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Monday, July 05, 2004

Desiderata translated!

Yesterday, I was asked by a neighbor to record the Desiderata. Yes, that controversial poem said to be found in the in Old St Paul's Cathedral and whose authorship had been unknown for some time when in truth it was written by Max Ehrmann in 1952. Read more about it here, and here.
Now, don't get me wrong. Neither do I have a good speaking voice with a very good diction like Batjay but as the saying goes, "in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed is king." :-)

While I was reading the piece, my youngest son, Coby, was intently listening. After several takes, I finished the piece and gave the tape to my neighbor. This is what Coby has to say. "What does it mean?" It was then that I decided to translate the piece into tagalog. Maybe my children will understand it better. I just hope I got not only the musicality, tone and texture but most of all the message correctly. I will welcome any critic you may have, especially in phrases where I may have missed the point. Here goes:

Mga mithiin

Mahinahon mong tahakin ang kaingayan at mga agam-agam ng buhay, at pakatandaan ang kapayapaang mayroong taglay ang katahimikan. Hanggat maari ay makipagmabutihan sa lahat ng nilalang.
Turan mo ang iyong paniniwala ng buong kalinawan, katiwasayan at walang pag-iimbot; at makinig sa iba sapagkat kahit na ang isang hunghang at kulang sa aral, sila ma'y may kwentong may kwenta. Pakaiwasan ang mga hambog at mapupusok, sila'y panggulo lamang ng kaluluwa.

Huwag piliting ikumpara ang sarili sa iba sa dahilang ikaw ay maaaring maging mayabang o kaya nama'y mapuno ng kalungkutan; parati kang makakakita ng mga taong mas magaling o mas mababa sa iyo. Ikagalak mo ang iyong mga narating o nagawa katulad ng iyong pagkakilig tuwing ika'y may bagong hangarin. Panatiliin ang interes sa iyong napiling karera, kahit gaano ito kahamak; sa pagitan ng pabago-bagong panahon, ito'y mananatiling sa iyo.

Parating mag-ingat sa iyong mga gawain pagkat ang mundo'y punung-puno ng kadayaan. Ngunit huwag mong pabayaang bulagin ka nito; marami pa ring mga taong may mataas na pangarap at hitik ang kapaligiran ng kabayanihan. Mahalin mo ang iyong sarili. Huwag mong utuin ang sarili mong ika'y kaibig-ibig. Lalo namang huwag mong pagdudahan ang pagmamahal; sa harap ng tagtuyot at pagkukunwari, ang pagmamahal ay pabalik-balik tulad ng damo. Makinig sa mga nakakatanda habang isinusuko ang lahat ng bagay na mura.

Alagaan ang tibay ng dibdib ng sa gayo'y masalag ang lahat ng biglaang kamalasan. Ngunit huwag mong pakadibdibin ang kadiliman. Maraming pangamba ang isinilang sa pagod at kalungkutan. Maging maamo ka sa iyong sarili na dulot ng isang mabuting pagdidisiplina. Ikaw ay isang sanggol ng sansinukob, sampu ng kagubatan at mga bituin; ika'y may karapatang manirahan dito. At kahit ito ma'y maging malabo sa iyo, walang kaduda-dudang ang sansinukob ay dapat lang na mapasaiyo.

Kaya naman maniwala ka sa Diyos, ano man ang kanyang anyo sa iyo. At kahit ano pa man ang iyong pinaghirapan sa gitna ng kaguluhan ng buhay, panatilihin ang katiwasayan ng iyong kaluluwa. Sa lahat ng pagkukunwari, kahungkagan at nasirang pangarap, masarap pa ring mabuhay. Maging maligaya. Sikapin mong maging masaya.

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49 Comments:

Blogger Sassy Lawyer said...

Tito Rolly,

Nalunod ako sa lalim. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na ang universe pala sa tagalog ay "sansinukob". Kung ako nag-translate n'yan baka walang maniwala na sa simbahan nakuha ang orihinal. Baka maging manifesto he he he

(Dapat yata idemanda ko lahat ng naging titser so sa Pilipino. Joke........)

Anyway, I think there is some truth to the claim that while translation means more can understand (which is good, of course), much is lost in translation as well. Not the thought per se. But the heart. The heart of the original writer. It was true even with Nick Joaquin's English translation of Mi Ultimo Adios. I don't know why. While a translation may even be "better" than the original... something's gone. I'm no linguist so that's just my opinion.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Sassy Lawyer said...

Tito Rolly,

Nalunod ako sa lalim. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na ang universe pala sa tagalog ay "sansinukob". Kung ako nag-translate n'yan baka walang maniwala na sa simbahan nakuha ang orihinal. Baka maging manifesto he he he

(Dapat yata idemanda ko lahat ng naging titser so sa Pilipino. Joke........)

Anyway, I think there is some truth to the claim that while translation means more can understand (which is good, of course), much is lost in translation as well. Not the thought per se. But the heart. The heart of the original writer. It was true even with Nick Joaquin's English translation of Mi Ultimo Adios. I don't know why. While a translation may even be "better" than the original... something's gone. I'm no linguist so that's just my opinion.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Mas malinamnam palang namnamin ang katas ng Desiderata kapag ito ay nasa wikang Pilipino. Salamat at isinalin mo ito.

Kung may pinakamahirap sundin sa tagubilin ng Desiderata, ito yung, "maging maligaya." Mahirap mahuli at mapanatili ang tunay na kaligayahan.

9:13 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

"Sa lahat ng pagkukunwari, kahungkagan at nasirang pangarap, masarap pa ring mabuhay."

ang galing ah. although di ko alam na may salitang "kahungkagan" sa pilipino, alam ko ang ibig sabihin ng "mga nasirang pangarap". higit sa lahat, mas alam ko ang ibig sabihin ng "masarap pa ring mabuhay".

kahapon pa ako sana magpapasok ng posting kaya lang may mga error. tapos kailangan ng maraming mga refresh para mabuksan ko ang mga site ninyo sa "blogger.com". kung gusto ninyo, ako ang magho-host ng mga site ninyo sa aking "kindat.com" - just say the word and i can arrange your transfer. Or better yet - get your own domains like what sassy and i did.

10:19 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Sassy, I did not have a Filipino English dictionary and was working based on my stored knowledge kaya hindi ako sigurado kung tama ang translation ko ng ibang words (hehe biglang nagduda). Yes, there's a lot that can be lost in translation. That's why the real challenge is to be as close to the original as can be. That doesn't mean a word for word translation of course. Ewan ko kung gano kalaki ang nawala dito. Surely, the tone did. Tulad ng kwentong may kwenta. Somehow parang di kasama sa lenggwahe ng iba but I used it for its alliteration. Iibahin ko rin yung damo, gagawin kong talahib.

Doc Emer, buti naman at may nalasahan kang linamnam sa translation ko. Ang talagang challenge ay mapanatili ko ang lasa at tekstura ng piyesa. OO nga't pinaka-simple yun pero pinakamahirap gawin.

Batjay-problema ko rin nga ang pagpasok sa mga link e. Mga apat na beses akong refresh ng refresh. I'll think about your offer. Thanks in advance.

1:46 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

oo nga pala, baka gusto mong gawan ko ito ng voice over. matagal na akong walang praktis sa timpalak bigkasan. pwede mong i-post together with your translation.

4:56 PM  
Blogger SunKing said...

Nice job, sir! The Desiderata is one of my most favorite poems. Although nothing beats the original by Ehrmann, your translation has made me appreciate it even more.

8:05 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

hey, batjay, thanks for your suggestions. Alam mo namang di ako computer savvy. Takot akong magbago ng domain at baka mawala lahat ng entry ko. Gustong gusto ko ngang manghingi ng template kay ate sienna e. atsaka baka may bayad yung domain, di ko kaya mga=maintain. medyo chipipay ako e. hehehe

I have an email re your last suggestion, though.

Sunking, welcome to my blog. I'm glad you liked my translation. Pagbubutihin ko pa. Marami pa kong nakikitang possibilities e. thanks for visiting ha.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Matapoor said...

for some strange reason, na memorize ko yan nung bata pa ko. pero, syemprem di ko alam meaning.

8:14 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Matapoor,

Maybe you're too young to remember or you haven't even been born yet but I was introduced to this poetry during the 70's via a song cum voice over. Gandang-ganda ko if only because of the tone and texture of the piece. Siyempre alam ko malalim ibig sabihin. Di ko na inalam pa. :-)

I've been looking for that record eversince. Gusto kong gawing prayer sa isang program with the school's faculty chorale. Hmmm, maybe Batjay would know. He's never failed me before.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tito Rolly,
Sadyang napakaganda ng nais ipahatid ng naturang tula at maaring gawing panuntunan at gabay sa buhay. Noong nag-aaral pa ako, hindi ko pansin ang pag-aaral ng mga tula at kuwento tagalog man o english. Mas enjoy ako sa math at science. Natatandaan ko ang naturang tula ngunit ngayon ko lang siya nanamnam ng husto.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rolly! Si Jet ito. Di ako makasign up sa blogger kaya ako nagpopost anonymously.

First off, tagal ko nang gustong itanong ito e, hiya lang ako. Puwede rin bang tawagin kitang Tito?

Alam nyo, I've always liked Desiderata but I've never savoured it like I did when I read your translation. Like Sassy, I'm no linguist. But in my heart, parang mas na-feel ko siya sa tagalog, pramis!

Good job Tito. :)

5:06 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

Just in case maulit itong comment ko, kasalanan ng blogger ha. Uulitin ko na lang kasi ayaw lumabas yung unang comment ko.

Like I said, una, tanong ko sana kung puwede rin kitang tawaging Tito... hehe.

Pangalawa, I said, I've always liked Desiderata. But I've never savoured it like I did when I read your translation. Like Sassy, I'm no linguist. But in my heart, the message comes on stronger when I read it in Tagalog. I know I write in English, but that is something I would consider a deficiency. I've always wanted to write in Tagalog but somehow, I couldn't make it sound right. I've always considered Tagalog a more heartfelt, heart-tugging language.

Good job, tito! :)

5:13 AM  
Blogger joffin said...

sir rolly,

naks, galing naman ng inyong salin ng desiderata. ngayon ko lang actually pinansin ang meaning ng tulang ito...kakahiya, naturingang literature titser pa man din.
ako rin natutuwang magsalin sa tagalog. feeling marunong ba? hehe. di pa rin bumabalik sa opis si mr. prinsipal...abangan ko kaya sa bahay niya?

11:42 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Jet, of course you can call me tito. I don't have any younger brother or sister but I have plenty of nieces and nephews. Ang sarap pag kasama ko sila kasi parang barkada ko lang sila e. Tito is a title I enjoy.

Buti naman nagustuhan nyo ni jop yung translation. Don't worry jop kung ngayon mo lang talagang napagtuunan ng pansin yung tula. Sumikat lang kasi yan nung 70's kaya alam ko. E di hamak na malaki ang tanda ko sayo.

Sige, bantayan mo na yung principal. Pero wag naman to the point na maging stalker ka, hane!

Salamat sa inyong dalawa ha.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kuya Rolly! Grabe po kayo mag-Tagalog! Bilib! Di ako sanay mag-Tagalog kasi Bisaya po ako eh. :P Do you know that Desiderata is one of the few verses that I love reading aloud? When we were small, my sister and I have it pinned to the wall of our room. An inspiration always.

Belle

6:36 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Belle, it's good to see you again here. Compliments coming from a poet, now that's a good thing. Thanks for liking it. I have made a few changes since i think some lines are not consistent with the language. We'll see. Batjay promised to do a recording, so we will see how it sounds. Can't wait!

10:03 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

hey tito rolly.

ginawa ko na ang version 1 ng desiderata translation mo. di masyadong polished pero tingnan mo kung ok.

sinubukan ko lang praktisin ngayong gabi. kung pangit, uulitin ko ulit bukas ng umaga.

ang command para ma i blog ito ay:

mga mithiinang salitang "mga mithiin" ang magiging link doon sa site ko. so, click lang ng mouse doon sa salita will play the poem. it is almost 3MB so medyo malaki.

na iblog ko siya doon sa siraulo blog ko para sample sa iyo on how it will look like, punta ka sa: http://siraulo.nicanordavid.com/

cheers!

1:30 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

command is inside the quotes -
"mga mithiin"

1:32 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

ngek... i emailed the command to you, doon mo na lang basahin. the comment of blogger is executing the command. hehe.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pahingi nman po ng critics sa desiderata. klangan po kc nmen sa project sa english. tnx po

2:04 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Anonymous Sorry pero mukhang hindi kita mapagbibigyan. Ako ay isang guro at isa sa aking mga panuntunan ay turuan ang isang mag-aaral na mag-aral sa kanyang sarili.
Nevertheless, marami sa google. It's just a click away. Good luck.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. rolly,
thank you sa pag-translate nyo ng desiderata..actually its my assignment,and i dont know how to translate it in tagalog..natuyo na ang utak ko sa pag iisip sa naunang pinagawa sa amin ng professor ko..again..thank you and god bless you always..i like the tagalog version.mas madali kasi maintindihan.

11:18 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Anonymous I hope yuou didn't use the entire translation. That would be cheating and illegal. That is called "plagiarism". If you have used my translation to be submitted for your assignment, I suggest you get it back from your teacher for I shall not condone it. I am also a teacher and I know that somehow, malalaman nya rin yan. Try to make your own. Use an English-Tagalog dictionary if you are not sure with some of the words.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous miss_dibly said...

nice one! I'm just surfin' the net till I landed on your blog. You have such a nice way translating the old-time favorite poem. It gave me gooseflesh! At first I thought I fully understood the poem, But I was wrong... I realized that one can fully understand something if it'll sink into the heart and be reminded by the mind. :) nice! very nice!

4:29 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Miss Dilby MAbuti naman at nagustuhan mo ang salin ko. Ako ay isang amateur lamang kaya ako'y natutuwang nagustuhan mo siya.

Dalaw ka lang ulit.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous miss_dibly said...

thanks, tito rolly! My mom saw that I added your blog @ my favorites. She also liked your post.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous gilbert yap tan said...

hi tito rolly,

itinuro ako ni batjay sa blog mo dahil katulad mo, titser din ako. :)

u may be interested to know that zeus salazar also did a translation of Desiderata.

http://pencilstories.blogspot.com/2006/07/desiderata.html

your fave blog item on Desiderata interested me because it has been my "ten commandments" since I first encountered it when Jingle chordbook magazine featured it in its poster back-to-back with chord guide.

12:49 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Gilbert Hello. Welcome to my blog. Are you also a member of Pinoyteachers? Kung hindi pa, mag member ka na rin. You can also find a link in the side panel.

Matagal ko nang paborito yang Desiderata. Pamula nuong madinig ko yung kanta. MAganda ring gawing panuntunan sa buhay no?

1:04 PM  
Anonymous gilbert yap tan said...

hello tito rolly,

meron akong mp3 nung original na desiderata na narration with music. kung gusto mo ng kopya, pls email me: gilbertyaptan@yahoo.com.ph. the offer goes to others who are interested to have a copy. :)

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Alejandro, Alejandro said...

ang lupit, napakaganda, maraming tao ang mabubuksan ang isipan pag ito'y nabasa...

4:37 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

alehandro matagal ko nang ginawang pamantayan ng buhay ang mga aral na nakapaloob sa tulang ito. Salamat sa bisita.

6:30 AM  
Blogger michael said...

hi tito rolly!

kailangan ko po kasi ng tagalog translation ni nick joaquin sa mi ultimo adios. meron po ba kayo. kaylangan ko po sana ngayon kasi ang gusto lang ng aming professor ay yung kay nick joaquin. salamat Po!

9:03 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Michael Sorry wala eh. Subukan mong i-google. I think part of the lesson to be learned is how to find a subject matter in preparation for a research or something. You guys are lucky at napakadali na ang maghanap ngayon. During our time, talagang duduguin ka muna kakahanap sa library ng material.

Good luck.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tito rolly.. hehehe tawagin ko na po kayo sa ganitong pamamaraan.. maaari po ba?

sa totoo lang po ay ngaun ko lang nabasa at nakita ang inyong mga isinulat.. ito po ay kamangha mangha.. marami po akong natututanan na mga bagay na hindi ko maipaliwanag sa aking sarili..
mahilig din po ako mag sulat..
subalit hindi ko po alam kung tama ang mga gingwa ko.. sa dahilan po na ang lagi kung panuntunan ay ang aking sariling opinyon.. saan ko po ba pwede ipasa yun.. ng mabigyan nyo po ng kumento ang aking ginawa?.. salamt po..

5:44 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

anonymous Salamat naman at may natututunan ka sa mga isinulat ko. :-)

Tungkol naman sa tanong mo, bakit hindi ka rin gumawa ng sarili mong blog at i-open mo ito para sa mga comments? Mahirap mag-umpisa pero darating din ang panahon at magkakaroon ka rin ng mga mambabasa at magku-kumento sa iyo. Mahahasa ka pa sa pagsulat.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous XIVERGOLDS said...

I am very happy na nakita ko ang blog mo. Tito, I am naturally born cebuano. To be honest, may hindi bababa sa lima at hindi lalagpas sa sampung pagsubok na ang ginawa kong pagsalin sa cebuano version ang DESIDERATA. Masaya ako at nakita ko ang translation mo sa tagalog. Sa totoo, itong tulang ito ang nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas pagdating sa mga pagsubok sa buhay. Kahit na hindi ko lubusang naintindihan (o hindi ako sigurado sa tunay na kahulugan), pero ika nga, may mga kahulugan sa salita na hindi kayang ipaliwanag ng isip at bigkasin ng bibig ngunit sadyang naintindihan ng puso.
Maraming salamat po. Mabuhay ka!

2:43 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

xivergold Ang lalim nun ah. Anyway, ipagpatuloy mo lang ang pagsalin nito sa Cebuano at wala pa atang ganyang salin. Mas maganda kasing nababasa at naiintindihan ng marami ang piyesang ito at tunay namang napaganda.

Salamat sa pagbisita at pagkumento. Sana'y mapadalas ang dalaw mo dito.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Rafael Fernandez said...

Kuya Rolly, promise ang galing mo. Hanga ako sa iyo. Ako nga po pala si Rafael S. Fernandez from Rizal Technological University. Sa Pineda, Pasig City nga po pala ako nakatira. Malapit lang po sa inyo sa Bambang. You shared your talent with us. Thanks again!

8:32 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Rafael Ang lalim ng nahukay mo sa blog ko ah. Mga una ko pang post yan eh. Anyway, salamat sa mga papuri mo. Balik ka lang dito at sana mag-enjoy ka pa.

Happy New Year sa yo at sayong pamilya.

2:03 PM  
Blogger ChEnGzKiE™ said...

Waah! Thanks for Translating Desiderata! It's one of our Requirements for Clearance.. haha
Translate daw in tagalog! Thank you-thank you!

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tata rolly, just a week ago I was driving my boss home to Cainta with the car radio tuned in to RJFM. then desidearata began playing and I narrated the poem not too loudly as the song played. the boss said, 'kabisado mo pala yan ?. I answered 'since i learned how to sing. Then he said 'alam mo bang may translation niyan sa Filipino ? now I've read your piece and must say yours is faithful and tasteful enough to the original. actually pag nitingnan mo sa lemonada, andaming versions available - but the best is that of Les Crane. Lost in translation ? Hindi naman. Malalim man, kaya pa ring arukin. Thanks for the piece.

10:59 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

anonymous Thank you very much. I have done this piece a long time ago.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Rolly, I found your translation of Desiderata through the internet because I was looking for the tagalog version. I just would like to ask for your permission to send to my father. Thank you very much. -Cham

3:40 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Cham Okay lang as long as you don't claim ownership. syempre teacher ako and I'm very particular about plagiarism. :)

Welcome to my blog. Balik ka lang at meron pa akong ibang translation dito.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.ngayon mas lalo ka nang naintindihan..
salamat po sa translation
( PINAPAMEMORIZE PO KASI SAMIN ANG DESIDERATA)
TNX PO ULIT..

5:58 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

buti naman at nakatulong ito sayo.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tito rolly, inilagay ko po sa facebook as my status, dun sa what's on your mind box...part by part. maraming salamat po sa pagsasalin.

4:50 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

anonymous May I know your facebook account? Just curious. :)

1:06 PM  

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Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


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  • Is there a God- Soren Kierkegaard
  • Bertrand Russell and Daniel Quinn
  • Erap's pardon
  • wearing different masks
  • Reading
  • There is always a silver lining
  • A Walk back to 1973 and I am 16 years old again
  • All's Well that Ends Well
  • Copyright
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