a few lines from Beowulf

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Lojban translation of Beowulf 210-228

                                                       tr. John Cowan 2/92

The following text is a Lojban translation of lines 210-228 of >Beowulf<, describing how Beowulf and his companions set sail from Geatland to the hall of Hrothgar.


le temci cu cliva .i fulta le boxna .i cnita le cmaca'a .i le ribnau djica re'o le lotcra cu badydzu .i le flecu cu gu'orgau le canre le se limna .i le nanmu cu bevri fi le cutne be le botpi fe le carmi taxfu po'u le jamymai xagmau .i le nanmu cu batcatke .i le nanmu pe le djinunkla le mudri cu lasna .i ca cliva re'o le bonxamsi bai le brife le fulta fomcnebo poi simsa be lo cipni be'o traji .ipu'obo ba le ra'artei pe le remoi djedi le selkruvi lotcra cu crane klama .ije le litru le tumla cu viska .i xaskoi sraca'a tergusni .i cmaca'a badysalpo .i clani cfine .icabo le xasklama le jacplu cu fanmo .ito'obo fi'o sutra ku le la .uederas. prenu le pitytu'a badydzu .i le xasmudri cu se skola'a .i le creka cu se sance .i jamna taxfu .i fe le cevni cu ckire le nu le nanmu le bo'arnunkla cu se frili


In each group of three lines, the first line is the original Beowulf text, with the usual orthographical conventions except that long vowels are not shown and the "eth" letter is written "th", as in Modern English.

The second line is a gloss of the Old English, and by intention can serve as a gloss of the Lojban as well. This gloss is essentially Tolkien's, from "On Translating Beowulf".

The third line is my Lojban translation. No attempt has been made to preserve the alliteration, but I do try to preserve the syntactic and semantic devices and much of the four-stress rhythm as well. Because Lojban words are partly built from English words, alliterative patterns occasionally resurface by accident.

Note that the word "Wedera" in the original is an alternative name of the Geats, Beowulf's people. The word "eoletes" is marked by Tolkien as an "unknown or corrupt word"; I have accepted his best-guess gloss of "waterway" = "water-route".

Fyrst forth gewat. Flota waes on ythum Time on departed. Floater was on waves le temci cu cliva .i fulta le boxna

bat under beorge. Beornas gearwe boat under hill. Men eager .i cnita le cmaca'a .i le ribnau djica

on stefn stigon. Streamas wundon on prow strode. Currents rolled re'o le lotcra cu badydzu .i le flecu cu gu'orgau

sund with sande. Secgas baeron swimming [=sea] against sand. Men bore le canre le se limna .i le nanmu cu bevri

on bearm nacan beorhte fraetwe into bosom of-boat bright trappings fi le cutne be le botpi fe le carmi taxfu

guth-searo geatolic. Guman ut scufon war-gear wellmade. Men out thrust po'u le jamymai xagmau .i le nanmu cu batcatke

weras on wil-sith wudu bundenne. adult-males on wish-journey timber fastened. .i le nanmu pe le djinunkla le mudri cu lasna

Gewat tha ofer waeg-holm winde gefysed Departed then over wave-sea [by] wind urged .i ca cliva re'o le bonxamsi bai le brife

flota famig-heals fugle gelicost, floater foamy-neck to-bird most-like le fulta fomcnebo poi simsa be lo cipni be'o traji

oththaet ymb an-tid othres dogres until after due-time of-second day .ipu'obo ba le ra'artei pe le remoi djedi

wunden-stefna gewaden haefd e, curved-prow advanced had, le selkruvi lotcra cu crane klama

thaet tha lithende land gesawon that these voyagers land saw .ije le litru le tumla cu viska

brim-clifu blican beorgas steape, surf-cliffs gleaming hills steep, .i xaskoi sraca'a tergusni .i cmaca'a badysalpo

side sae-naessas. Tha waes sund-lidan long sea-capes. then it-was for-sea-voyager [=boat] .i clani cfine .icabo le xasklama

eoletes aet ended. Thanon up hrathe of-waterway[?] at end. Thence up quickly le jacplu cu fanmo .ito'obo fi'o sutra ku

Wedera leode on wang stigon, Wederish people on plain strode, le la .uederas. prenu le pitytu'a badydzu

sae-wudu saeldon. Syrcan hrysedon sea-timber roped. Shirts rattled .i le xasmudri cu se skola'a .i le creka cu se sance

guth-gewaedo. Gode thancedon war-raiment. God thanked .i jamna taxfu .i fe le cevni cu ckire

thaesthe him yth-lade eathe wurdon. that for-them wave-passage easy proved. le nu le nanmu le bo'arnunkla cu se frili