Creative Writing Prompt: Translation from Sound

Creative Writing Prompt #2
Translation from Sound

Whether or not you speak a different language, the idea of this exercise is to literally translate the following paragraphs into English. Literally. If the word is “quand,” then translate it into what you think the word should be by how the word sounds – is it wand, frond, pond, conned? You can take all the liberty in the world with this.

  1. Don’t reread what you’re translating as you go along. Just translate word by word, and then see if you have complete sentences or if your writing needs to be mixed around to make sense later (but remember, nonsense is sometimes OK too).
  2. Then go ahead and translate the phrases again, this time paying attention to how each word fits together with what comes before and after. Try to form complete sentences as you go along.
  3. As for the punctuation, pay attention to it or completely ignore it. As you like it.

Choose any or all of the following phrases to translate. Merge them into one long poem, use them as starting points for a series, turn them into companion pieces, or create three individual poems.

Phrase I

Quand le monde sera reduit en un seul bois noir pour nos quatre yeux etonnes – en une plage pour deux enfants fideles – en une mainson musicale pour notre claire sympathie. Je vous trouverai.

Qu’il n’y ait ici-bas qu’un vieillard seul, calme et beau, entoure d’un ‘luxe inoui – et je suis a vos genoux.

Phrase II

Que j’aie realise tous vos souvenirs. Que jes sois celle qui sait vous garrotter. Je vous etoufferai.

Phrase III

Quand nos sommes tres-forts, qui recule? Tres-gais, qui tombe de ridicule? Quand nous sommes tres-mechants. Que ferait on de nous?

Parez-vous, dansez, riez. Je ne pourrai jamais envoyer l’amour par la fenetre.

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