Archive for the 'translation' Category

An interview from the archives with award winning writer, educator and translator Wendy Call

This week’s Write the Book Prompt is to choose one of the following sentences, and translate it into a language of your own design. 

  • Tomorrow morning, as the sun shines up and over the eastern wall of your house, you will awaken to a gift of joy. 
  • He ran through the woods and hopped the stones in a bright, cold stream, shouting that he had won.
  • Alone, without purpose or thought, she brings a hand to her face and feels the cool touch of her own comfort. 

Pick one of these sentences, or really any sentence you come up with, and translate it into a language of your own invention. Make up sounds that feel like these sounds, shape them into words, see what other sentences come out of your unusual translation. Try to create a sense of the sentence that another reader might come close to understanding, if not intellectually. Sure, it might be nonsense, but it might feel just right, too.

Good luck with your work in the coming week, and tune in next week for another prompt or suggestion.

Music Credit: Aaron Shapiro

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Award-winning director and playwright Lisa Peterson, who has penned a translation of Hamlet for the Play on Shakespeare project, a series published by ACMRS Press.

This week’s Write the Book Prompt is to choose a piece of your work and try to translate it for a different audience than it was originally intended. Change the language so that it might have made sense three hundred years ago. Or put it into words you could read to a child. Change it to appeal to someone from a different culture. If you are bilingual, translate it into another language.

Good luck with your work in the coming week, and tune in next week for another prompt or suggestion.

Music Credit: Aaron Shapiro

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Author, literary critic and philosopher Martin Puchner, whose new book is The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization (Random House).

What is one of the earliest legends you remember coming across? Was it a biblical story, such as that of Cain and Abel? Was it the story of Ulysses (or Odysseus), perhaps in a form published for children? Or maybe it was the Thousand and One Nights? This week’s Write the Book Prompt is to consider an early legend that had an effect on you, and write with that story in mind. Perhaps write a contemporary take on the story itself. Or give consideration to the moral of the tale and write in an effort to share the same ethical lessons. You could also research the ways in which that early legend might have influenced historical events and write about that.

Good luck with your work in the coming week, and please listen next week for another prompt or suggestion.

Music Credit: Aaron Shapiro

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Interview with Award-Winning Poet Rick Jackson, winner of the Order of Freedom Medal for literary and humanitarian work in the Balkans.

Today's Write The Book Prompt is inspired by the interview you just heard with Rick Jackson, much of whose work centers on translation. I also must credit the site Numéro Cinq, from which I borrowed this exercise (from a similar one that Doug Glover posted last year). When I post this interview on the podcast site, I'll include in the description a paragraph written in Slovenian. Or, actually, written by Google Translate from a paragraph I wrote in English. Do not try to understand the words, and do not take them over to Google to see what they mean. Just study the foreign text-I presume most of you won't speak Slovenian-and let the words affect you as they will. Either translate them, not trying for actual meaning, but for the sense of something you felt as you looked at the words. Or take what you feel in studying them, and use your reaction as a jumping off point to new work.

To ni res pesem. To je točka pišem, da se odstavek v slovenščini, ponuditi pisno vajo govorijo angleško. Upam, da nihče ne bo prevedla to besedilo, ampak bo poskušala najti navdih v besedah, kljub svoji kar nima smisla, da večina Američanov. Morda bo nekaj besed pogled prepoznati ali vsaj kozarec ohlapno ideje domačnosti. Trava in ribnik in gorskih lahko podobne besede. Lepota. Ali pa bo morda besedo drevo, se zdi, kot naša beseda drevo. Ne vem. Ne govorim slovensko.

Good luck with this prompt and please tune in next week for another.

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