Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bharot Xadhin (India, Free)

The poem in Bangla (Bengali) is followed by a rather free translation into English.
Vowels in Bangla are usually intermediate in length (duration) between what would be considered long and short for English vowels.  The stress accent in Bangla is much weaker than in English, and is generally on the first syllable.

In the Roman transcription I have used here for Bangla, the vowels a, e, i, o, u are as in Latin (or Italian & Spanish). 
Two vowels have been added:  e` and o`, with sounds roughly like those of the vowels in (the noun or the stressed verb) can and (standard British English) hot
These two added vowels are more "open" versions of e and o, respectively.  Note that the o` is still a rounded vowel, unlike the o in the usual U.S. pronunciation of hot.

The ~ following a vowel indicates a (faint) nasalization.

The consonants t and d are, as in the Latin languages, dentals – pronounced by touching the tongue-tip to the back of the upper teeth. 
The t' and d' are alveolar (not circumflex as in  many other Indian languages).  They are pronounced by touching the tongue-tip to the gum ridge of the upper teeth, roughly as in English.

The h after a consonant indicates added aspiration (an unvoiced puff of air, as in the English h).  A consonant that is not followed by an h is unaspirated – and so should not be followed by that extra puff of air.  For speakers of English and most other languages that are not Indic (Indo-Aryan), this distinction may be difficult to hear and reproduce.
I have used x to represent the sound of the sh cluster of written English, so as not to create an exception to the use of h as an aspirant.

The letter c is used for the cluster ch in English chum, without the aspiration that is more evident in English chin. The aspirated version is written ch.

All other consonant letters used have values that are roughly the same as in their most common usage in English.

Bharot Xadhin

Ko`to din bade, e dexer theke
Bidexer bahinir jaoa!
Akaxe bataxe, ureche bhore
Xadhin Bharoter haoa!

Ki kore boli xediner ko`tha,
Dirgho kahini aj?
Chokher jo`le, bhaxie dilam
Ei Bharoter laj.

Elo Ingrej, korlo do`khol,
Roilo pracin bhar.
Ge`lo Ingrej, tao ki khajna
Caibe jomidar?

Elo Ingrej.  Karkhana-ko`le
Sromiker do`l khat’e.
Ge`lo Ingrej.  Ho`be ki jo`ma
Sromiker bo`l mat’he?

Notun juge, xo`hore, ga~e
Axbe ki khalax xexe?
Purono dukkher kapor chere,
Ut’hbe ki Bharot hexe?

Xonibar, 8-oi Phebruari, 2014
Bruklin, Niu Io`rk


India, Free

The foreign troops depart at last
And end our long despair.
The dawn is breaking, as we breathe
Of freedom’s heady air.
But how can we recount the tale –
That story long of sorrow?
Our tears now wash away that shame.
We look to India’s morrow.

The British came and lorded, took
Their tax – as brigands do.
The British leave.  Will "landlords" still
Demand their share as due?

The British came – and workers toiled
To death in mine and mill.
The British leave.  Will workers now
Have strength to show their will?

In this new age, to village, town,
Will freedom come, at last?
Will India rise and smile as she
Casts off her painful past?

2014 Feb. 8th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York


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