Translating J-pop / K-pop (japanese versions)


#1

I’m sure some of you translate songs in Japanese to help you practice. I’ve just been singing along to the Japanese version of Momoland’s Bboom Bboom over and over. This video has the Japanese lyrics, romanji translation, and English translation, so there’s no need to translate but I’ve copied the Japanese into my notebook and looked up the kanji I didn’t know. The language is overall pretty simple; learned some new words and had some words I knew from the lower levels of wanikani reinforced.
Video Link

What songs have you practiced with?


#2

…What songs haven’t I practiced with?

I’ve got at least 200 pages of the stuff (both Japanese / English lyrics).

I used to translate every anime ending or beginning song; now I only do the ones that really strike me. I’ve gotten much faster at translating individual songs on the fly but I don’t translate as many. Also I translated a ton of Shikao Suga, Spitz, and Suneohair songs for a school project… And there’s other random stuff…

I try to translate first for meaning and conciseness, and secondly for singability in English if I get to that stage, with varying degrees of success. Where I need more practice is in giving myself permission to play with more liberal translations. A lot of people are singing anime song dubs these days and some of those translations blow me away.


#3

Wowww… maybe by the time I get to level 42 I’ll have close to 100 pages. n.n


#4

Poetry does take up a lot of space due to the spacing, though. Some of the longer songs (Japanese songs especially at roughly five minutes) can span three pages when in complete, non-TV form.


#5

Mostly stuff I like to sing in karaoke:
顔でかーい
The real folk blues
風は未来に吹く

Soooo, anime and stuff from yubeat copious, yeah, sounds right.


#6

I just recently started doing that as well, but I feel unsure about some translations. Especially since a lot of lyrics use a lot of flowery language which makes the over all translation, for me at least, quite hard to translate.


#7

Cowboy Bebop :black_heart:

The first one makes me wonder if you also like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. :>


#8

I just know PON PON PON, that I play at least once I do some 太鼓の達人. But I like it.


#9

This is true. Actually, I have less trouble with the flowery language than the grammar which often drops transition words, or doesn’t end a sentence, or seems to be an flowing series of phrases ----- the hardest part is knowing where a phrase ends! Does it extend into the next phrase, or is it self-contained? AAaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Knowing the theme of the song can help. For example, when translating FMAB’s song Golden Time, I knew it was about risk, but I didn’t know at first that the song was actually about gambling and risk. As I was translating the kanji I started noticing a theme - so I went back and checked for gambling references. Suddenly the song clicked into place when the vocabulary and phrases had seemed haphazard and scrambled before.

Also, I do my best on my own, but I also check other fans’ translation of the material when I am done or if I am having trouble. Those translations can open my eyes to a more accurate translation, more possibilities, and more elegant phrases. Anime songs are usually covered by at least somebody, so that’s why they’re a good place to start. You’re not superhuman. Our minds are set in our perspective so it’s hard to think of all the angles, even when we make a conscious effort to shift perspectives. Comparison and collaboration is a tool, so use it.

But yeah, there’s a lot of songs - especially ones I translated early on - that I double check my work on. Don’t be afraid to revisit old translations. Do the best you can at the time and move on.