Renhai Reflections 90: One, Two, Three, Four...

One, Two, Three, Four...

I came across the following poem in an Esperanto textbook (Step by Step in Esperanto, page 145):

Unu, du, tri, kvar,
[Pron: 'OO-noo, DOO, TREE, KVAR']
[Transl: one, two, three, four]

Fisxoj nagxas en la mar'.
[Pron: 'FEE-shoy NAH-jahs EHN LA MAHR']
[Trasl: fishes swim in the sea]

Kvin, ses, sep, ok,
[Transl: five, six, seven, eight]

Birdoj staras sur la rok'.
[Pron: 'BEER-doy STAH-rahs SOOR LAH ROHK']
[Transl: birds stand on the rock]

Vidu ilin! naux, dek,
[Pron: 'VEE-doo EE-leen! NOW, DEHK'']
[Transl: see them! nine, ten]

Unu fisx' en cxiu bek'.
[Pron: 'OO-noo FEESH EHN CHEE-oo BEHK']
[Transl: one fish in each one's beak]

From this I was inspired to write something like it with English rhyming:

One, two, three, four,
Fishes in the sea galore.
Five, six, seven, eight,
Gulls on moorage stand and wait.
See them all! nine, ten
Fish in beaks... once again.


John McDonald said...

enjoyed this thanks for an insight into another language

RBroeker said...

Esperanto sounds like stones on stones - even in my German brain (in which I found this nice word for "counting-out rhyme": Abzählreim ...). Thank you for sharing it!

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

There was a lot of haiku on the main Lojban list several months or a year ago.

Devika said...

Enjoyed this one, Masago...
both, the translated version and in English :)

I think i'll save for my poem-session with children...thanks :)


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

wow! you put a lot of work into this! thanks.

Anonymous said...

Good work, Vaughn! I could post my Russian translation of this diity, but I doubt it that anybody reads Russian here. :)


Borut said...

Lovely... algebra of need (a term used by William S.Burrougs and referring to the basic formula of all addiction: the more you use it, the more you need it!?:)

Masago said...

Thank you all!

John: Estas mia plezuro!

Devika: it would be fun to experience the kids' reaction first hand.

Zhanna: Please do! Although I'm not sure how the font would appear for everyone. It might be best to post a transliteration.

Janice Thomson said...

Delighted to see this Vaughn and your inspiration as well.
Especially enjoyed the pronunciation. Does the 'i' always have an 'E' sound?

Anonymous said...

Below is my translation into Russian. Since the numbers at the end of the lines dictate the rhymes, it is impossible to make a word to word translation. I hope the Russian letters come looking normal.

Раз, два, три, четыре -
Рыбу в море раздобыли;
Пять, шесть, семь восемь -
Чаек к ужину мы просим -
Вон они! - девять, десять.
Рыбу в клювах жаждут взвесить.

The same thing in Latin letters (but only approximately, since some sounds in the two languages do not coincide):

Ras, dvah, tree, chee-tee-ree -
Ree-boo v moh-ree rahz-dah-bee-lee;
Piat, shehst, sehm, voh-seem -
Cha-eek k oo-zhee-noo mi proh-seem.
Vohn ah-nee! - deh-veet, deh-seet,
Ree-boo v kloo-vakh zhazh-doot vzveh-seet.

Read "zh" as in Dr. Zhivago (in my name , too)

And here is the translation of it into English.

One, two three, four -
We have caught fish in the sea;
Five, six, seven, eight -
We are inviting gulls for supper -
And here they are! - nine, ten -
Eager to weigh up the fish in their beaks.

Zhanna :)

jem said...

Made me laugh. I love the way it's so simple and childlike - a counting rhyme, all sweet and then that image of the birds eating the fish. Kids love that kind of ending. They cope with brutal truths so much better than adults.

Paula said...

That is very cute. Both the Esperanto and English versions work well. :)

That Butler book is a good book to work with. I bought mine from the Esperanto-USA online bookstore.

susane said...

Your work surprised me a lot because it's been a long time since I found this wonderful sharing.

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