitted them under his own name."


Pardon my ignorance, but are two translations of the same piece of poetry going to be wildly different?
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>> No. 6247 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 8:45 pm
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>> No. 6248 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 10:31 pm
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>> No. 6249 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 10:39 pm
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You want an example? Here are the opening lines of Beowulf, as translated from the Old English by Francis Barton Gummere:

Lo, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
awing the earls. Since erst he lay
friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
till before him the folk, both far and near,
who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
gave him gifts: a good king he!
To him an heir was afterward born,
a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
to favor the folk, feeling their woe
that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
the Wielder of Wonder, with world’s renown.
Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him,
son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.

And here are those same lines translated by Seamus Heaney:

So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by
And the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns.
There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes,
A wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes.
This terror of the hall-troops had come far.
A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on
As his powers waxed and his worth was proved.
In the end each clan on the outlying coasts
Beyond the whale-road had to yield to him
And begin to pay tribute. That was one good king.
Afterwards a boy-child was born to Shield,
A cub in the yard, a comfort sent
By God to that nation. He knew what they had tholed,
The long times and troubles they’d come through
Without a leader; so the Lord of Life,
The glorious Almighty, made this man renowned.
Shield had fathered a famous son:
Beow’s name was known through the north.

>> No. 6250 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 10:47 pm
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They aren't wildly different though.
>> No. 6251 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 10:50 pm
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Well, good thing you aren't being asked to judge the Stephen Spender Prize, then.
>> No. 6252 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 10:51 pm
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They wouldn't exactly be giving out a prize if there was only one real way to translate the poems, would they?
>> No. 6253 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 11:06 pm
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Makes me think that it is one of those nonsense pretentious things like grown men and women "admiring" someone's shit smeared on a canvas because it is "art," and paying millions for it.

It sounds like a racket, and I could probably fool the old morons who judge this nonsense that I am a big shot translator or whatever.
>> No. 6254 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 11:11 pm
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It's really not, in this case.
>> No. 6255 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 11:12 pm
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Maybe they hadn't thought it through when they came up with it.
>> No. 6256 Anonymous
17th December 2015
Thursday 11:13 pm
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It is.
>> No. 6257 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 12:02 am
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Are you bilingual?
>> No. 6258 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 12:22 am
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>I could probably fool the old morons who judge this nonsense that I am a big shot translator or whatever.

If you did I think they wouldn't care given that your 'fake' good translation would be in reality just a good translation.

The purpose of this prize like this is to incentives good translation and a greater amount of translation, I know the event to you might all seem to you like it is just a circle jerk of pretension, but it's ultimate goal is a noble one 'to improve the exchange of knowledge between languages'.

I am not sure if the plagiarism is really necessarily a bad thing here and if it should be treated so, if what this person has created by melding these other translations together is a improved work is that a bad thing? Obviously it doesn't involve the same type of work, but it is a positive contribution to the world isn't it?
>> No. 6259 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 1:03 am
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I see. I take back what I said then. Additions to our cultural capital by translating foreign works is a good cause. The pretentious cunt at the start of this thread made it seem different and negative.

Three languages (four if you count GCSE Spanish but I don't remember much from it). The problem is the other two languages are not "western," so it never occurred to me to translate eastern works. Hmm.
>> No. 6260 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 1:15 am
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If you think it's that simple, why don't you go and whack some foreign song lyrics into Google Translate and see what you come out with.
>> No. 6261 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 1:21 am
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You stupid, stupid man.
>> No. 6262 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 1:48 am
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I glad I convinced you given that I just reread my writing and realized what a fucking mess it was.
>> No. 6263 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 2:14 am
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I know you said this was a badly written post, but I'm assuming the sentiment is at least accurate, and if so then yes the plagiarism is necessarily a bad thing here. Although in general terms you're probably right that there's value in rephrasing existing translations, in this particular instance he entered the poems in a competition that specifies that entries should not be substantially based on previous translations. Fairly straightforward, that.
>> No. 6264 Anonymous
18th December 2015
Friday 2:17 am
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Is there another kind?

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