Re: Nonsense poetry
I learned a different version:
A B C D Gol'fish
L M N O Gol'Fish
O S A R Gol'Fish
I'm not sure I'd call that nonsense poetry though; it's more like wordplay. In the US, there's another word-puzzle:
Where would a letter be delivered if it were addressed thusly:
By far the cleverest I know, however (which you, as a translator, should appreciate) is an exchange between Frederick the Great and Voltaire ... it calls for some tricky formatting; hope I can get it to look right.
Frederick to Voltaire:
Voltaire to Frederick:
(solutions available upon request)
Finally, a wonderful example of free translation (which I discovered many years ago in a fascinating little book called The Astonishment of Words)
I'm sure this isn't word for word accurate to the original Alice in Wonderland quote, but close:
Alice: Every twenty-four hours the world turns upon its axis.
Red Queen: Speaking of axes, OFF WITH HER HEAD!!
which some inspired translator rendered into French as:
Alice: Chaque jour le monde fait une revolution.
Red Queen: Au sujet de revolution, a la guillotine!!
... and really finally, do you know the brilliant collective-noun joke about the four Oxford dons and the streetwalkers?
Last edited by Bottle Rocket; 27-Jan-2010 at 16:09.
Reason: edited for format
"In the end most things -- perhaps all things -- turn out to have been appropriate." -- Anthony Powell, Casanova's Chinese Restaurant