Tag Archives: languages

Friday Reflections & Prompts for Your November Challenge

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 šŸ˜‰ 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 šŸ™‚

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 beĀ 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 (likeĀ poems that are about writer’s block) are all about thisĀ (difficult) process ofĀ translation!

The act of translationĀ isn’t limited to words, either. We translate between words and actions all the time, too!Ā 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 theĀ incongruity between a character’s words and actions šŸ˜‰

Also, translations gone wrong can often lead to misunderstandings–there’s much scope for humour (and tragedy) in this.

TheseĀ 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’Ā over at The Poetry Foundation for a fun read šŸ™‚

Prompts for your November challenge

Here are a few more quick prompts to keep you fuelled for your NovemberĀ challenge:

  • punctuation
  • frostbite
  • 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 aĀ great place to find something inspiring and contemporaryĀ to listen to!

Happy writing, folks, and keep the November writing feverĀ going! šŸ™‚