Translations from Catalan to English
Having lived in Barcelona and become a fluent speaker there, I can offer my clients not only an in-depth knowledge of the linguistic components of Catalan texts but also direct experience and appreciation of the culture that surrounds and informs them.
Catalan, alongside French, was the major language of my MA training in literary translation and for which I also have the Nivell C qualification (minimum level required for official administration work in Catalonia) in 2006. I have translated poems and lyrics by Antònia Lladonet i Riera, Pau Riba, Josep Foix and Xavier Panades i Blas, subtitles for Barcelona TV and Windfall Films and online content for wine websites. I am currently preparing a new anthology of Catalan literature for Francis Boutle Publishers.
For a non-exhaustive list of other subjects covered, please see my homepage.
Extract (Poem XII) from Les Irreals Omegues (The Unreal Omegas, 1949) by J.V.Foix
I OPENED, FROZEN, THE DRAWERS IN WHICH I PRESERVED THOUSANDS OF POEMS I COULD NOT REMEMBER EVER HAVING WRITTEN. PILAR ASSURED ME - IT WAS A VERDANT EVENING WITH THE LIPS OF A LOW SKY GLEAMING - THAT SHE HAD READ THEM. THE DRAWERS WERE FULL OF COMPACT AND HARD HANDS THAT CLENCHED MINE WITH STRANGE DESIGNS.
On which dark sea stood the wreck of a schooner
With hysterical birds upon the spars
And sails that fail and flag under the moss
-We plucked lilac petals between the cinders.
In which hidden cavern are there scallop shells
Where we hide treasures of roots and water
Each yearning for the dance and armed with canes
-Outside the town we trampled on shadows.
In which unknown courtyard of an enclosed home
Did we hear songs with heavenly anguish
The winged insects lying on our hot palms
-Halfway through the gorge we put out the lights.
In which tavern depths stretching beyond time
Did we taste new grape juice and were haunted
By sounds of old marbles in fossil organs
-We scared ourselves with spectral grimaces.
In which old ravine did we wildly dance
To nocturnal laments of swaying groves
Lunar echo of siren song and voice
-We hid the body under the netting.
In which street did we hear seaweed clamour
When we said goodbye silently, speechless
By the light of sparkling prophecies
-Wearing brand-new gloves we examined pearls.
In which hangar on an ancient plain
Wearing night clothes and adorned with roses
Did we caress birds with tremulous hands
-We started motor cars despairingly.
At which fountain of the lost shady place
One summer disrobed in the full of night
Did the vestals cry to the gods of stone
-With our eyes bandaged we sang misfortunes.
On which wall during a night without hours
Did we engrave names of unknown meaning
And draw out decorous and dead symbols
-We breathed upon varnish with untouched mouths.
On which turning of the faded footpath
Did the girls on cycles hurtle and fall
From sheer cliff faces formed by windy crags
-We crossed ourselves with sorcerer’s water
In which bottomless drawers did I uncover
Poems never written which I honour
In crumpled papers and with false letters
-I extend porcelain and ivory hands.
Cadaqués, September, 1930
© Translation - James Thomas 2016 –All Rights Reserved.