Francesco Gabbani - Occidentali's Karma (English translation)

English translation

The Westerner's Karma

Versions: #1#2#3#4#5
To be, or to have to be;
a Hamletic doubt.
Contemporary as the Neolithic man.
You're all comfy in your 2 x 3 cage.
Intellectuals in cafés -- experts of the internet,
honorary members of 'Selfie Addicts Anonymous'.
Intelligence is old-fashioned.
There are easy answers,
but pointless dilemmas.
 
A - A - A - we're looking for a story with a great ending,
we're hoping for it,
but whatever happens, panta rhei ((everything flows))
and “Singing in the Rain”.
 
Chorus:
Lessons of Nirvana,
You'll find Buddha standing in single file,
it's a time of fun for everyone - a time of glory! (ALE!)
The crowd's shouting a mantra,
yet evolution's stumbling along;
the naked ape is dancing the Westerner's Karma.
... Westerner's Karma.
The naked ape is dancing the Westerner's Karma.
 
Drops of Chanel pour on to sterile bodies
Save yourself from the smell of those around you!
Everyone's a spin-doctor with the web in their pocket,
Cocaine for the masses - an opiate for the poor.
 
A - A- A - we're looking for a virtual humanity,
Sex appeal,
but whatever happens, "panta rhei" ((everything flows))
and “Singing in the Rain”.
 
Lessons of Nirvana,
You'll find Buddha standing in single file,
it's a time of fun for everyone - a time of glory! (ALE!)
The crowd's shouting a mantra,
yet evolution's stumbling along;
the naked ape is dancing the Westerner's Karma.
... Westerner's Karma.
The naked ape is dancing the Westerner's Karma.
 
When our life is distracted,
Men fall down,
Westerner's karma...
Westerner's karma...
The ape is rising up!
Namaste! ALE!
 
Lessons of Nirvana,
You'll find Buddha standing in single file,
it's a time of fun for everyone - a time of glory! (ALE!)
The crowd's shouting a mantra,
yet evolution's stumbling along;
the naked ape is dancing the Westerner's Karma.
... Westerner's Karma.
The naked ape is dancing the Westerner's Karma.
 
...
 
/Om/
 
Submitted by James Puchowski on Fri, 24/02/2017 - 01:02
Author's comments:

Previous translations were not written in a native form of English and felt incredibly L2. I have adapted the text to a more familiar British English style.

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Italian

Occidentali's Karma

Please help to translate "Occidentali's Karma"
Comments
subterlabentia    Wed, 01/03/2017 - 08:38

English is fluent indeed, yet the translation gives rise to some misunderstandings and overinterpretations.

The naked ape doesn't dance the Westerners' karma: it just dances, period. The sentences are not linked to each other.

'Steril bodies' sounds misleading: in Italian "asettico" just points to overcleaning. It doesn't evoke the idea of being barren.

"Un'ora d'aria" means 'one hour's yard time for inmates', so it should emphasize that you can finally break free. It's something more than fun.

The "tuttologi col web" are no spin doctors, just people who lack a culture, and use the Internet as a surrogate for real knowledge.

And finally, that mysterious A, three times repeated: it doesn't stand for anything. Ad's were placed in alphabetical order in the newspapers, so the more A's at the beginning, the higher the position on the page.

Icey    Sun, 09/07/2017 - 13:41
2

Although written in a good English, the translation is highly interpretative, resulting to be misleading in a few passages.