topum (topum) wrote,

Men used as hospital beds, women worn out as cliches

I read Mayakovsky's "A Cloud in Trousers" today in all four translations I found. I am sure that there are more. Then I translated the original from Russian into English via Google Translate. Microsoft and others did not work for this, they left some Russian words untranslated. You may remember that I do quite a bit of Google Translate, and in the last two weeks mostly from Russian, thanks to LJ's heavy Russian presence and Pamela Anderson:

Below is the ending of the prologue, first by Google Translate then from all four translations I found. Which one do you like the most? Can you mix and match or change into something better?

Note that one line is the same in all five, including Google Translate, it is "not a man, but a cloud in trousers!".

Google Translate

Do you want to -
will rabid meat
- And as the sky, changing colors -
want -
I will be perfectly tender,
not a man, but - a cloud in trousers!

I do not believe that there is a flower Nice!
Me again thanksgiving
men, stale, like a hospital,
and women, ragged as saying.

Andrey Kneller

If you wish--
I’ll rage on raw meat like a vandal
Or change into hues that the sunrise arouses,
If you wish--
I can be irreproachably gentle,
Not a man -- but a cloud in trousers.

I refuse to believe in Nice blossoming!
I will glorify you regardless, --
Men, crumpled like bed-sheets in hospitals,
And women, battered like overused proverbs.

Do not know A

If you wish,
I shall rage on raw meat;
or, as the sky changes its hue,
if you wish,
I shall grow irreproachably tender:
not a man, but a cloud in trousers!

I deny the existence of blossoming Nice!
Again in song I glorify
men as crumpled as hospital beds,
and women as battered as proverbs.

Do not know B

If you prefer,
I'll be pure raging meat,
or if you prefer,
as the sky changes tone,
I'll be absolutely tender,
not a man, but a cloud in trousers!

Flowery Nice doesn't exist!
Again I sing to praise
men used as hospital beds,
women worn out as cliches.

Jonathan Brent and Lyudmila Sholokhova

If you want—
I’ll rage from meat
—and, like the sky changing its tones—
if you want—
I’ll be irreproachably tender,
not a man, but—a cloud in trousers!

I don’t believe there’s flowering Nice!
Again they praise themselves through me,
men stale like a hospital,
and women worn out like a proverb.
Tags: google translate, mayakovsky, russian
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