Today in class we listened to the song “Ederlezi” performed by Tatiana Eva-Marie (of mixed Romani heritage–like me) with the Haimana Gipsy Band in Paris. Since we’ve been doing Surrealist Word Games as invention exercises for our poetry, I thought the Surrealist Translation would be perfect. What you do is you listen to a song or poem in a language you do not speak and imagine that you know what the words mean. You can base your imagination on sound, association, or feeling– the goal is to create a song with new lyrics and it’s ok (nay, encouraged) if they don’t make sense. So if you don’t speak Rromanes, this would be a good one for you. Post your translations in your blog if you’re in the class or as a comment if you’re a reader.
After you’ve done that, you can read about Ederlezi on the Romedia Foundation blog and listen to other versions of the song. It’s very interesting!
Learning songs is a good way to learn another language because you know how the words are pronounced and you develop strong associations with the words. I’m learning to speak Rromanes since the language was lost in my family when Roma were persecuted in WWII. I’ve been learning this song and I really love it– it’s embarrassing to admit how many times I’ve listened to Eva-Marie’s rendition. Too many times. Like a crazy person.