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Thread: (*) Gracias a la vida. Violeta Parra/Joan Baez to English

  1. #1
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    Default (*) Gracias a la vida. Violeta Parra/Joan Baez to English

    Could anyone translate this song from Spanish to English.
    Muchas gracias.

    Gracias A La Vida
    (Violeta Parra)

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
    Me dio dos luceros, que cuando los abro,
    Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
    Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
    Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo.

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
    Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho
    Graba noche y día, grillos y canarios,
    Martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos,
    Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
    Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario;
    Con el las palabras que pienso y declaro:
    Madre, amigo, hermano, y luz alumbrando
    La ruta del alma del que estoy amando.

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
    Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados;
    Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
    Playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos,
    Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
    Me dio el corazón que agita su marco
    Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
    Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo,
    Cuando miro al fondo de tus ojos claros.

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.
    Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto.
    Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto,
    Los dos materiales que forman mi canto,
    Y el canto de ustedes que es mi mismo canto,
    Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto.
    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.

  2. #2
    Senior Member xiurell's Avatar
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    Gracias A La Vida.............................................. .THANKS TO THE LIFE
    (Violeta Parra)

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS .................................................. .........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH
    Me dio dos luceros, que cuando los abro,..........IT GAVE ME TWO BRIGHT STARS
    .................................................. .........................AND WHEN I OPEN THEN
    Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco.................I DISTINGUISH PERFECTLY THE .................................................. ........................BLACK FROM THE WHITE
    Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado.................AND IN the high sky its starred .................................................. ........................bottom
    Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo........AND INT THE CROWD THE MAN I .................................................. ........................LOVE

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS
    .................................................. .........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH
    Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho.........IT GAVE ME THE EARING IN ALL .................................................. .........................ITS WIDE
    Graba noche y día, grillos y canarios,.................IT RECORD NIGHT AND DAY, .................................................. .........................CRICKETS AND CANARIES
    Martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos,.............HAMMERS, TURBINES, BARRKS, .................................................. .........................AND SHOWERS
    Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.................AND MY LOVER'S TENDER VOICE

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto.............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS .................................................. .........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH
    Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario;................IT GAVE ME THE SOUND AND .................................................. ..........................THE ALPHABET
    Con el las palabras que pienso y declaro:...........WITH IT THE WORDS I'M .................................................. ..........................THINKING AND I DECLARING
    Madre, amigo, hermano, y luz alumbrando..........MOTHER, FRIEND, BROTHER .................................................. ..........................AND A LIGHT ILLUMINATING
    La ruta del alma del que estoy amando..............THE WAY TO THE SOUL OF MY .................................................. ..........................LOVER

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto..............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS .................................................. ..........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH
    Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados;.....IT HAS GIVEN ME THE .................................................. ..........................STRENGTH TO MY TIRED FEET
    Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,.................WITH THEM I WALKED CITIES .................................................. ..........................AND PUDDLES
    Playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos,...............BEACHES AND DESSERTS, .................................................. ..........................MOUNTAINS AND PLANES
    Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.........................AND YOUR HOUSE, YOUR .................................................. ..........................STREET AND YOUR COURTYARD

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto..............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS .................................................. ...........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH
    Me dio el corazón que agita su marco..................I GAVE MY BEATING HEART
    Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,...........WHEN I LOOK THE FRUIT OF .................................................. ...........................THE HUMANE BRAIN
    Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo,............WHEN I LOOK THE GOOD SO .................................................. ...........................FAR FROM THE BAD
    Cuando miro al fondo de tus ojos claros..............WHEN I LOOK INSIDE YOUR .................................................. ...........................CLEAR EYES

    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto...............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS .................................................. ...........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH
    Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto............IT GAVE THE LAUGHTER AND .................................................. ...........................THE CRIYING
    Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto,......................SO I CAN DISTINGUISH .................................................. ...........................HAPPINESS FROM SADNESS
    Los dos materiales que forman mi canto,.............BOTH MATERIALS THAT FORMS .................................................. ...........................MY SONG
    Y el canto de ustedes que es mi mismo canto,.....AND YOUR SONG THAT IS MINE .................................................. ...........................TOO
    Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto..........AND THE SONG OF ALL WHICH .................................................. ...........................IS MY OWN SONG
    Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto...............THANKS TO THE LIFE THAT HAS .................................................. ...........................GIVEN ME SO MUCH


    BEAUTIFUL SONG

    SALUDOS
    Last edited by xiurell; 07-13-2007 at 12:31 PM.

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    Red face THX Xiurell - My own translation, completed!

    Em sap greu que hages de comunicarme en Angles, pero em va a surtir asi ja que estava traduint la lletra a l´Angles. Records des-de l'Argentina! (vaig viure una stona a Catalunya)

    Complementing your English translation, let me add an alternative one (a way of enhancing yours, or another point of view, you decide):

    Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
    She gave me two bright stars, that when opened,
    Can perfectly distinguish black from white
    And high in the sky, the starry background,
    And within the crowd the man that I love.

    Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
    She gave me ears that, in all of its wide
    Record- night and day -crickets and canaries,
    Hammers, turbines, bricks and showers,
    And the tender voice of my beloved.

    Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
    She gave me sound and the alphabet.
    With them the words that I think and declare:
    "Mother," "Friend," "Brother" and light brightening,
    The way of the soul of my lover.

    Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
    She gave me the wandering of my tired feet.
    With them I've walked cities and puddles
    Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
    And your house, your street and your courtyard.

    Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
    She gave me a heart, that shakes its contention,
    When I see the fruit of the human brain,
    When I see kindness so far from what is bad,
    When I look inside your bright eyes...

    Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
    She gave me laughter as well as mourning.
    With both I distinguish happiness from pain -
    Two of the ingredients that comform my singing,
    As well as your song, that is mine too,
    And the song of all, that is my own singing.

    Thank you life! Thank you life! Thank you life! Thank you life!

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    I hope that you like the use of 'She' (feminin) as a substitute for life, since Violeta was a woman. And women are the source of life, right?
    I also, tried to add the 'naive' spirit of the poem in the words I chose.
    It is a beautiful song, and I'll try to add the translation in Youtube's video of Mercedes Sosa singing it with Joan Baez...

    Personally, I prefer Baez's interpretation of Violeta's poem. Since it adds some 'Queca' style to the music, that would have been Violeta's choice for this poem. That is compared to Mercedes' contemplative style (the original song), Baez's is more lively to my appreciation, isn't it?

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    Senior Member xiurell's Avatar
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    Felicitats Chanio, xerres molt bé el català, benvingut al foro

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    Thank you, Chanio, for the translation. You captured the nuances and the intent of the lyrics, rather than simply translating words or phrases. Not easy to do. I've tried over the years to translate this to English or Portugese for non-Spanish speaking friends, but never was able to find the perfect words to share. I've printed out your version... Now.... can you translate this into Portugese??? ;-))

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    Default English Translation to Gracias a la Vida

    Here's a slightly different translation I pieced together from excerpts in "Latin American Wisdom for Every Day Revelations":

    Thanks Be to Life

    Thanks be to life that gave me so much
    It gave me two eyes, and when I open them,
    I can perfectly distinguish black from white,
    And up there in the sky, a layer of stars,
    And from among the multitudes, the man I love.
    Thanks be to god that gave me so much.

    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.
    It gave me hearing, with my ears wide open,
    Recording crickets and canaries night and day;
    Hammers, turbines, barks, storms,
    And the tender voice of my beloved.
    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.

    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.
    it gave me a voice and letters
    With which to think words and say:
    Mother, friend, light that illuminates
    The path to the soul that I love
    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.

    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.
    Life to let me walk with tired feet;
    And so I crossed cities and swamps,
    Beaches and deserts, mountains and plains,
    To your house, your street, your courtyard.

    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.
    It gave me a heart that begins to flow over
    When I see the depths of your clear eyes.

    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.
    It gave me laughter and crying
    So I can distinguish happiness from sadness,
    Both components of my song,
    And your song that is mine too
    And the song of all which is my own song
    Thanks be to life that gave me so much.”

    --Violeta Parra, Chilean folklorist

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