A literal translation is one where the author converts the meaning of the thought from one language to another directly without regard to any figurative or metaphorical meaning on the resulting output.
The Philippine National Anthem and Patriotic Pledge are sung and recited during the flag raising ceremony in all public and private primary and secondary schools in the Philippines. All in all therefore, a Filipino child will have had ten years of singing the anthem and reciting the pledge before she starts her university or college education.
These two pieces of literary work are deeply ingrained in the consciousness of every educated Filipino and mastery of these is a good indication that the person as a child has been educated in the Philippines. Here is how I loosely translated the two literary works into English.
The Chosen Land (Philippine National Anthem)
My gracious nation, pearl of the Orient,
Flame in your heart upon your bosom lives.
A chosen land, the cradle of the heroic,
To the conqueror you shall not abide.
In the seas and mountains, in the breeze and in your heavens blue.
There is beauty in the poem and song to freedom that is dearly loved.
The sparkle in your flag triumphantly shines.
Her stars and sun shall forever never fade.
Land of the sun, glory and endearment,
Life is heaven to be at your side.
Our happiness it is that if there will be oppressors,
To die in defense of you.
The Philippine Patriotic Pledge
I love the Philippines.
It is the land where I was born.
It is the home of my race.
She protects me and helps me,
To become strong, happy and useful.
In return, I will heed the advice of my parents.
I will observe the rules of my school.
I will fulfill the duties of a citizen who is patriotic and respectful of the law.
I will serve my country without selfishness and with total loyalty.
I will aspire to become a true Filipino in thoughts, words and deeds.
This translation of the Philippine National Anthem and Patriotic Pledge to English is a loose one, that is a literal translation of the meaning of the original sentences in Tagalog. I did not attempt to infuse any poetic or literary elements into the imagery nor is there any other interpretation of the resulting work except its literal meaning. It's just how an ordinary person would translate the works for someone who doesn't speak the Tagalog language.
Read my other article on an English translation of the Filipino patriotic song My Country at: http://hinagapnikaure.blogspot.com/2010/01/an-english-translation-of-filipino.html.