Lost in Translation

Last week I attended a Spanish Poetry event at school. A native Spanish speaking professor had published a book of poetry that was all in Spanish and was having a Spanish and then English translation reading. I invited my from Austin to come with me even though he does not speak any Spanish.
The event began with a Spanish introduction of the two speakers: the poet and the translator. I whispered into Austin’s ear what the announcer was saying. Then, the poet began by reading the Spanish version of a poem with words on a projector and then the translator, a senior at OU, would read the English translation. To most people this seems like an averagely interesting event to attend, but to me, this event lit my brain on fire! I am a creative writing minor, so words seem to flow through my mind like a raging river. I am also a Spanish minor, so Spanish makes my nerves tingle. And to have them all combined into one event centered on poetry made my brain feel like it was having it’s first kiss in the rain with fireworks and an entire symphony in the background.
The best part of the event was the time that they spent discussing what gets lost in translation. For me, being able to understand both languages helped me see the words and meanings that didn’t translate correctly from Spanish to English. There were messages that words in English conveyed that were not what the poet intended in the original poems.
This event helped me realize how important language is to me. It made me realize that I want to have Spanish be a part of my life in the future. Even though I don’t really know exactly what it is that I want to go into, the event showed me some things that I can’t live without, and for me, that feels like a good start.

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