Sunday, 25 May 2014

Spontaneous quiz just because: 6 song translations

In honour of the Translation in Music conference which is taking place down the road in Cardiff this weekend, I thought it might be nice to have some song-related translation fun.

What popular English-language songs, most famously sung by which artists, are the originals (or indeed the translations) of the songs here? Answers in the comments please...

1) This one I had no idea about until I came across a link on Twitter:

2) It's the song that opens this interview clip:


3) This one is a perennial favourite:

4) I couldn't resist:

5) Ah, memories of summer camp circa 1989:

6) With thanks to Ali O., who introduced me to Jack Lukeman and the Black Romantics:

If anyone wants to read any more about song translation, you could try this old but fun NPR programme. There's an article about the translation of Stevie Wonder's 'I just called to say I love you' in Meta on open access. There's another article in the same journal by Ronnie Apter about translating opera (link is to direct download). There are good articles by Peter Low and others in various paywalled journals. There's an AHRC-funded project on 'Translating Music' with a list of further reading here. There was a special issue of The Translator on translation and music in 2008 (paywalled). There's an interview with Jonathan Burton and Judi Palmer of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the Journal of Specialised Translation here.

UPDATE: Thanks to Sam B. for pointing out this article by Nicolas Froeliger on translating Bob Dylan into French

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