Writing lyrics in languages other than English

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lucas
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Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by lucas » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:53 pm

I was just wondering how many of you guys write in native languages other than English.I write primarily in Afrikaans, which is my mother tongue. I am reasonably successful in doing this. Have bought the bacon for almost 30 years. Writing in English is a different ball game, because if you really want to make sense, you have to think in English, and as an Afrikaans speaker, I find that incredibly difficult. There is such a vast difference in syntax as well as texture between the two languages. So I end up thinking in Afrikaans and translating the thoughts into English. Crazy, isn't it?I have tried translating some of my Afrikaans songs into English, and that is just as daunting, because I find that there are many things that can be said in Afrikaans, that can never be said in English, and vice versa of course. I also find that mostly the translated lyric will never fit to the original melody, without a lot of phrasing adjustments.Do you have the same problems? How do you deal with it?Lucas
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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by linziellen » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:52 am

Hello Lucas,Sounds very interesting! I'd like to listen to your music Originally from the UK I have lived in France for five years. Needless to say I speak fluent French. I much prefer writing in English and have never intentionally sat down to write a song in French BUT every now and then a verse or even two might pop into my head, which I will quickly get down on paper and then work with. I like to sing in French, it's a charming language, so much softer sounding than English and yes it's true - sometimes I can express myself in one language where the other just doesn't seem to have the words to cater for. A couple of years ago I used to sit and translate French songs (from my favorite Cd's) into English, it was a very interesting process and gave me a lot of ideas.I struggle more and more to find right words in English when talking to my family. Apparently this is not such a good sign but being exposed to French almost 24/7 I would say it's pretty inevitable.Do you have a TAXI link so I can hear your Africaan songs?Lindsey

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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by silvercord » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:23 am

Lucas...do you have any links to stream your songs in Afrikaans? i'd like to hear that:)I try to write songs in Korean, but only with help of my Koreanfriends..im afraid if i wrote it on my own..i would sound likea 3 year old....if that!: )Lindsey...oh cool be sure to write a song in French..i wanna hearthat!

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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by ncc1701 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:00 pm

I once translated a children's musical from Swedish into English so my parents' church group could perform it. (I was 16 and had no idea of the copyright infringement I was committing! I'm overcome with guilt.)The way I did it was to first translate the lyrics word for word onto paper, not bothering if the English lines fit the meter or the rhyme of the song. Then, I would go back and take a look at what ideas the songs were trying to get across. I would try to rephrase the main ideas to fit the melody, but I wouldn't worry so much about making sure every single word from the original made it in.That approach worked for me. Hope it might give you some ideas.Kathleen

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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by squids » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:03 pm

I try to translate American with a southern accent into English but I just can't get it right. I totally dig that you guys are doing this stuff! Who's got links?? I wanna hear too!

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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by lucas » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:04 pm

Hi Guys. Thanks for your interest. I have a Taxi page which sits at www.taxi.com/lucasmaree there are four songs. the two with English titles are songs that I originally wrote in Afrikaans, and then translated for an English album I made in South Africa. The other two,SUIKERBOSSIE * and AL Lê DIE BERGE** I have only recently started translating from Afrikaans. The soundtrack is in Afrikaans, so you will be able to hear what that sounds like by clicking on * http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... tream=true** http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... eam=trueIf there is interest, I will try and translate them in this thread, some time in the future.. Lucas
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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by lucas » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:13 pm

Here are the Lyrics to the other two songs:http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... rueJericho(words and Music: Lucas Maree.)(Publishing and Copyright: Lucas L Maree/MS SAMRO )Chorus:Song and rhymeSong and rhymeLook what God achieved with song and rhymeSong and rhymeSong and rhymeLook what God achieved with song and rhymeThere are walls all around you toolike those they found at Jericho,high against the morning sky so blue..And like those walls at Jerichohad held their city hostage,your walls have your heart in prison too..Now this wall I found around you,is totally untouchable,and hides you far beyond my hopeless callI put my heart in danger -bared my soul to you, a stranger,and here I am, still staring at your wallJericho found refuge it was embraced by stone;could anyone have found a stronger home.?This ancient wall stood tall againstthe fierce assault from man and time..Yet look what God achieved with song and rhymeYes, Look what God achieved with song and rhymeChorusBridge:Who knows, my song may do this too.Perhaps my song could do the same for you…So why don’t I try one more timeto capture you with song and rhymelike Jericho got caught in ancient times..Jericho, in far off, ancient times!ChorusYes, Jericho stood strong and tallA haven, safe, to one and allWho needed to take shelter from the brawl.Yet no one did expect the tall,and ancient wall of Jericho to fallto something seemingly so smallas music and the strain of trumpet callsThe Other song Follows in the next Post
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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by lucas » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:28 pm

Here is the other Song from my English Album.http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... am=trueOut of time(words and Music: Lucas L Maree.)(Publishing and Copyright: Lucas L Maree/MS SAMRO )Chorus:We're out of time,with so much left to say,and only silence as the evening slips away.We're out of time,With so much left to say,yet every moment feels like eternity, some days..The little hand's at twelveand the big hand at three;your head in your hands upon my knee.I'm trying to talk,but you're not listening anymoreYou're sleeping as the big hand goes to four.The little hand's at twelveand the big hand touching fiveYou breathe so low, you hardly seem alive.We really should talk,for there's so much we need to fixbut instead I watch the big hand cross the six..Chorus:The little hand's at twelveAnd the big hand just gone eight:I feel the need to touch you, but I wait -For the right, but fleeting moment -For the smallest of signs..Relentlessly the big hand goes to nineChorus:Music and Lyrics : Lucas L MareePublisher : Lucas L Maree (MS SAMRO/ Miljoen Musiek)Close
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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by lucas » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:39 pm

Quote:Hello Lucas,Sounds very interesting! I'd like to listen to your music A couple of years ago I used to sit and translate French songs (from my favorite Cd's) into English, it was a very interesting process and gave me a lot of ideas.I struggle more and more to find right words in English when talking to my family. Apparently this is not such a good sign but being exposed to French almost 24/7 I would say it's pretty inevitable.Do you have a TAXI link so I can hear your Africaan songs?LindseyI agree with you..! French is a beautiful language, especially for singing. One of the most beautiful, I would say along with Russian, Greek and Italian. My Mother tongue, Afrikaans is related to Dutch and Flemish. These are also beautiful. The overall sound texture of Afrikaans is more earthy. We have harsher sounds which are sometimes very difficult f0or the English palate.. he he he..Translating other people's material could be very good, Lindsay. I try doing this every day, as a finger exercise. You learn a lot about song structures and the treatment of content. There is only one problem. The moment you want to use the translation in public, you have to check with ASCAP, SAMRO (in South Africa) or BIEM ( inEurope) to get permission.
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Re: Writing lyrics in languages other than English

Post by lucas » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:49 pm

Quote:I once translated a children's musical from Swedish into English so my parents' church group could perform it. (I was 16 and had no idea of the copyright infringement I was committing! I'm overcome with guilt.)The way I did it was to first translate the lyrics word for word onto paper, not bothering if the English lines fit the meter or the rhyme of the song. Then, I would go back and take a look at what ideas the songs were trying to get across. I would try to rephrase the main ideas to fit the melody, but I wouldn't worry so much about making sure every single word from the original made it in.That approach worked for me. Hope it might give you some ideas.KathleenSure it does, Kathleen..!Are you still doing translation? Al the Scandinavian languages sound most beautiful but are very difficult to understand. With French, Spanish and Italian you can somehow get by with the Latin connection. Is Swedish your home Language?Stay wellLucas
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