Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: December 12, 2019, 9:43 am

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Translating Songs
#1
Translating Songs
Hey, guys!
Does anybody here have some experience with translating lyrics or other forms of poetry? I've recently attempted to translate Eric Bogle's "The Gift of Years" into Croatian, you can see my work here.
I don't think the result is impressive. I think it's hard to translate poetry from English to Croatian (or vice versa) because equivalent sentences in Croatian tend to have significantly more syllables. English is, at least that's my perception, quite a consonant-heavy language. Almost every syllable in English ends in a consonant. In Croatian, while there are hard-to-pronounce words such as "hrčcima", such are actually rare, and most of the syllables end in a vowel. English is more information-dense because of that, and it must be spoken a lot more slowly than Croatian has to be in order to be understood. That's why, if you try to translate an English poem into Croatian, it either doesn't sound good, or it loses most of its meaning. That's just my perception. I was wondering what you thought about it.
Reply
#2
RE: Translating Songs
When I hear a foreign-language song that I'm curious about, I Google the song title +'lyrics' an click on the Translate icon at the bottom. And yes, it's quite evident to me that something get's lost in lyric translation, when it's done word for word.

That's why bilingual artist don't simply translate lyrics when marketing to international audiences--The change lyrics altogether in order to maintain an identical flow from version to version.

For example:
"Dimelo (which translates to "Tell Me") sounds lovely in Spanish, but it would make for an awkward, somewhat nonsensical song in English.




"Do You Know?" however, makes absolute sense in English while maintaining the essential "spirit" or meaning of the Spanish version.
So they're effectively the same song...only kinda, sorta, not really, technically. Tongue




With a poem, there is no accompanying soundtrack in which to convey sentiment though; Which would make pulling off that sort of feat much more difficult, I would think.
Reply
#3
RE: Translating Songs
Well, my perception is that Spanish is way more similar to English than either is to Croatian. Not that I speak Spanish, but that's still my perception. Would you agree with me?
Reply
#4
RE: Translating Songs
Sure. And just look at how tricky exact translations can be between languages with similarities.

I'm not disagreeing you. I'm just saying it's to be expected; Especially in a format that requires keeping a pace in regards to wording
If you want to translate a song/poem from English to Croatian AND have it keep the same of "flow" as the original, you're going to have to translate the tone/meaning of the of the content and find ways to phrase it differently.
Reply
#5
RE: Translating Songs
(November 11, 2019 at 7:04 am)Athene Wrote: Sure. And just look at how tricky exact translations can be between languages with similarities.

I'm not disagreeing you. I'm just saying it's to be expected; Especially in a format that requires keeping a pace in regards to wording
If you want to translate a song/poem from English to Croatian AND have it keep the same of "flow" as the original, you're going to have to translate the tone/meaning of the of the content and find ways to phrase it differently.

This is similar to what happened with the Irish national anthem ('A Soldier's Song').  It was originally written in English.  After it was officially adopted, politicians decided that the anthem should be in Irish and always be performed in Irish.  The upshot is that the official version (which most people have to learn phonetically) differs somewhat in phrasing, tone and intent from the original.

Translation is, at the best of times, a difficult business.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
Reply
#6
RE: Translating Songs
(November 11, 2019 at 4:11 am)Athene Wrote: ...
For example:
"Dimelo (which translates to "Tell Me") sounds lovely in Spanish, but it would make for an awkward, somewhat nonsensical song in English.




"Do You Know?" however, makes absolute sense in English while maintaining the essential "spirit" or meaning of the Spanish version.
So they're effectively the same song...only kinda, sorta, not really, technically. Tongue




With a poem, there is no accompanying soundtrack in which to convey sentiment though; Which would make pulling off that sort of feat much more difficult, I would think.

Seriously ? Enrique?

Thena is Wacky 
Razz

(November 11, 2019 at 7:14 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(November 11, 2019 at 7:04 am)Athene Wrote: Sure. And just look at how tricky exact translations can be between languages with similarities.

I'm not disagreeing you. I'm just saying it's to be expected; Especially in a format that requires keeping a pace in regards to wording
If you want to translate a song/poem from English to Croatian AND have it keep the same of "flow" as the original, you're going to have to translate the tone/meaning of the of the content and find ways to phrase it differently.

This is similar to what happened with the Irish national anthem ('A Soldier's Song').  It was originally written in English.  After it was officially adopted, politicians decided that the anthem should be in Irish and always be performed in Irish.  The upshot is that the official version (which most people have to learn phonetically) differs somewhat in phrasing, tone and intent from the original.

Translation is, at the best of times, a difficult business.

Boru

Translation usually neglect that side so the conclusion is a cold text stripped from any emotional side

Reply
#7
RE: Translating Songs
(November 18, 2019 at 9:59 am)AtlasS33 Wrote:
(November 11, 2019 at 4:11 am)Athene Wrote: ...
For example:
"Dimelo (which translates to "Tell Me") sounds lovely in Spanish, but it would make for an awkward, somewhat nonsensical song in English.




"Do You Know?" however, makes absolute sense in English while maintaining the essential "spirit" or meaning of the Spanish version.
So they're effectively the same song...only kinda, sorta, not really, technically. Tongue




With a poem, there is no accompanying soundtrack in which to convey sentiment though; Which would make pulling off that sort of feat much more difficult, I would think.

Seriously ? Enrique?

Thena is Wacky 
Razz

(November 11, 2019 at 7:14 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: This is similar to what happened with the Irish national anthem ('A Soldier's Song').  It was originally written in English.  After it was officially adopted, politicians decided that the anthem should be in Irish and always be performed in Irish.  The upshot is that the official version (which most people have to learn phonetically) differs somewhat in phrasing, tone and intent from the original.

Translation is, at the best of times, a difficult business.

Boru

Translation usually neglect that side so the conclusion is a cold text stripped from any emotional side

Well, there's also the fact that certain words and concepts don't always translate well. For example, the Dutch word 'zwaffelen' means to strike your penis repeatedly against an object.  I'm almost certain that it would be difficult to accurately translate this in a poem or song and keep the correct rhythm.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
Reply
#8
RE: Translating Songs
peckerknockin?
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply
#9
RE: Translating Songs
(November 18, 2019 at 11:10 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(November 18, 2019 at 9:59 am)AtlasS33 Wrote:

Translation usually neglect that side so the conclusion is a cold text stripped from any emotional side

Well, there's also the fact that certain words and concepts don't always translate well. For example, the Dutch word 'zwaffelen' means to strike your penis repeatedly against an object.  I'm almost certain that it would be difficult to accurately translate this in a poem or song and keep the correct rhythm.

Boru

Isn't "humping" or "fucked the shit out of..." an accurate translation?

And you can arrange both in a poem:

I fucked the shit out of a nordling
Humped repeatedly from night to the morning.

...eh

Reply
#10
RE: Translating Songs
If you're slapping your dick repeatedly against an object, then you're not doin fuckin right.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Stalky songs that make you think. Brian37 2 160 August 4, 2018 at 10:26 am
Last Post: AFTT47
  Songs That Energize You Edwardo Piet 16 1425 June 30, 2018 at 8:12 pm
Last Post: The Industrial Atheist
  Favourite Parody/funny/quirky songs and music videos The Valkyrie 27 1675 January 25, 2018 at 12:39 am
Last Post: paulpablo
  Songs That Make You Happy Shell B 159 7919 July 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm
Last Post: Humanoid Escapee
  Favorite soundtracks/songs/scores from movies ApeNotKillApe 78 7540 January 31, 2017 at 8:20 am
Last Post: LadyForCamus
  Songs in the wrong key Alex K 11 1337 March 17, 2016 at 7:20 am
Last Post: Alex K
  Songs That Have Made You Cry Edwardo Piet 39 2789 December 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm
Last Post: Ashground
  Feel Like Falling - and other songs by Riverside Edwardo Piet 5 1058 October 7, 2015 at 9:13 am
Last Post: Edwardo Piet
  Break up Songs bladevalant546 15 2369 October 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm
Last Post: Lao Shizi
  My Songs I wrote psychoslice 5 1391 March 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm
Last Post: psychoslice



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)