Urayoan Noel knows how to have fun with language and poetry. For one of his latest experiments, Noel took Cesar Vallejo, an iconic and widely recognized Peruvian poet, and put him through a digital translation process. He read poems from Cesar Vallejo’s Trilce into a voice-recognition program and wrote down the English translations that the software came up with. The result is an unintelligible English-language version of Vallejo’s already complex poems.
Here’s an example, with the original in Spanish followed by the English translation according to Noel’s voice-recognition program:
Gallos cancionan escarbando en vano.
Boca del claro día que conjuga.
era era era era.
Dido scans the owner is co-bundle in buying
oh and I will be ethical to
a data in data and data
So what did Noel learn about Vallejo after putting him through this digital translation process? In this episode Noel talks to host Daniel Alarcón about this and other experiments in poetry and translation.