The Art of Writing
If you’ve finished some poems this may be a good point to experiment with translations.
All languages carry some embedded thinking in their metaphors. For example, many of the phrases we have in English for change involve water, rivers and sea going. The phrase remember that we are a island people – we ‘open floodgates’ arrive at ‘watersheds’ throw ‘three sheets to the wind’ and show our ‘true colours’. Translated literally into Arabic or Farsi, these metaphors will be exposed and often seem very strange – they may well change your poem about politics into one about sailing. That’s why it’s fun and funny to translate a poem into another language via Googletranslate, then translate the translation back into English – the metaphors are altered and given back to us, and the other language often adds something in. Translation into Basque and back, for example, will usually add in the word ‘stone’ and surprisingly often, ‘goat’.
If your students have written poems using the Surrealists’ Game, why not try translating them using Googletranslate as your helper? You can do this as a partnership with your international school, asking ‘is that what you mean?’ with individual students. Or you could just do it on your own with your own students poems, putting them into Arabic and back. You may well find phrases that you want to keep, and you will definitely have fun.
- 2Working with Translation
- 3Working with Arabic Schools and Students
- 4Working with Farsi, Bengali, and Urdu students
- 5The Surrealist’s Game
- 6The Feelings/Food or Feelings/Colours Game
- 7Moving on from the Surrealist Game
- 8Translation Time
- 9Magic Box Poems
- 10The Table
- 11Last Year, This Year
- 12I Don’t Remember
- 13Ghazal غَزَل : A Shared Form
- 14Write Your Own