Insights From Language: Lackless Rhyme, part 2
Frankly, much like the Forsworn Word in the first post, a lot of the other components of the rhyme don’t take on much additional meaning with the translations. They are just that: translations. I also start to have less to work with since the NOTW and WMF rhymes diverge more after the 4’th line.
In all 3 languages, the first rhyme goes on to tell us that beside her husband’s candle is a door without a handle.
Rocks in a Box
(English): In a box, no lid or locks / Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
French: Dans un écrin sans verrou / Lackless a les bijoux de son époux
Japanese: ふたも鍵もない小箱の中に / 入れているのはだんなの小石
(futa mo kagi mo nai kobako no naka ni / ireteiru no wa danna no koishi)
There are a couple small points of interest that are self evident in the literal translations:
French translation: In a case without locks, Lackless keeps the jewels of her spouse
Japanese: In a (little) box with no lid or key are her husband’s (little) rocks.
The use of jewels is interesting because it would seem that in order to correctly translate the connotation that gets chibi Kvothe into trouble with his mother, we get a little more information about what kind of rocks may be in there. (For fans of a certain theory, it’s not much of a stretch to assume obsidian might be considered a jewel.) As shown, the Japanese version is very clear that this is a small box containing small rocks (or pebbles). As far as I know, in Japanese, one’s husband’s 小石 (koishi) does not carry the same connotations as a husband’s rocks or jewels, but I’m not a native speaker.
Next, in all three languages: ~ She’s keeping a secret. ~ She is dreaming but not sleeping.
(Nothing telling in the language, although this “not sleeping” did make me think of Haliax)
The Road and the Riddle
English: On a road, that’s not for traveling / Lackless likes her riddle raveling
French: Sur la route, ce n’est pas pour voyager / Qu’elle veut sa devinette débrouillée
Japanese: 旅じゃないのに道の上 / 自分の謎を解いてもらいたいとさ
(tabi ja nai no ni michi no ue) / (jibun no nazou wo toite moraitai to sa)
There’s an implied connection in the French grammar between the last two lines of rhyme, so I’m translating them together. It is also interesting that the last line of the French and Japanese versions are somewhat different from the English, but similar to each other.
French: On the road, it’s not for traveling / that she wants her riddle untangled
Japanese: On a road but not a journey / she wants someone to solve her mystery.
The Japanese emphasizes that the riddle belongs to her, and both languages imply not only that she wants it solved, but that she can’t solve it herself.
As far as the rest of the WMF version of the rhyme, I only have the French to work with. It follows the English pretty closely, with the only notable differences being:
English: a time that must be right
French: une heure pas encore venue
Translation: a time that has not yet come
English: a son who brings the blood
French: un fils qui porte le lignage
Translation: a son who carries the lineage
So that wraps up the Lackless rhyme language analysis. If anyone has a suggestion for something else in NOTW (where I have all three language versions to work with) to compare the translations on, feel free to suggest it in the comments!