A gift of God
May sear unready fingers
∞ = Δ
Un cadeau de la Divinité brulerait des doigts qui ne sont pas prêts
Un bienfait de la Divinité flétrirait des pousses
CHOICES: The first translation is the most literal word for word translation. It adequately carries the oxymoronic tension between “gift” and “sear”, but does not get at “unready”, which harbors suggestions of : unpreparedness, clumsiness, immaturity, and being untrained.
Thus, the second more playful translation tries to get at all of the tension packed in the English – bienfait literally a “good deed”, a blessing; fletrirait, “would wither/may wither”, pousses, “sprouts”- good things withering sprouts captures the oxymoronic tension better, I think. Also, the internal rhyme makes it more memorable. The horticultural imagery, again more memorable.
∞ = Δ
We do not worship God.
We perceive and attend God.
We learn from God.
With forethought and work,
We shape God.
In the end, we yield to God.
We adapt and endure,
For we are Earthseed
And God is Change.
∞ = Δ
Nous ne rendrons pas un culte à la Divinité.
On perçoit et observe la Divinité.
On apprend de la Divinité.
Avec effort et prévoyance
Nous façonnons la Divinité
A la fin, nous nous rendrons à la Divinité.
On adapte et on endure
Parce que nous sommes…
et la Divinité est le changement.
∞ = Δ
Worship, the verb, may be up for grabs, as there is no single cognate verb. There are other possibilities, although culte, is a good fit for the noun worship.
There are some possibilities around “We Shape God” that I won’t belabor, beyond saying the verb shape can be rendered many ways. My amateur eye does not see a single French verb that is similarly literal and figurative at the same time.
Earthseed…John Halsted has alerted me to the existing French translation and I am tempted to see how the pro translator handled the neologistic portmanteau that is Earthseed. I will fiddle with my ignorance a bit longer: I am trying to avoid the typical “this of that” construction that presents itself to the anglophone ear – grains de terre, and actually construct a French neologism. Terre is obvious (and also carries the same association with the anglophone expression “Mother Earth”, la Terre mére ) – but how to render “seed”? Semence: seed for sowing and sperm / semen. Germe : Le Grand Robert tells me it is more figurative, and is used in association with ideas, as well as plant development and embryonic development. Grain is literally seed and doesn’t seem to get used metaphorically, like the other two choices. Stay tuned. Maybe, I’ll use all four or five suggested here.