Our prompt for the day comes from a similar impulse to use the language already around us. Now, many of us took a second language for a year or two in high school, but for poetic purposes, you don’t actually need to know a second language to translate it. You just need to be able to pronounce it — sort of. This allows you to render a homophonic translation — a translation based on the way the words sound, without any care for what they actually mean in the original.
For example, I might take this line in Portuguese (from Ledo Ivo’s poem A Escavadeira):
Os homens já acordaram e voltaram a construer e a destruir.
and homophonically translate it as:
Omen of jacquard, a ram, a volt. A constant read is true.
Ladies and gentlemen:
A Travel Linguist
Taste egrets! Try heron, Trey’s strong oats, Date-tree golds!
Entrees! Straw goats, Tree goats, Raw Carbon-traced Rear Steaks, Tea Grapes!