Please click on the links to see some sample translations for children’s books.
You will see how I often had to change the “exact” wording to make the English text rhyme, while still keeping the original idea.
Because of the different syntax and the fact that (obviously) two words that rhyme in one language will generally not rhyme in the other, creative solutions are always required.
When “creating” solutions, I also take into account the rhythm and rhyming schemes in the source language. But my goal is always to make the English text as engaging as the source.
A very short sample from the over 3,ooo words of rhyme in the book, The Bell Maiden, by Nava Semel.
אֵין לִי מְנוּחָה
אֲבָל אֵין בִּי שִׂמְחָה
רֵיק, רֵיק, רֵיק
שָׁכַחְתִּי אֵיךְ לְנַשֵּׁק, לְחַבֵּק
כְּאִילּוּ אֲנִי מֵת
אֲפִילּוּ דִּמְעָה מְסָרֶבֶת לָצֵאת
מַה שֶּׁהָיָה לִי אֵי פַּעַם
רַק צְלִיל מּופְלָא – הוּא יָשִׁיב לִי הַטַּעַם.
I have possessions beyond measure,
but nothing brings me pleasure.
I can’t fall asleep,
I can’t find any peace.
All is empty, all is amiss,
I’ve forgotten the joy of a hug or a kiss.
My heart is like stone, no tears can I shed,
I have no emotions, inside I am dead.
I believe only music that is perfect and true
will bring back the gladness that at one time I knew.