Writing Exercise #2: Translation

Translation, they say, is a good way to improve one’s language skills. Translating poetry, specifically, forces the writer to focus on the words — on diction, essentially — because all other elements like poetic structure and literary content are already taken care of.

For this exercise I chose three poems from three different writers. I picked a César Vallejo poem because I initially wanted to see if I could translate directly from Spanish to Filipino (I couldn’t). I was also curious about how nuances get lost in multi-level translations (i.e. Spanish to English to Filipino), but obviously I would never find out.

Next I went with Charles Bukowski, an author known for his polarizing stream-of-consciousness verses. I have read criticisms against his prosaic style — the same disapproving remark flung against so-called Instagram poets — so I wanted to explore how I could render this cadence in Filipino. I last went with Lang Leav, partly for the same reason, but mostly because I wanted to know if her poems, which I admittedly am not a fan of, would look better or worse in another language.

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Music Questions, and other stories

Do you have any fan merchandise that is unusual?

I don’t think so, no. I was a broke-ass kid so I was never the type to spend money on fan merch.

I used to be surrounded by artists though, and they used to give me the coolest hand-made gifts. A teacher once gave me a wooden kunai (the ninja weapon from Naruto) which he carved out of mahogany. A schoolmate also gifted me a guitar pick with the Natin99 pattern that he painted himself. The paint (acrylic?) easily chipped off when I started using the pick, and so this guy reminded me that the gift wasn’t made for actual use: “pang-collector’s item kasi ‘yan!” Shet sorry naman! Haha.

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June

Today marks Day 4 of my attempt to solve an Excel VBA problem at work. My sheets look the same as they did last Friday, and the fact that I haven’t moved forward on this task makes me feel like my brain is nothing but a slightly cognitive swirl of cow manure graced with a dead langaw on top. Hayayay.

But anyway, let’s talk about June.

June was the month when I just wasn’t in the mood to do anything. Normally I would force myself to write a post every Sunday but I didn’t feel like doing that last month. I also got sick, I barely ate, and I struggled with both waking up in the morning and sleeping at night.

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Searching 3.0: OPM and Figures of Speech

An interesting query I found in last week’s Search Terms:

My post has a few examples, but it doesn’t explicitly state which lines count as personification. Hopefully the kids who were searching still found it helpful; I bet you they were actual kids cramming for an English or Filipino assignment. 🙂

Anyhow, I decided to do some further digging and write about the different ways figurative language has featured in OPM lyrics. I initially wanted to explore at least 10 figures of speech, but because I tend to get way too chatty about these things, I eventually narrowed them down to three: simile, metaphor, and personification.

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Mundane Monday

I didn’t do anything productive at work today. No urgent tasks, no nothing. I just spent the first half of the day teaching myself SQL queries but I never got my code to work. Whatever.

For lunch our team went to an Asian restaurant, the kind where the chefs cook the food right in front you. I had salmon and veggies. I also wanted to try their unagi but maybe some other time, hopefully this weekend when my parents come over to visit.

After lunch I started working on a mini research project. I asked a colleague for ideas on how to narrow down the topic, and she recommended that I focus on the math, M&V and stuff. “I have resources I could send you,” she said. She never sent shit.

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Sunday Night Sadness

It is one of those nights again.

Two words come to mind: lethargic, as DJ would say, and languorous, which according to Google means “oppressive stillness.” Now isn’t that accurate?

It must be the loneliness, I don’t know, but I don’t even have the energy to write anything tonight. I’ve been collecting sadness though, and I’ve been disposing them onto my sketchpad. Go and have a look. And if you don’t mind, dear stranger, please send hugs if you could. 😦


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May

May was meh.

The new job is, well, a new job. I have nothing to say about this for now. Everything is going fine for the most part, and the few things that bother me can be addressed some other time.

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