Monday, 14 October 2013

Translation Poetry on the Tram

Another great language initiative in what must be one of the most linguistically diverse capitals of Europe. In Brussels we often see signs, notices and adverts in several languages and so can readily translate different meanings and learn new phrases. Of course a little knowledge can be dangerous, so when reading multilingual literature you have to know that poetic license may have been used. Despite this it can be a useful and enriching experience.

Take for example the Transpoesie project running on Brussels' trams at the moment. Poetry from around Europe is posted on trams in their original language as well as in French and in Dutch.

Enjoy the poetry and learn some new words and phrases in Dutch and French.

Elsewhere, a headline cries
a man was lynched yesterday,

Billie Holiday is cured for good now 
on the cover of Ebony, 1949.

The guitar drags like an anchor,
rope around its neck, and keeps on

singing, side to side, its strings alive


Ergens anders, een krantenkop schreeuwt
een man werd gisteren gelyncht,

Billie Holiday is nu voorgoed genezen
op de cover van Ebony, 1949.

De gitaar sleept als een anker,
touw rond zijn nek, blijft hij

zingen, heen en weer, de snaren levend

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