1. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trying something new.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Torana, Sep 28, 2007.

    I decided that I am going to try and write a poem in another language. But just to be different I am going to research Native Indian languages and try to write a poem in their language. I know there is quite a substantial number of tribes and they all spoke differently but I think that this will be a rather fun experience and challange.
    Learning something new is always fun I think and this will be one hell of a challange if you ask me.

    Anyone else ever tried something like this?
     
  2. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    I have only written in different styles. Never in a different language. Hope it goes well for you.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i sometimes write poetry in french, but i have been speaking and writing french since taking 3 years of it high school decades ago and have spent much time in france, including living there full time for nearly a year... and even then, i still need a native french-speaker to go over it for me to catch any grammar or idiom goofs... for you to just 'instantly' try to learn a very complex language with absolutely no syntactical or grammatical connection to english, such as the amer-indian ones and then expect to be able to write poetry, which is the most refined of all uses of a language in it, does not sound doable, imo, unless you live among the people whose tongue you want to use, and become fluent in speaking it first...

    i've lived with the hopi, have been among people of many tribes in both the us and canada and speak from personal experience when i say that any tribal language will not be anywhere near as 'easy' to learn as french or spanish or any of the languages on which english is based... and to be able to use a new language as subtlely and as elegantly as poetry requires would take something on the order of the miracle of 'speaking in tongues' imo... especially if you haven't learned to use any other language but your own birth one, till now...

    the other problem you'll face is that tribal languages are not written ones, but are only oral, passed down from one generation to the next... so, even if you can find a glossary or dictionary someone has written on hopi or cree or ojibway or whatever, that is not going to give you the grammar and syntax... only living with and learning by being there, or being taught by native speakers can do that...

    i'm not saying you aren't capable of doing this, just that you seem to not understand the problems you'll face in trying to, as their are all kinds of subtle nuances to using others' languages that book learning can't teach... but i wish you well, in the endeavor... which tribe's tongue do you intend to study and write your poem/s in?

    love and hugs, maia
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's a case in point, torana... if you know any french, you'll see how much had to be changed to fit the same meaning into french idiom/grammar... and, needless to say, rhyming and meter goes out the window!:

    armed & dangerous

    if my arms could hold all my heart does
    I would cuddle the world in a hug
    every woman and child who huddles in fear
    would be safe and warm and snug

    if my arms were as wide as the oceans
    I would open them to all the poor
    each refugee family whose hope is gone
    would be sheltered and feel secure

    if my arms were as strong as my will is
    I would gather up every newborn
    all the unwanted babies who’d rather not live
    would sleep happily there ‘til morn

    if my arms had the power of nations’
    I would use it to disarm all men
    any weapon turned loose in anyone’s hand
    would never be fired again

    if my arms could stretch ‘round this planet
    I would repair the damage man’s done
    all the trees and seas, air tainted and spoiled
    would recover, one by one

    if my arms could hold all my heart does
    I would heal all in my embrace
    each hurt body or heart to feel my touch
    would wear a smile on its face

    I’d billions enfold
    their sorrows untold
    comfort through the night
    keep all close to my heart
    stop tears when they start
    fix every wrong in sight
    and make everyone all right
    if my arms could just hold
    all my heart does...

    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

    armée et dangereuse

    si mes bras pouvaient contenir autant que mon coeur
    je serrerais le monde dans mes bras
    chaque femme et enfant transi de peur
    serait en sécurité, bien au chaud et content

    si mes bras etaient aussi vaste que les oceans
    je les ourvrirais à tous les pauvres
    chaque famille de réfugiés qui a perdu l’espoir
    serait abritée et se sentirait en sécurité

    si mes bras étaient aussi forts que mon âme
    je ramasserais tous les nouveaux-nés
    chaque bébé non-désiré qui ne voudrait pas vivre
    y dormirait toute la journée

    si mes bras avaient la puissance des nations
    je l’exercerais pour désarmer tous les hommes
    aucune arme dans aucune main
    ne tirerais plus jamais

    si mes bras pouvaient s’etendrent autour de la planete
    je reparerais les dommages commis par l’homme
    tous les arbres et les mers, l’air vicié et souillié
    se rétabliraient, un a un

    si mes bras pouvaient contenir autant que mon coeur
    je guerirais tout que m’embrasse
    chaque corps, coeur blessé qui sentirait mon toucher
    porterait un sourire sur son visage

    j’envelopperais tous les familles
    leurs peines inouies
    consolerais nuit et jour
    garderais tous pret de mon coeur
    arrêterais ses larmes dès le début
    réparerais tous les maux en vue
    et rendrais tout le monde meilleur
    si mes bras pouvaient contenir
    autant que mon coeur...
     
  5. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    maia I completely udnerstand how difficult this endeavour is going to be. I never once said it was going to be easy.
    I have found a place where it shows me a paragraph of Navajo Language and it is extremely confusing. But I am not going to give up hope what so ever. I have decided to take on an endeavour like this and I am going to try my hardest to fulfil it.
    I know it may take several years to do so, but no one ever said that things we wish to do in life are easy now did they? Everything we do in life is a challenge. I just decided to take on something that would give me the challenge that I desire.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...i didn't say you did...

    ...if you had said you intended to take years to do this in the first place, my reply would have been very different... as it is, what you wrote in your first post made it sound as if you would just consult dictionaries or whatever and then attempt to write a poem in a tribal language in a much shorter period of time... so, my reply addressed that, my not having any idea you intended to make this a long term project... sorry for the confusion... and at my age and level of experience in life all over the world, i'd surely be the last person to say or assume that acomplishing anything we wish to do in life would be 'easy'...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  7. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    maia when I take on a challenge like this I expect it to take several years. For all I know it could take 20 years before I can sit down and write a poem in this language, or I may very well fail completely. But the thing is that I am giving it a go.
    I amy consult dictionaries if there are any, but not to learn the language. I had actualy taken a look at some pages through wikipedia just so I could see what the language was like and honestly it is rather confusing if you ask me.
    But it has not dampened my spirits and I will give it a go. Apology accepted maia.

    Torana
     
  8. ILTBY
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    ILTBY Contributing Member Contributor

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    That sounds like a lot of fun; challenging, but fun :)

    I'm trying to conquer Italian, maybe one day I'll be able to write a poem or novel in it.

    Good luck with your endeavour!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then, how are you going to learn the language?... are there any Diné nearby, who you can get to teach you?
     
  10. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually maia no there are not. Which makes the challenge even harder still. Which I feel is a good thing.
    For me to do this and to try and succeed I am going to have to travel. Like I said maia I know that this will not be an easy process. But when I decide to do something and take on new challenges, I take them on in a very big way.
    I know there are a lot of obstacles in my path with this challenge, but no obstacle is too big to overcome.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    so, you are planning to live on the navajo rez, while you learn the language?... that really is a major challenge!... as i've been all over navajo country and have known and dealt with many of them, let me know if you need any info on going/staying there, or the nature of these tribal people... i hope you realize it's very barren land, but if you are familiar with your own desert outback, it won't be a great shock...

    keep me posted, will you?... i'd love to know how your adventure will play out...

    love and hugs, m
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  12. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tahnk you kindly maia. I would definately be interested in hearing about your experiences is you are willing to share a little so I know what to expect a little more.
    This is all sstill in the early stages so it will be some time before I can do so.
    But yes maia that is exactly what I am planning on doing.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm happy to help with any info you might need, so just drop me a line 'at home' when you're planning the details of your adventure...

    i'm curious... why did you pick navajo, over all the other tribal languages?...
     
  14. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    Are you still trying to conquer this hard task Torana? If so -how is it going?
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto!... i'd love to know how you're getting on with this... hugs, m
     
  16. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes I am still trying to conquer it and I won't be giving up antytime soon :)

    I've had to put it on hold for the time being due to some things that have arisen lately, but things should be full steam ahead with it all next year sometime. I've had some great help and hopefully I should be able to get back into it all again by mid year. Just I've had to prioritize at the moment.

    I will keep you updated though.
     
  17. ILTBY
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    ILTBY Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again, good luck :) I hope it goes well.
     
  18. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    At the moment my finances are one of the biggest things holding me back. But all in due time....
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm still wondering what made you pick navajo...
     

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