By | August 2, 2010


Poets Corner.


Tonight we have a poet that speaks a non-existant language. By chance we also have a translator for the this non-existent language.


The poet will be introduced by the translator. The title of the poem is revealed and maybe a bit of history. The poet speaks a line in gibberish. The translator translates it into a language the audience understands.

It is recommended that the host set up a non-existant language. This can be done by having the poet speak robot, canine, whale or toaster. Of course the host and performers can do what ever works for their house. Speaking in gibberish for existing languages can lead to using stereotypes for humour. This is the kind of short cut for laughs that leads to punching down.

The poet is a character, and must embody all the elements of a character. This includes emotion, movement, and an underlying want. The poet should be able to end the poem and be a character in any scene. The translator is responsible for creating a full character and the narrative arc of the poem. Ofter we let the gimmick of translation short circuit our dedication to the narrative arc.

Don’t get stuck on verse. Poetry need not be in verse. Interpretive dancers are also helpful to add movement and offers to the scene.


  • Short translation for a long gibberish. Or vice versa.
  • Problems with idioms leading to poet translator discussion
  • Differences in emotional content.
  • Dirty words are always funny.


  • Translated Opera – As described with singing the gibberish.
  • Translated Film – As described using movie thematics.
  • Bad Translator – Real language translated by non-speaker
  • Mechanical Translator – Real language using Google translate.
  • Medical Translator – Health care shenanigans where translator is a barrier between patient and care giver.
  • Future In Law – Meeting gibberish parents.


  • None