(Last update on the description: 14th of July 2021)
Languages and music have been my passion ever since I was a child. I like using my knowledge of them in order to make lyrics accessible in other languages. It's both a process of self-enrichment and a way of being useful to other people.
I'm quite meticulous in terms of typography, grammar and punctuation. I respect the rules and particularities of every language, hence I do my best to put them into practice (provided the rules are clear enough). Of course, I'm by no means flawless, so if you think I've made a mistake somewhere, please do notify me.
Also, please be aware that I do not take requests for translating lyrics. Although I've done it a few times in the past, I think that translating something I wouldn't really like myself doesn't feel honest, so I decided to limit myself to publishing translations of song lyrics that I personally like.
About the languages I've selected as being fluent in, and the ones chosen as studied:
I have studied a lot of languages out of pure interest (even such which I haven't selected), but I don't have a set goal such as becoming fluent in any of them in order to talk with other people – at least at this point of my life. I prefer understanding a language when it's written or spoken, but not necessarily being able to speak it.
This is the reason why I don't consider myself fluent in any language besides my native Bulgarian. Yet, I've chosen English, Italian, French and Esperanto rather as the ones I feel most confident to both use and work with: I'm able to speak, as well as to translate both from and into these languages. My priority, however, is translating lyrics into Bulgarian. As for the ones I've selected as studied, I can understand them at different rates, depending on their proximity to other languages I'm better at. For the sake of clarity, here are two lists (short and long) concerning my proficiency, sorted alphabetically:
- Languages I understand well, but still need to practise more (and do so): Croatian, Czech, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak;
- Languages I understand less well and still need a dictionary or a grammar reference for: Greek;
- Languages I have some rather general knowledge of, and thus not being proficient enough in without the help of a dictionary or a grammar reference: German, Hungarian, Japanese, Swedish, Turkish;
- Languages I have studied at some point for a specific reason, but don't use at all: Hindi, Neapolitan, Swahili;
- Other languages I'm interested in: Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovenian.
- Croatian (or Serbo-Croatian, if you prefer so): Thanks to a series of similarities between Croatian and Bulgarian, I don't need to learn it in depth in order to understand it (and speak it, albeit not quite confidently yet). I've been interested in it for a couple of years, but it was only recently I decided to dig deeper into it. I know that some people consider Croatian to be a local variation of the so called Serbo-Croatian language, but due to this being a linguistic-political dispute (No wonder some speakers may resort to calling it "our language" (naš jezik) despite the differences), I prefer focusing on what the culture behind it has to offer. Whatever you prefer to call it, Croatian is the variety that I seem to spend most time learning. (And, ironically enough, I find it easier than neighbouring Serbian for some reason.)
- Czech and Slovak: I can understand both of them decently well, but Czech slightly predominates, as I'm concentrated on it more. I still have a lot of vocabulary to catch up on, as well as to get used to the word order in more complex sentences in Czech. I find it somewhat hard to express myself in them confidently due to the lack of practice.
- German: For some reason, I find concentrating on this language difficult. I'd like to advance, but I keep ending up getting bored with it. I have some general knowledge about its grammatical features, about the way the word order functions more or less, but I lack a lot of vocabulary, practical experience of it and overall exposure to it. Hence I can understand some rather basic German, but with the help of a dictionary and a grammar, I could grasp a lot more.
- Greek: Thanks to Greek being in the Balkan sprachbund (language union) – which makes it close to Bulgarian in terms of grammar and having a common way of expressing oneself – I can understand some of it, but I have a lot of vocabulary to catch up on. I'm not quite exposed to it, so I hardly ever use it, but with the help of a dictionary, I could use it both for colloquial speech and for translating some easier lyrics if I ever feel like doing it.
- Hindi: The reason I started learning Hindi was to translate a song into Bulgarian (which I eventually managed to do), but I did almost nothing further after that. I can read Devanagari, albeit slowly.
- Hungarian: I can understand some basic Hungarian. I have some general knowledge about its grammatical features, but lack a lot of vocabulary, just like with German. I hope someday I'll find the motivation that will boost my interest in it.
- Japanese: I use my knowledge of it with the sole purpose of translating songs from it. I've made a few translations of easier lyrics into it as well, but I can hardly use it for anything else – especially for colloquial speech (Ironically enough, I find lyrics easier than everyday language), again, due to the lack of practice. My knowledge of it is more theoretical than practical.
- Neapolitan: I tried delving into it in order to understand lyrics. The lack of a standardised form is probably the main reason I stopped learning it.
- Polish: With my knowledge of other Slavic languages altogether, I can understand quite a fair amount of it, and can even speak it, although not as confidently.
- Portuguese: Thanks to my knowledge of Italian and French, I understand it almost as well as them. (The same applies for Spanish as well, but I'm not interested in it.) There's still room to improve in terms of vocabulary and verb tenses. Yet again, due to the lack of practice, I have a very small number of translations into it so far. I prefer its European variety, so that's the one I would use in my translations, but I have no problems at switching to Brazilian in communication, if needed.
- Romanian: Again, thanks to my knowledge of other Romance languages and also to the fact that Romanian belongs to the Balkan sprachbund, I experience almost no problem at using and understanding it. I still have some things to polish (no pun intended), but nonetheless, I understand it fairly well and use it when needed.
- Russian: I studied it at school from 5th to 7th grade on a rather basic level, in later years continued on my own and improved my knowledge of it significantly. Thanks to its similarity to Bulgarian, I can understand it at a decent degree (mostly when written, slightly less when spoken), but I experience some hard time to express myself in it.
- Swahili: I learned some Swahili through Duolingo for fun because of its grammar features. However, I've forgotten a lot of vocabulary and grammar, and don't have any intentions to go back to it anytime soon.
- Swedish: My interest in Swedish has declined drastically over the years. Songs are pretty much the only thing that keeps that interest alive. Due to it being tightly connected to Norwegian and Danish, I may translate songs sung in them as well (as soon as I discover any).
- Turkish: I learn it mostly for fun, as I love its grammatical features and the overall sound of it. I can understand more basic sentences, but nonetheless, I find using it rather difficult at this point, mostly because of the word order.
Shortcuts for symbols I often use, but don't have on my keyboard:
- … (Ellipsis as a single symbol);
- „” (Quotation marks type 99-99) – for Croatian, Polish and Romanian;
- → (Arrow pointing to the right) – I use it when notifying translators for the changes I've applied to the source lyrics or when suggesting any improvements;
- Āā, Ēē, Īī, Ōō, Ūū (Latin vowels with macrons) – for rōmaji transcriptions of titles or lyrics;
- А̀а̀, Ъ̀ъ̀, О̀о̀, У̀у̀, Ѐѐ, Ѝ, Ю̀ю̀, Я̀я̀ (Cyrillic vowels and semivowels with grave accents) – for indicating stressed syllables in Bulgarian when needed;
- Ǎǎ (Latin Aa with caron) – for transliterating the letter Ъъ in Bulgarian titles;
- Œœ – for French;
- Iı, İ, Ğğ, Şş – for Turkish;
- Ёё, — (Em dash) – for Russian;
- Đđ – for Croatian.