Month: September 2013

translation company london funny

There are certain forms of a language that are inherently more difficult to translate than another. One of the most famously difficult things to try and translate is songs. Many Spanish and English Translators have been put on the edge of tearing their hair out as a result of the process.

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At least she’s trying

Not as easy as you might think

Due to the complex nature of songs there are some major issues when it comes to moving them from one language to another. If you want your song translated into Spanish you might have issues finding any English to Spanish Translators that are actually willing to take on the task. The difficulty of translating song lyrics requires a person to not only understand the two languages in depth, but understand song writing as well.

The first issue with bringing a song to Spanish to English translators is that songs can’t just be translated directly. If you just literally had them translate every word directly, then the chances of the lyrics fitting correctly are zero to none. Trying to squeeze words into a beat that no longer fits them is only going to end up in a terrible song.

If English to Spanish translators took a lyric containing the word “singer,” it would be translated into “cantante” which just is not comparable. Trying to shove that word into a song would just seem awkward. Each word translated has a decent chance of coming out a completely different length than it went in. That means that translating an entire song directly could very easily alter then flow and length of the song by a considerable degree.

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Have you ever wondered what this song sounded like directly translated into English? Scroll down for the video.

Due to how easy it is to end up with a song so terribly different than the original it is important that English to Spanish translators working with song lyrics understand how to keep the structure. Even if all of the syllables of individual lines in a song get fit in correctly, that does not mean that the song is going to fit the same. Some sentences may come out too long, too short, or just no longer fit the aesthetic of the song. When you are translating song lyrics it is important to keep in mind that how a word sounds greatly impacts the flow of a song. Using “saddened” vs “upset” in a song may fit the same, and even mean the same, but leave a different feel overall that may alter the intent of the author.

It’s the little variations that matter

Another thing to keep in mind during the translations of songs is that the words may hold different meanings. A great example of this is the now famous Nena song “99 Red Balloons.” Originally the song was released in German and so when translated over to English slight alterations had to be made to the lyrics. Originally the title was “99 Luftballoons” which translates directly to “99 air balloons.” Of course “air balloons” in Germany are just what we call balloons in the United Kingdom, so in order to avoid confusion it was changed to “red Balloons.” This change allowed the song to keep the same tempo and general meaning even after being translated.

The Issues with Metaphors in Spanish to English Translations

Metaphors have been, and always will be, one of the most frustrating things for English to Spanish translators to deal with. See, there is a certain nuance to metaphors that may not translate over so well. A direct translation will often leave the metaphor void of its intent when it comes out in a new language. Metaphors can only ever be a semantic novelty, so it is almost impossible to find equivalence in the language it is being translated to. Instead the Spanish to English translators would be far more successful in trying to find an already existent metaphor that leaves the same impression. If your English to Spanish translators can get the word fitting, word intent, and metaphor situation down, then you might be able to get a successful song translation.

Gangnam Style Translation

The widely popular song that was played WAY to often, was extremely catchy…we will give it at least that much. However, even though the song got people dancing across the world no matter what language they spoke; have you ever wondered what the direct translation to English means or even sounds like? We found an hilarious video you need to watch. Check it out below:

Translators London

Translators LondonIf I went up to someone in the United States and asked them what language they spoke, they would likely answer with English. Of course if I went to England and asked the same question I would receive the same answer. While it is true that both countries have English as their primary language, they are not in fact the exact same form of the language. English to Spanish translators have been struggling with this issue since English is often their second language. Of course Spanish to English translators have to struggle with the exact same problem on the other side.

The Trouble with Translation

If it can be annoying for English to Spanish translators to deal with the difference in UK and US English, then I feel awful for Spanish to English translators. Both Spain and Mexico speak forms of the Spanish language, but have you ever spoken to people from the area? If you put both in a room it’s likely they would have to repeat lines to each other just to understand.  Thanks to these differences in languages that are often treated the same by people who don’t know them; translators often end up in confusing situations.

If and when you need to hire translators, you obviously just can’t hold onto the hope that they know which form is which when they hear it. Being fluent in one of the languages does not make a person qualified to translate for both of them. While a person certainly could translate and get most of it right, there would be words here and there that would just be out of place or wrong. The best Spanish to English translators will be well aware of the variations in the different forms of the language, but it can still be confusing.

The difference between these forms of language is almost exclusively spoken though. If it is written down it would pretty much be the same for both forms. Of course this isn’t very handy when you are looking for English to Spanish translators to accomplish the task in the moment.

Imagine moving from the US to the UK – we often hear the stories, and can well imagine. Many from North America will often find themselves asking the British to restate things because they simply can’t grasp what they are saying. It is just the little variations that make understanding language hard, and we are talking about the same language. Could you imagine the difficulty for those Spanish to English translators out there who have to deal with several forms of two different languages?

It is really just something to keep in mind when hiring translators. Be aware of what forms of the languages you are going to need them to utilize. Some may not be all that comfortable with translating to or from a form that they don’t use themselves.