Poetry Writing Exercises: Lost in Translation
Poetry writing exercises

Poetry writing exercises: blind translations.

Language is a funny thing, and translations are neither as simple nor as straightforward as we might want them to be.

Years ago, when I was learning Spanish (I never did master it), on an especially warm day, I wanted to say, “I’m hot,” which is a standard expression in English. But when I said the phrase, “Yo soy caliente” to my Spanish-speaking cousin, he laughed and warned me not to go around using that phrase. Apparently in Spanish, this expression has to do with lust, not the temperature.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: translation requires more than looking up words in a language dictionary. Read More

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