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Jeyhun Amirkhanov
How should I say that? Hi everyone! I translate a little poem from my native language into English and have problems with some expressions. For example the sentence "Q'ilel alay qal ya, vuchiz?" is literary translated as "On their heads they have a woe, why?" "To have a woe on head" is like they face with the problems everyday, their life is hard and they suffer from it. Which expression fits better in this situation? Is it ok to say to have a woe on head or over head (it sounds wrong)? Thanks!
Oct 6, 2016 5:09 PM
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Answers · 3
Some suggestions: "What weighs heavily on their minds?", "What troubles their minds?", "What weighs on their conscience?", "What weighs down (on) their conscience?", "What troubles their soul?"
October 6, 2016
First of all, it is "LITERALLY" not "LiteRARY". It is always a translation problem to translate literally and loose the local flavour or that something the target audience cannot understand. A compromise can be achieved in this situation with some flights of fancy added in without changing the context too much. I would translate it as "Little woes dancing in my head". You have poetic licence in this form of writing :) @Mealanie, "headful" :)
October 6, 2016
Hi Jeyhun, The word 'woe' means agony/burden/grief/sorrow. So I think the expression you're looking for is 'a head full of woe'. When you can't think of anything else but how sorrowful you're feeling. Hope that helps, Melanie
October 6, 2016
Jeyhun Amirkhanov
Language Skills
Azeri, English, French, Other, Russian, Turkish
Learning Language
English, French, Other