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Another English "language" that confuses non English speakers and makes translations very difficult?

33 posts / 0 new
Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018
Pending moderation

I'm not sure exactly what to call this "language" exactly but I've noticed this happening A LOT in the country music category from the United States of America (my own country). A popular country song gets found by somebody but they want it translated into let's say Tagalog for example or Spanish. The translation request gets sent in and... Never gets answered even after 9 years had past. If the person who had sent the request was still on LT at 9 years, I'm sure they would feel pretty disappointed that their request never got answered and may never want to send out another request again. But in reality, people on LT had tried to translate it but they did not understand the English used in it therefore it ended up not being able to be translated because the English is considered "improper" or just considered "what the **** is this!?". I noticed this happening while I was adding song lyrics to people who were in the country music category. I've heard people call this English language" "Old West", " Cowboy Talk", "Western Slang" among others but I'm still not sure personally what to call it because in many ways, it's like a language of its own.

Can anybody think of an example or something?

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sarah-rose" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1408155">Sarah Rose</a>
Üyelik: 07.01.2019

You're referring to language that's often used in country music, like with a southern drawl? Like how they would say things in the southern states? I can't think of a specific song, but I do know what you mean.

If so, I think maybe that would be more like a regional dialect than a separate language. Although it does have its own grammar and vernacular. Hip hop and rap also have their own grammar and vernacular.

I think it would be hard to translate unless the translator is familiar with the dialect.

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

Yeah something like that! And yes how they would say it in the southern states (maybe even in some Mid Western states too). Yes I agree with you on... The rest of what you had said xD

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

I wasn't sure exactly what to call it even though I'm VERY familiar with the "language".

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sarah-rose" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1408155">Sarah Rose</a>
Üyelik: 07.01.2019

Yeah, I think it would be a dialect and I'm actually kind of surprised this site doesn't have different dialects for English. Because British English is different than what we speak here in the US, and as you said, even different parts of the US use different dialects. And it can be difficult to understand certain dialects if people aren't familiar with them!

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

Agreed! At first I thought "Old English" was the southern English that we had just mentioned but when I looked at other people's lyrics in "Old English" I was like "Opps! I guess that wasn't what I was thinking of after all!"

Editor in search of Anningan & Malina
<a href="/tr/translator/sydney-lover" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1112972">DarkJoshua</a>
Üyelik: 10.05.2012

I think the problem is that a Brit can understand a song in American English, so there aren't many reasons to have two distinct categories for that. Some words are different across the pond, but a quick Google research is enough.
Thing is, English is a very widespread language. If we were to add all the dialects of English, it would just get messy. Even just adding the most spoken ones. Remember that the UK alone has more than half of the dialects of English spoken in the whole world.
It would be better to just have a category for those dialects of English that are less understood like Jamaican English, which already has a separate category. Distinguishing American, British, Australian and New Zealand's English (just to name a few) into different categories when the differences are subtle and not always present isn't the wisest idea.

Moderator
<a href="/tr/translator/jamilet-bryant" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1192520">ϕιλομαθής</a>
Üyelik: 06.11.2013

I agree with DarkJoshua.

There are countless regional variants in American English alone. Language, slang and vernacular expressions also change with time.

Sailor PokeMoon2 , I'm an American from the Southern part of the country. Send me a PM if you have a specific question, I'll help if I can.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/tr/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Üyelik: 16.02.2011

We have categories for some dialects of English: Scots, Jamaican, and the creoles of Bislama and Tok Pisin.
While I'm not very knowledgeable in the dialectology of English, if there are other dialects of it in which we have texts and which differ from standard English in a similar degree, there would be no reason not to add a category.

Novice
<a href="/tr/translator/christina-morris" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1409418">Christina Morris</a>
Üyelik: 17.01.2019

It is just what you called it at first: Country...Country dialect...

Member
<a href="/tr/translator/breezyday" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1394713">BreezyDay</a>
Üyelik: 31.08.2018

I think it is good, if possible, to put footnotes into the lyrics to help people from other parts of the world who may not know American English phrases from the 30s or 50s or 70s, or from certain regions. It's good to try to imagine someone from another country trying to understand the song. They may not yet know popular idioms, either.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/harry-connick-jr-im-old-cowhand-lyrics.html

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/stevie-wonder-uptight-everythings-allrigh...

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/sam-cooke-chain-gang-lyrics.html

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/sparks-cool-places-lyrics.html

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/bing-crosby-and-louis-armstrong-gone-fish...

Sciera's comment "created a monster" (me, sorry!)

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/tr/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Üyelik: 16.02.2011
Christina Morris wrote:

It is just what you called it at first: Country...Country dialect...

Pretty sure there are other terms for it used more commonly by linguists...

BreezyDay wrote:

I think it is good, if possible, to put footnotes into the lyrics to help people from other parts of the world who may not know American English phrases from the 30s or 50s or 70s, or from certain regions. https://lyricstranslate.com/en/harry-connick-jr-im-old-cowhand-lyrics.html

That's certainly a good idea. We may add footnotes for anything that may need explanation, so why not also for currently unusual terms.

Member
<a href="/tr/translator/breezyday" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1394713">BreezyDay</a>
Üyelik: 31.08.2018

Of course, as Sailor PokeMoon2 brought out, sometimes NO ONE can understand the lyrics, not even someone native to the region, and you can only guess. The same is true in any language or genre.

ϕιλομαθής, I might need your help some day too. Thanks for coming forward.

I stumbled across this website one day. Maybe it will be useful. http://www.amiright.com/misheard/lyrics/country-w.shtml

Novice
<a href="/tr/translator/christina-morris" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1409418">Christina Morris</a>
Üyelik: 17.01.2019

Also every state inside the U.S. has a different accent in the way they speak English too.

Senior Member
<a href="/tr/translator/phil-ambro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399548">Phil Ambro</a>
Üyelik: 19.10.2018

Within the USA, the absolute worst dialect is Southern Creole, spoken in the bayous of Louisiana. It's a French-English bastardization, lost in time. It's so bad, that whenever one such person appears on TV in the USA, they have to use subtitles, because practically no one in the USA can understand this dialect. As for the Southern dialects across the USA, some are stronger than others. And, as small towns die, and more people move to the cities, these dialects are becoming more "normalized", because it is VERY HARD to get a job, if you have a strong Southern dialect for two main reasons. First, some people will not be able to understand you, and jobs like clear communication. But, also, secondly, there is generally the prejudice view that people who speak with strong Southern accents have received a substandard education. And as such, many people will automatically discriminate against someone who has a strong Southern accent, just because they think that they are stupid. This is of course, not true. But prejudice and stereotypes exist everywhere. At least, I'll tell you the truth. As for me, I can speak and understand the Southern accent, so I don't understand when people have problems with it. But, I do admit they say some confusing things sometimes. They have sayings that aren't common elsewhere. My favorite is "Bless her heart!" which normally means "She's one stupid bitch." (LOL) I also speak "proper" American English (like on the TV). But, I can't understand some British accents, so I get how they might have problems with ours.

Novice
<a href="/tr/translator/christina-morris" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1409418">Christina Morris</a>
Üyelik: 17.01.2019

depends on the speaker as to what the idiom; bless her heart means...it is not always sarcasm either.

Senior Member
<a href="/tr/translator/phil-ambro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399548">Phil Ambro</a>
Üyelik: 19.10.2018

We have a LOT of songs that people write MISHEARD lyrics to. Some are quite funny. Normally it's a British person trying to understand an American song, or vice versa. Australians thought the Go-Go's song "Our Lips Are Sealed" was "Alex the Seal". Sometimes the accents make for huge mistakes and hilarious results happen. The best I can remember is a song that was sung with a STRONG British dialect called "Come on Eileen". Practically no one in the USA could understand what he was singing, and here's the result. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ-agcLs7Y8 Enjoy!

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sarah-rose" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1408155">Sarah Rose</a>
Üyelik: 07.01.2019
Phil Ambro wrote:

Within the USA, the absolute worst dialect is Southern Creole, spoken in the bayous of Louisiana. It's a French-English bastardization, lost in time. It's so bad, that whenever one such person appears on TV in the USA, they have to use subtitles, because practically no one in the USA can understand this dialect.

That's why I do think this particular dialect is different, as opposed to British English, which is different but we can understand it. Because you're right, when I watch a show on TV with this dialect, I have to use subtitles even though I'm American.

Member
<a href="/tr/translator/breezyday" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1394713">BreezyDay</a>
Üyelik: 31.08.2018

I remember a radio spot that had an American singing Chumbawamba's 'Tubthumping'. The true lyrics are: "I get knocked down, but I get up again." In the commercial, it was sung as "I got knocked down, by an elephant". Regular smile

Senior Member
<a href="/tr/translator/phil-ambro" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399548">Phil Ambro</a>
Üyelik: 19.10.2018

I know that. That's why I said, "normally". And, as for sarcasm. I have noticed that a LOT of people in the South don't get sarcasm very much. Instead they use cute Southern sayings (which I guess are sarcasm). But, for some reason, they don't get California "when monkeys fly out my butt" type sarcasm. Which I said once in Texas, when someone said, "That's stupid! Monkeys don't fly!" I died laughing. It became even more funny to me, that he never thought it was weird that monkeys might be up my butt to begin with. LOL.

Novice
<a href="/tr/translator/christina-morris" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1409418">Christina Morris</a>
Üyelik: 17.01.2019

https://youtu.be/FOEwO58a_w8 ha ha this is sound but it still really illustrates our points lol

Member
<a href="/tr/translator/breezyday" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1394713">BreezyDay</a>
Üyelik: 31.08.2018

Both videos are awesome! Thanks!!

Novice
<a href="/tr/translator/christina-morris" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1409418">Christina Morris</a>
Üyelik: 17.01.2019

LOL

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

By an elephant!? 😂😂😂

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Üyelik: 01.07.2018

So the legend that the Japanese cannot pronounce the "r"s is not a legend.

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Üyelik: 01.07.2018

Reminds me that old joke about early automatic translation attempts. A Soviet computer was given the sentence "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" and it answered : "The vodka is strong, but the meat is rotten". I never knew if it was a true story or not.

Editor
<a href="/tr/translator/taeyang" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1378559">Taeyang</a>
Üyelik: 11.04.2018

There are so many English dialects. :s
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dialects_of_English
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-based_creole_language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English-based_pidgins
Country music... Maybe Texan English?

DarkJoshua even if there are few differences, I find it very interesting but you're right it would just get messy.

And here: Learn Japanglish with this song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhGnuWwpNxI

English isn’t my first language, so please excuse any mistakes. (Are there any mistakes? xd)

Member
<a href="/tr/translator/breezyday" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1394713">BreezyDay</a>
Üyelik: 31.08.2018

Just a few minor punctuation mistakes. I'm a native speaker and I make the same mistakes for the same reason. You're very clear and you sound fluent.

Editor
<a href="/tr/translator/taeyang" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1378559">Taeyang</a>
Üyelik: 11.04.2018
BreezyDay wrote:

Just a few minor punctuation mistakes. I'm a native speaker and I make the same mistakes for the same reason. You're very clear and you sound fluent.

Okay, thank you. Teeth smile

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

😂😂😂😂 that is so funny though!

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

Opps I'm sorry if I had accidentally opened up a can of worms. 😫

Super Member
<a href="/tr/translator/sailor-pokemoon2" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1399679">Sailor PokeMoon2</a>
Üyelik: 21.10.2018

When I had started this discussion it was after I had read some of the things from this website. Where I live which is a Midwest state in the USA called Indiana (I live in northern Indiana) we still use some of these terms and phrases but it seems like people from Kentucky use more of them though. I'm mentioning Kentucky because my dad's side of the family came from there and it's not uncommon for somebody to come all the way from Kentucky to Northern Indiana either. Read up! There's a lot to read! : https://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-slang/9/

Meanwhile I'm gonna git b'fore somebody tells me to go boil my shirt!

Member
<a href="/tr/translator/breezyday" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1394713">BreezyDay</a>
Üyelik: 31.08.2018

Git along little dogie!

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