Translating Robert Burns

It wad frae mony a blunder free us, An’ foolish notion: What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us, An’ ev’n devotion!And here’s the translation:Oh, would some Power give us the gift To see ourselves as others see us!.It would from many a blunder free us, And foolish notion: What airs in dress and gait would leave us, And even devotion!The edit distance between the two versions of the verse is 34.

The original has 186 characters, so the translation is about 18% different than the original.

Hirschberg’s sequence alignment algorithm shows how to line up each version with the other.

From Scots to the translation: O|| wa|||d some Pow|r ||||||||the giftie gie us To see oursel||s as i|thers see us!.It wa|||d frae|| mo|ny a blunder free us, An| foolish notion: What airs in dress an| gait wa|||d lea|e us, An| ev|n devotion!.And from the translation back to Scots: Oh, w|ould some Pow|er give us the gift||||||||| To see ourselves as |others see us!.It w|ould fr||om m|any a blunder free us, An|d foolish notion: What airs in dress an|d gait w|ould lea|ve us, An|d ev|en devotion!.I first heard this poem as a child, and I think about it fairly often.

Part of my job as a consultant is to show companies how I as an outsider see their projects.

I need the same input, so I turn to advisors to free me from blunders and foolish notions.

Related postsFrom Finnegans Wake to Return of the JediWolfram Alpha, Finnegans Wake, and QuaternionsSequence alignment[1] Of all books I have never read and have no intention of reading, Finnigans Wake is probably the one I’ve referred to the most.

It’s so ridiculously difficult to read that it makes good raw material for humorous posts.

.. More details

Leave a Reply