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 apply them. 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, and that's why I decided to stop doing that and keep publishing translations of songs that I personally like instead.
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): 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, Turkish;
- Languages I have studied at some point for a specific reason, but don't use at all: Hindi, Neapolitan, Swahili.
- 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 and practical experience of it. Hence I can understand some rather basic German, but with the help of a dictionary, 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 feel like doing it.
- Hindi: The reason I started learning Hindi was to translate a song into Bulgarian, which I 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.
- 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), again, due to the lack of practice. I have more theoretical knowledge of it rather than practical.
- Neapolitan: I started learning it for being able to understand songs only, so I don't use it at all.
- Polish: With my knowledge of Czech, Slovak and Russian (and, of course, Bulgarian), I can understand quite a fair amount of it, but at this point, I don't consider myself able to communicate properly in it (however, I'm working on improving myself).
- 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 usually prefer European Portuguese, so that's the variety I would use in my translations, but I have no problems at switching to Brazilian in communication.
- Romanian: Again, thanks to my knowledge of other Romance languages, like Italian and French, 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 differences to other languages I know. However, I've forgotten a lot of vocabulary and grammar.
- Turkish: I learn it mostly for fun, as I love its grammatical features and the overall sounding 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);
- → (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.