NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 30

Farewell

Au revoir
to see again
en avril prochain
next April
mais en attendant
but until then
excusez-moi
pardon me
parlez-vous allemand
do you speak German
bien sur
of course
hausaufgaben (homework)
house of goblin
geschenk (present)
get shanked
I’m out of here

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far… okay 25 years ago in Hamburg, NY I took 5 years of high school French. Did it pay off? No clue I have only used it to confusalate my children. It actually helped Rachael in middle school once when they got a new student who spoke French. The teacher asked if anyone knew French in Arizona? Well Rachael rose her hand, my mom speaks a little French. It was enough to get Rachael assigned as the new kid’s guide. One phrase mom liked to use, Ferme la bouche. I know it’s not polite but it’s fun to say. Well in 6th grade Rachael’s homeroom teacher was Ms. Bouche; the new student started to laugh. Until then no one else in the class knew their teacher’s name was mouth.

And now Gretchen is taking German in high school. One evening at dinner she said she had math homework. But she said it in German. Rachael looked up at her and asked, you have house of goblin? Phonetic translations are fun. Then a couple weeks ago Gretchen said she will never forget present in German. Apparently her teacher said, I won’t give you a geschenk if you get it right. Ha-ha though since I’ve also been told, Ich bin so dick, means I’m so fat. I don’t think anyone in this house will forget fat in German either.

NaPoWriMo Prompttoday I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words. Stuck for a poem to translate? Why not try this one by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska? Or here’s one by another Laureate, Tomas Transtromer. Happy writing!

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