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English translation of "La Espero"

Lee Miller's picture

The text of "La Espero" is notoriously difficult to translate into English, largely because of the complicated sentence structure, the rhythm, and the use of quasi-religious language. Most of the translation attempts I've seen fail in one way or another to present the poem adequately. I just found a translation from the 1940's, however, that does a pretty decent job. It's from "La Brita Esperantisto", and is reproduced in the appendix material of Margaret Hagler's dissertation "The Esperanto Language as a Literary Medium".

I'm not saying this is great literature, but it is an interesting--and largely successful--attempt at translating this well-known poem. It's interesting that it remains sing-able to the usual music.



Trans. by Janet Caw

The British Esperantist, July, 1942

To the world has come a strange new glory,
Through the world a mighty voice is crying:
On the wings of every breeze the story
Now from place to place is swiftly flying.

Not with thirsty sword for blood desiring
It would draw earth’s family together:
To a world towards war for aye aspiring
It will bring a holy peace forever.

‘Neath the sacred sign of Hope’s fair banner
Here are gathered hosts for peaceful fighting:
And the cause will grow in wondrous manner,
Hope and labour hand in hand uniting:

Strongly stand those age-old walls which sever
All the peoples fiercely rent asunder:
But the stubborn walls will fall for ever,
By Love’s holy passion beaten under.

On a single neutral tongue foundation,
Understanding ev’ry race the other,
All the tribes of earth shall make one nation,
And no longer man shall hate his brother.

So our faithful band will toil and labour
Will not cease their peaceable endeavor,
Till the glorious dream—each man a neighbor—
Realised, shall bless the earth forever.

by Lee Miller



russ's picture

Thanks for posting it. I'd not seen any translations of "La espero" before.

December 1, 2009 by russ, 6 years 25 weeks ago

La Espero translation

EoGuy's picture

This is the one I use:

Dr L L Zamenhof
(Esperantists' Hymn)

Into the world came a new feeling, through the world goes a strong call; on wings of an easy wind now let it fly from place to place.

Not to a sword, thirsting for blood does it draw the human family; to the eternally warring world it promises sacred harmony.

Under the sacred sign of Hope peaceful warriors begin to assemble, and "THE AFFAIR" rapidly grows through the work of those who hope.

Walls of millennia firmly stand between the divided peoples; but the stubborn barriers will burst apart, knocked apart by Holy Love.

On a neutral language foundation, understanding one another, by mutual consent the people will make one large family circle.

Our diligent co-workers in the peaceful work will not get tired, until the beautiful dream of humanity for an eternal blessing comes to pass.

September 3, 2012 by EoGuy, 3 years 38 weeks ago

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