by Víctor Terán

Jump! Jump!
Frog skip the rope
Wide-mouth frog
Pot-bellied frog

Come, come and see
Come and see - look
Bug-eyed frog
Jump skip the rope

The literal translation of this poem was made by David Shook

The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop


Having Victor at the workshop was absolutely invaluable. First off, he clarified that this was a frog, not a toad, as David had originally thought. Secondly, he explained that, this being a poem for children, the rhythm was of overwhelming importance.

As you can see, we veered away from the literal translation, for one of two reasons: Either Victor, via David, clarified the translation (as in 'toad' to 'frog'). Or because we felt that the sound of the translation demanded the change; for example, the end of the second line of the second stanza, which in Zapotec is 'lataguuya oh', we changed the 'oh' to 'look' because 'look' conveys the sense of an exclamation, particularly when speaking to a child.

Although he doesn't speak English, Victor listened very carefully to our translation and professed himself delighted with our version.

We also translated Victor's poem 'Moon' in this workshop.


  1. October 2nd, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Jack says: