The Joy of Translating

If you have been following us for a while, you know that we adore English rhymes, songs, poems and stories. Since we parent bilingual, we find it important to make our kids love Hungarian children’s literature as well.

Even though we truly believe in authentic English books, tools and educational materials, we have also experienced that telling our kids’ favorite Hungarian rhymes in English can „fire them up” for language switching when they are not in the mood. So, the „familiar scenes” can work as sort of switching tools between Hungarian and English languages.

For me, Ancsa, translating prose, poetry or songs has always meant a delightful activity. When I was a teenager, I used to translate my favorite English pop hits and kept on singing them in both languages, so, my translations had to rhyme too. I had so much fun! Probably, that positive experience was the reason why I restarted translating rhymes and phonic stories from and to English and Hungarian when Lulu was born and our bilingual journey has started.

If you had had the chance to attend any of our bilingual parenting online courses, especially „DUMAngol Anyatanító VIP” and „52-week-long Premium VIP Program” , you could have read or heard some of my translations, for example, „Hush Little Baby, don’t say a word” or „Pál, Kata, Péter, jó reggelt!”

One of my personal favorites is the rhyming „Dressing-up Box” among the 50 titles of  „My First Reading Library”, a must-have young  children’s literature collection.

Since among our VIP parents our translations are more than popular, we decided to share some of them with you.

Here is our first set of Bartos Erika‘s Zsákbamacska rhymes translated by our Annamária Gulácsi.

Bartos Erika: Kelepelő

Kelep-kelep, kéményünkön
kelepel a gólya.
Éhes már a fészekben a
négy gólyafióka.

Kelep-kelep gólyaszülők
vigyázzák a fészket,
etetik a fiókákat,
sorra mind a négyet.

Kelep-kelep, felnő a négy
pelyhes tollú jószág,
Várja már a gólyákat egy
napsütötte ország.

Kelep-kelep, itt van az ősz,
nekivágnak délnek,
visszatérnek tavasszal,
ha vége már a télnek!

Clattering Rhyme

„Clatter clatter” clatters the stork
on the top of our chimney.
All the babies in the nest
are more than very hungry.

„Clatter clatter” mum and dad storks
take care of the nest.
They feed four birdies one by one,
who will be the next?

„Clatter clatter”, all four grow up,
their feathers are so fluffy.
All storks are expected to fly
to a sunny country.

„Clatter clatter”, fall has arrived,
they cross the Southern border.
They’ll all return at Springtime
when cold Winter is over.

Translated by Annamária Gulácsi

Bartos Erika: Kukásautó

Kukásautó, kukásautó,
megtöri a csöndet,
láttam én már narancssárgát,
kéket, szürkét, zöldet.

Utcánkba a kukásautó
jön már korán reggel,
ki is ürít minden kukát,
mire a Nap felkel.

Elöl ül a vezetője,
hátul áll két bácsi,
úgy szeretnék egyszer én is
büszkén odaállni!

Garbage Truck

Garbage truck, garbage truck
that the silence breaks
I saw orange, blue and green
and don’t forget the grey!

To our street the garbage truck
arrives early morning
and it empties all the bins
till the sun starts glowing

In the front the driver sits,
two men stand on the back
I wish I could stand next to them
and mommy saw my back.

Translated by Annamária Gulácsi

Bartos Erika: Nem akarok!

Nem akarok felkelni még,
ilyen korán reggel!
Nem akarok piros pulcsit,
kérlek anya, tedd el!
Nem akarok reggelizni,
kicsit fáj a hasam.
Nem akarok fésülködni,
ne húzd meg a hajam!
Nem akarok cipőt venni,
nem látom a párját!
Nem akarom cipelni a
hátamon a táskát!
Nem akarok tornazsákot,
nem bírok el ennyit!
Nem akarok, nem akarok,
nem akarok semmit!

I don’t want to…

I don’t want to wake up early,
Such an early morning!
I don’t want that red pullover,
Take it mom, it’s boring.
I don’t want to eat my breakfast,
There’s pain in my tummy.
I don’t want to have my hair brushed,
Don’t pull my hair, mommy!
I don’t want to put on my shoe,
I can’t see its pair. No!
I don’t want to put on my bag
On my back, it’s too low.
I don’t want my gym bag either.
More I cannot carry.
I don’t want now anything else
Leaving home is scary.

Translated by Annamária Gulácsi