Good day, folks! How has your November challenge been going so far? I didn’t end up taking on anything other than the Poem-a-Day challenge, but that’s keeping me busy enough 😉 I’ve been going at the average pace of two-poems-a-day, dropping to one on busier days.
We are already a week into November! Today’s post will include the usual Friday Reflections topic as well as some prompts and links to keep you rolling 🙂
Friday Reflections: Translation
Translation is a daily activity for a lot of people who are multi-lingual. You may not even realize how often you’re translating things from one language to another. If you’re used to this, perhaps you could take a close look at some of the “ordinary” acts of translation you’re always doing, and try to capture that in what you write. Often there’s some comedy in the effort of translation–in the futility of the effort, since there’s always something important “lost in translation”. (You could try writing about what it is that you think is lost in translation.)
All the same, you can’t live without translating, either, just because it’s not a 100% successful activity all the time. Perhaps you could imagine a scenario in which translation is not possible–what kind of communication remains in the end?
Translation doesn’t necessarily have to be from one entire language to another. Often you’re simply trying to translate your ideas, feelings or thoughts into words. Isn’t that what we’re doing when we write? Or when we try to explain our experiences to others?
Perhaps you could write about some of your specific efforts in translating what’s on your mind into communication. Meta-fictive and meta-poetic works (like poems that are about writer’s block) are all about this (difficult) process of translation!
The act of translation isn’t limited to words, either. We translate between words and actions all the time, too! Charades is a classic game that tests how well you can do so. There are interesting ways to play with this kind of translation, such as by highlighting the incongruity between a character’s words and actions 😉
Also, translations gone wrong can often lead to misunderstandings–there’s much scope for humour (and tragedy) in this.
These are just some ideas. If you’ve got something more creative you want to try with translation, have a blast!
Apart from the poem I’ve quoted here, you can also check out ‘Lost in Translation’ over at The Poetry Foundation for a fun read 🙂
Prompts for your November challenge
Here are a few more quick prompts to keep you fuelled for your November challenge:
- there’s this ______ (fill the blank in with any word)
- set (the) _______ on fire
If you need to hear some poetry to get you into a poetic mood or rhythm, The Poetry Station is a great place to find something inspiring and contemporary to listen to!
Happy writing, folks, and keep the November writing fever going! 🙂