Mudcat Café message #723209 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37073   Message #723209
Posted By: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
04-Jun-02 - 08:54 PM
Thread Name: Translations mutilating songs
Subject: RE: Translations mutilating songs
This thread brought to mind the Quebecois chansons sung in Quebec, about "Quebeckers," and about Canada, which reach only a tiny minority of English-speaking Canadians. Several of the singer-composers have played at the Olympia in Paris, but except for a few token performances in Toronto and at universities, they are unheard voices in English Canada. Even English-speaking Canadians who have learned some conversational French are lost with the street idioms (slang).

I went to the thread where Wolfgang posted "Schöner Gigolo" with approx. English in alternate lines. The meter and rhymes of the original are there, so the music may remain unchanged, but the sense of the song is translated. I wish Canadians had access to efforts like this, it might lead to greater mutual understanding. Of course it only works if the texts are readily available.
Mechanical translation may help in some cases, but it is a total loss with idioms/slang.