lunes, 10 de marzo de 2008

Canso d'Antioca I

Joan deu Peiroton's superb Lo blòg deu Joan remains my favorite place to encounter modern Occitan as a living language on its own turf. With posts in Gascon, Lengadocian and even Catalan, there's something for everyone here; however, I find Joan's at his best when writing about cultural-linguistic matters having to do with regional identities (for example, frontier communities that are half-Catalan/half-Occitan) and/or language issues that are somewhat complicated in nature themselves (i.e. what the standardization of Gascon would entail). The only "problem" is that Joan's blogging so much these days that I find it hard to keep up with him even with the trusty online dictionaries he provides on his site!

Because of my interest in older Occitan literature, though, I've also been reading a translation of the twelfth-century Canso d'Antioca put out by Carol Sweetenham and Linda M. Paterson a few years back. While I don't have my "review" ready just yet, it's no secret that this epic from the Lemosin (French Limousin) deals with the crusaders' victory at Antioch during the course of the First Crusade. In anticipation of a follow-up post on the work later in the week, here's the first six verses from the opening laisse of the poem. I hope it gives those who might be new to the language at least a little taste of medieval Occitan's inherent aesthetic "coolness."

La batalha renguero lo divenres mati
pres la bafumaria al cap del pont perri.
Reis Corbarans de Persa demandet Arloÿ,
al cortes dogroman qe enten so lati:
'Quals es aqesta gens que vei estar aisi?
On vai, ni que demanda, ni qe quer, ni qe ditz?'


[On the Friday morning they drew up the order of battle,
near the mosque at the end of the stone bridge.
King Kerbogha of Persia asked Herluin,
the courtly interpreter who understands his language:
'What are these people I see standing here?
Where are they heading, what claims are they making,
what do they want and what do they say?']

This text and translation can be found on pages 192-193 of the fine study by Carol Sweetenham and Linda M. Paterson, eds., The Canso d'Antioca: An Occitan Epic Chronicle of the First Crusade, Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2003.

4 comentarios:

  1. Hi R-lo! I'm glad you find some interest in reading my blog. Concerning getting a good dictionary, perhaps you should contact Patrick Guilhemjoan:
    [guilhemjoan@wanadoo.fr]
    He is the coauthor of an excellent French-Gascon dictionary in two volumes, a gascon self-teaching method, as well as, if I remember correctly, a dictionary under a CD-rom format (PC only) which, I think, works both ways. He might help you to get this kind of material for you or for your institute library. With other guys, he has set up a online shop.
    http://www.gasconlanas.com/gl.php where you can get these dictionaries, lots of gascon books and methods as well as the gascon-language-only grammar.
    They are so glad to see that foreigners are interested in Gascon language that they will always be willing to help. You can contact him in French, Spanish or eventually Catalan.

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  2. I find joan deu peiroton's blog wonderful in every way, his language abilities are superb although he has not yet been able to learn any Finnish. My language is completely different from the Indo-European ones which so much resemble each other. It is a Finno-Ugric one and therefore much more difficult to learn. Finnish Mythology Also I am interested in all the music that joan offers us to listen. His sense of humour is often beyond compare and I would almost call him a genius.

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  3. Joan, thanks for the suggestions. My library actually has a copy of the Gascon dictionary you mention, so I'll start with that. I also bought a tiny book, "Le Languedocien de poche," today, so my Occitan studies will continue on a couple of fronts.

    Merike, that Finnish I looked at almost looks as intimidating as Arabic! Although I'm not sure that was your intention, you've suddenly given me more incentive to stick with the Romance languages! Thank you both for your comments. Mercés.

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  4. My intention was only to praise Joan! But now I am also getting interested in your blog because of the language. After all, I am a member of the esteemed G(V)asconha doman. I read fluently. Don't understand anything. This is my bible: .:: Lexico Gascon-Francese ::. I already have noticed that the correct word is written "lexic". This is no joke. I like qu'ei. I try to learn some català as well. Reading stories from Tolosa, la casa deus Peirotons, is very interesting. I can almost see a TV series made of it..

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