‘Twas brillig in Arabia

Lewis Caroll’s poem “Jaberwocky” from Through the Looking-Glass has been translated into Arabic.

The major inspiration for this translation, in addition to Jabberwocky itself, is Al-Asmai’s equally nonsense, much more ancient poem “Safiru Sawtu Al-Bulbuli” (The Bulbul’s Song). Al-Asmai was an important 9th century Arabic scholar and poet, known for his books on subjects as wide-ranging as zoology, natural science, and anecdotes.

The poem, and the rest of the story behind it, is here. If you want to hear what a nonsense poem in Arabic sounds like, someone has thoughtfully uploaded a recording of the Bulbul song to YouTube, along with the Arabic so you can follow along.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s