Wael Al-Mahdi (2010) تعريب وائل المهدي

الملحمة الجبروقية هي قصيدة شعرية للكاتب لويس كارول الذي ألف رواية( آليس في بلاد العجائب).  ظهرت هذه الأبيات الهزلية في رواية نُشرت في سنة 1872 وتميّزت  بغرابة ألفاظها واختراع الكاتب لبعض كلماتها، وكان قصد الكاتب في ذلك السخرية من أساليب الشعر المتحجرة والنمطية المنتشرة في عهده.  وفي القصة، عثرت آليس على كتاب مكتوب بلغة غريبة لم تستطيع قرائتها فأدركت أن الكتابة معكوسة لذا استخدمت مرآة للقراءة واكتشفت كلمات الملحمة الجبروقية. 

بالإضافة إلى كلمات لويس الكارول الأصلية، فإن قصيدة الأصمعي (صوت صفير البلبل) كان لها الدور الأكبر في تشكيل هذه الترجمة

This is an Arabic translation of Lewis Caroll’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky.  It’s the first translation of this delightfully wacky work into Arabic (at least I think it is.)  Arabic is an ideal language for Jabberwocky, it being replete with flowery expressions and fanciful synonyms.  The morphological structure of Arabic, with three-consonant roots and fluid vowels, makes inventing words equivalent to the original creations an especially delicious task.   The major inspiration for this translation, in addition to Jabberwocky itself, is Al-Asmai’s equally nonsense, much more ancient poem “Safiru Sawtu Al-Bulbuli” (The Bulbul’s Song).  Al-Asmai was an important 9th century Arabic scholar and poet, known for his books on subjects as wide-ranging as zoology, natural science, and anecdotes.  There is an interesting story behind The Bulbul’s Song:  apparently the Abbasid Caliph at the time could memorize poems from one hearing.  He also had a slave who could memorize a whole poem from two hearings, and a slave-girl who could do it from three hearings.  Whenever a poet came to the Caliph with a new poem, expecting a prize, the Caliph would tell him he’d heard the poem before, recite the poem, and have his slave and slave-girl recite the poem.  Al-Asmai, knowing there was intrigue involved, invented a nonsense poem that would stump the Caliph and his slaves.  Upon hearing the inimitable poem, the Caliph resumed the time-honored tradition of rewarding creative poets. 

العربية Arabic

Arabic Transliterated

Original English

جراذل الوابي ضحى

تدربحت تدربُحا

مُفرفرٌ تُنحنحا

وطائرُ البُربرِ فحا

Jarâdhilu l-wâbi dhuhâ

Tadarbahat tadarbuhâ

Mufarfirun tanahnaha

Wa tâ’iru l-burburi fahâ

 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

اِحذرَرِ الجبروقا

 وفكّه المُطَرطقا!

واحذر طُييرَ الجُبجُبِ

 والغنضبَ المُزندقا

Ihdhirari l-jabarwaqâ

Wa fakkahu l-mutartiqâ

W’ahdhar tuyayra l-jubjubi

W’al-ghandhaba l-muzandiqâ!

 

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

قُلّد سيفَ القنضلى

 يريدُ صيد العنضلى

في فيّ نخلِ الظَمظمِ

متكئاً مُفنضلاً.

Qullida sayfa l-qandhalâ

Yurîdu sayda l-andhalâ

Fi fayyi nakhli l-dhamdhami

Muttaki’an mufandhilâ.

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

وبينما تنفضلا

جاء الجبروَق من علا! 

عيناه جمرٌ قلقلا

في الغاب يسعى بربلا!

Wa baynamâ tafandhalâ

Ja’a l-jabarwaqu min alâ

Aynâhu jamrun qalqalâ

Fil-ghâbi yas’â barbalâ!

 

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

قطع قطع ضرب ضرا

 أسقطه مُجندلاً!

برأسِه تقهقرا

مُبختِراً مُهرولاً.

Qata qata dharab dharâ!

Asqatahu mujandalâ!

Bi ra’sihi taqahqarâ

Mubakhtiran muharwilâ.

 

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

يا من قتلت الجروقا !

وُليلدي المنبثقا!

كم هو يومٌ عبقرا

أقولها مُخرقرا.

Ya man qatalta al-jarwaqâ!

Wulaylidi l-munbathiqâ!

Kam huwa yawmun abqarâ

Aqûluhâ mukharqirâ.

 

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

جراذل الوابي ضحى

تدربحت تدربُحا

مُفرفرٌ تُنحنحا

وطائرُ البُربرِ فحا

Jarâdhilu l-wâbi dhuhâ

Tadarbahat tadarbuhâ

Mufarfirun tanahnahâ

Wa tâ’iru l-burburi fahâ

 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

 

5 Responses to Jabberwocky in Arabic

  1. Molly says:

    5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y5y cOOLLLLLLL Lewis s s s s s s s s s s s s s s carroll l l l lll l l l l ll lll ll ll ll ll ll ll ll ll l ll ll ll ll ll ll ll l l l l l l l ll l l ll l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

  2. Maab says:

    Translating this always seemed so far fetched and impossible.

    Thank you VERY much for doing this uncanny feat and giving me more than a chance at enjoying this poem in a more expressive language.

  3. scooby says:

    Excellent effort! Really enjoyable.

  4. ترجمتك هايلة ما شاء الله.. فعلًا فكرني بالشعر القديم !

  5. I am glad to find that a translation of “Jabberwocky” into Arabic has been mastered, and posted on the web. As you may know, an internet site with translations into 29 languages does not list an Arabic version.
    My personal interest in this issue is rather lightweight; I am interested in the adaptation of iconic verse including Shakespeare and Dante into accessible pop song. I have posted a compilation of translated verses of jabberwocky by various authors, each in a different language, on my blog “Giorgio’s Ukable Parodies” (search for post #50) as a multilingual song to the Donovan adaptation. The translations have been selected from those i could find, based on singability. I have listed the authors of each translated verse prominently in the lyrics. The first verse of my compilation is the simple ‘Anglo-Saxon’ version written as a teenager by Dobson; the final verse is from his well-known final version. I would be honored if I could replace the final verse with your musical translation, citing your name and your blog-site, if you are interested in this project. In any case, I would appreciate your indicating the accenting of syllables for at least your first verse, so I could attempt to sing it, as participants in my ukulele club might enjoy it as part of “The Multilingual Jabberwocky”.

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