Mel’s Monday Musings: May 18, 2020

Hey, friends! How are y’all tonight? I hope your Monday hasn’t felt too “Monday”-ish.

I guess the biggest “news” here is that I’ve decided to release my next poetry collection in Esperanto first, then English (maybe both simultaneously, but I doubt I’m up for that!). The poems weren’t composed in Esperanto though (I’m not quite that advanced), so I’m not sure how much I’ll have to change them during translation to maintain the form/beauty I intended. It’ll be a learning experience, for sure!

The thing that bugs me most when people talk about translations is the assumption that you could just use a program like Google Translate, run the material through, and voila! Instant translation, good to go.


You actually really need to know a decent bit (preferably better!) of the language you’re translating into, because a direct word-for-word equivalence might not actually have the meaning you intend. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find a good Esperanto word for what I mean, and I have to approximate the meaning with the closest word(s) I know…which often necessitates rewriting the whole line, and sometimes re-thinking an entire stanza.

I translated three lines of a not-especially-lengthy poem last night, and it took me over two hours to be happy with those three lines. My brain felt like it was going to explode when I got to that point, so I stopped for the night.

I know there are a lot of haters out there who feel like people are somehow “cheapening” Esperanto (or whatever other language) by translating works into it, or composing works in it without a fluent/native-level grasp of the language (no, there’s no country that primarily speaks Esperanto). I don’t buy that. This language was constructed — deliberately built! — to be a bridge between cultures, all across the world.

Besides, nobody reads poetry anyway, so what does it matter which language I publish in, as long as I’m happy with the results? 😉

My flowers are popping into bold colors! The hyacinth is just past its prime, the tulips are entering their best days, and I’ve got lilies coming up all over the place, patiently waiting for their chance to shine. Irises too, though they’re poking along slowly…dahlias will be out later, and hopefully some gladiolas. Even my stubborn peony is all for spring this year.

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Works for me!

Be well, y’all.