What to do with poetically translated songs?

12 posts / 0 new
<a href="/en/translator/tinyparrot" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1470894">Tinyparrot</a>
Joined: 20.09.2020
Pending moderation

Hey, sorry if someone else has made this before, but
I've recently been kind of obsessed with translating songs poetically (not all are posted on here). I don't really have any musical talent, but I'd love to put this addiction to good use. Does anyone have suggestions or does anyone here use their translated songs for other things? Not necessarily making money but having other people sing them and things like that. Sincerely, a teenager unsure what to do with their life.
Btw, I'm still kinda new but so far I love the community here!

Russian asset
<a href="/en/translator/schnurrbrat" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Joined: 07.03.2019

Hi, Tinyparrot.
I guess we mostly translate because we like it, just for the sake of it, hoping that one day someone will read our works. At least this is my completely unpractical idealistic approach and my justification of hundreds of hours spent on LT.
I know that many users were approached by guests asking to use their translations in schools, colleges, amateur theaters, YT channels etc.
From that perspective, singable/poetic translations are needed.
Also there are some folks on LT who are performers and they are willing to adapt favorite lyrics to another language, although they usually make their own translations. I guess there's little chance to find someone who will be willing to perform your own translations.
Recently there was a positive shift on Russian LT when users started publishing their performances - recordings of their translations, or their own poems/songs (you can register as an artist on LT btw) or just poems of their LT-friends, etc. It's very moving.
So there is always a way to express yourself.
The first step is to publish your translations, don't hide them in the drawer.

<a href="/en/translator/drigor" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1465978">Dr_Igor</a>
Joined: 08.08.2020

Hey, Robin
I may be the most relevant person for your soul searching. So check me out. I've taken a look at a couple of your translations, that you claim to be singable. Those have issues with singability. Probably solvable. Are you more than one person? A band? - they/them...

<a href="/en/translator/irula" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1440703">Irula</a>
Joined: 09.12.2019

Hi, Robin!
First of all, let me tell you that’s it really great you have this interest! It does help to nurture and sustain your heart and soul, and I applaud you for your healthy “obsession”, as you call it!
I write my own stuff (although it’s not my strongest side), as well as translate and compose songs, and also perform them. If you want to hear your translation sung, I can, to some extend, help you with that. I can also help to fix some singability issues, just like Igor mentioned above. So chose a couple of your favorites, send us a PM, and we’ll see what we can do with them!

Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/leszek" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1379969">leszek</a>
Joined: 25.04.2018

Hi Captain Wink smile I fully agree with your opinion that we do what we like, and just because we like it. One old English definition of the term "gentleman" is - the man who spends weeks, months and years in stagecoaches etc. in dirt and inconvenience, without hot dinner and access to a toilet and bathroom, and spends tens of thousands of pounds on this, but if someone offered him the same job, but in return for thousands of pounds of salary, he would refused such an offending offer. I think the same concerns us. I do not look here for any fame, prize or salary (such a pleasure may happen from time to time, but is not a reason to spend hundreds and thousands of hours at the keyboard).

(1) Generally, I make almost only "singable, poetic translations" from some languages into Polish, which is my mother tongue. I personally have an additional reason to make such translations: To have understood the original text better, including the text "between the lines", this second, sometimes third bottom, known to the author and accessible for some native speakers. It is therefore also a kind of investigation.

(2) The only translations to other languages are those for my friends - mainly songwriters-Liedermacher-pisnickare-bards, who do not understand the original but wish to translate and sing the cover in their own language.
In such cases I care only to make the lyrics legible, possibly with all hypertexts, context, allusions, registers (colloquialisms, slang, mat' etc.) which I can recognize and explain in additional column of the tale.
Consequently, if I only am pretty sure that the sense of such translation is legible and not misleading, I do not pretend anymore to further "perfectionize" such interlinear translation, being anyway only an intermediate for final translation, to be evemtually written by someone else.

(3) Several times I tried to answer the "translation requests" also here, using the same principle (2): Let the reader know what exactly is going on in a language he or she does not understand, but without polishing the translation grammatically etc., as if in order to obtain a perfect note on the target language test.
I was quickly punished for this approach - in case of one such translation from CZ to D, I got about 20 correction remarks. They were all about German style and grammar, none - the inability to understand anything from the original text...

(4) A lot of people here are convinced that the translation of the song - 110% faithful in content, linguistically perfect, though not singable and unrhymed - is the goal of all creation, or at least the highest form of writing. ... I cannot explain such persons, that these are indeed the highest advantages of translating a law, a notarial deed and/or so on, but since we are translating the art, this approach could be a bit different.
A piece of marble can be used to carve a perfect cubic tombstone or to carve a figure. And the exact size and right angles count only by tombstones. All attempts to explain this have brought nothing but sulk, mockery or personal trips.
Well, people need to validate the meaning and value of what they do - "всяк кулик свое болото хвалит" - me too ...

Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/leszek" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1379969">leszek</a>
Joined: 25.04.2018

Hi, I don't know any better method to improve the singability of whatever you write as singing just during writing. Wink smile

Moderator ᐂ
<a href="/en/translator/alma-barroca" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1110108">Alma Barroca</a>
Joined: 05.04.2012

I do not use my translations to make money, but I often use them as subtitles for my Instagram pictures and status when I feel like a digital influencer Tongue smile

Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/leszek" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1379969">leszek</a>
Joined: 25.04.2018

But we both didn't answer the main question - What do we do to make our translations known to the world, to the fans of given artist or at least to a circle of our own friends? When you omitted certain activity before, your subtitle may hang in a vacuum then?

Editor (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*・゚✧
<a href="/en/translator/lizzzard" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1241111">Lizzzard</a>
Joined: 01.04.2015

I may sound funny, but
>What do we do to make our translations known to the world,
Publish on all available platforms)
>to the fans of given artist
Publish on forums and groups dedicated to the artist)
> at least to a circle of our own friends?
sing / send a link / tell your friends about your translations?

Nobody will know about our translations until we tell about it)

the rest depends on how "obscurity" gnaws at a person.
if the feeling is strong, then you need to outline the circle of websites, roll up your sleeves and post translations.
if not much, then do good and throw it into the water)


Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/leszek" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1379969">leszek</a>
Joined: 25.04.2018

One Isaac insistently prayed to Yahweh for the jackpot prize. After some time, the Creator showed him his tormented face and muttered: "Isaac, Isaac, please give me a chance, you buy a lottery ticket!"

Russian asset
<a href="/en/translator/schnurrbrat" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Joined: 07.03.2019

Hi, leszek.
I somehow missed all notifications about this topic, but after seeing such a detailed comment, I simply have to reply. We are all different, and it is true when it comes to translations. I have little interest in certain translations, and vice versa, their authors will hardly read mine. And it is fine, and there are also a lot of niches in between. So, yes, you're right, "każda pliszka swój ogonek chwali."

PS. I don't know if you're familiar with this character: Mimino, he's the main character of the namesake Soviet comedy (1977). To me this movie is still very funny even now and it is available with subtitles on the official Mosfilm YT channel. I would recommend it to anyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimino

Senior Member
<a href="/en/translator/leszek" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1379969">leszek</a>
Joined: 25.04.2018

Hi Us (Wąs) Wink smile
(1) You wrote the Polish saying correctly but - as far as i know - not in the primary version. Initially was here liszka (fox, лишка), then the saying "splitted" and appeared also the version with "pliszka" (wagtail, трясогузка) in the main role.
(2) Thank you for the recommendation of that old Georgian movie. I have heard about it but never seen, and to be true - I am not a real fan of any kind of cinema, in particular comedy. I have seen any full-time-movie for maybe 5, maybe 8 years.
(3) I feel not bad in my own niche. I also do not intend to undertake the production of grenades against the inhabitants of other niches, both neighboring and further. But just the need to throw back the grenades coming from there, where the foxes have probably more beatiful tails, limits my comfort a bit.