Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sakigake Chamorro #1: Sakigake! Cromartie High School!

Thought I'd try out something new, because I was having trouble falling asleep because of my brother's trombone playing.

Since I was living in the states for so long and often had little space to practice speaking or listening to Chamorro, in order to keep fresh my Chamorro language skills, I often came up with quick and easy practices to help keep building my vocabulary. One of these practices that I've shared regularly through this blog has been the taking of songs in English, Hindi and Japanese and writing lyrics to their tunes. The lyrics are sometimes related to the original words, but not always and sometimes I change the theme completely to accommodate my own interpretation of the mood of the song's music. Some examples are "Hum Aapke Hain Koun" from the film of the same name, "Call Me, Call Me" and the anime Cowboy Bebop/Cowboy Bopeep, and "Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies.

Another practice I sometimes do is when I'm listening to a song that I already know very well, I try to translate in my head as I'm listening and still try to sing along with the song. Usually the lyrics I come up with are very simplistic, but its still a good way to keep my brain active in tying words and images together gi fino' Chamoru.

While I've been wandering around Youtube trying to find the magic video which would drain me of all my energy and knock me out, I eventually wandered across the theme song for the anime and manga Sakigake! Kuromati Koko! or in English Cromartie High School.

For those of you who don't know the anime or the manga I highly recommend it. The jokes are so stupid, but can at the same time be so hysterical. After you watch a little bit of it, and if you react as if the show is way too much, and too silly, its supposed to be that way. The characters are intentionally over the top and weird. What else could explain Freddie Mercury, a gorilla and a robot named Mechazawa all going to a high school for delinquents?

But aside from the actual content of the show, its shares with alot of animes the feature of having the words of its theme song sound almost unrelated to the content when translated into English. I'm beginning to wonder that this is on purpose, that the language of anime theme songs is supposed to be either really flowery and epic in a very poppy way, or is supposed to be a mixture of English and Japanese pop phrases. In the case of Cromartie High School the "nobility" of the lyrics might be tied to the inherent nobility of the show's main character, or it could be an ironic twist, to introduce the show with a voice who is commenting very rationally and passionately on the plight of the world, and then the world that follows be insane, violent, chaotic and have Freddie Mercury ride to school on a giant black horse.

Anyways, I decided tonight to give myself a new exercise. I already translate manga into Chamorro (my last one can be found here - "I Tilu na Maga'gera"), why not start translating the opening themes for anime too? Why not try to capture that curiously noble voice stapled to an otherwise juvenile medium in Chamorro? It certainly can't hurt my language skills, and in fact I might actually come up with some interesting phrase when I try to figure out how to say stuff like "I feel as though the nobility and kindness of man is being trampled upon."

Bai sangani hao i minagahet, taya' na' hinasso-ku na bai hu sangan este gi fino' Chamoru. Lao estague i minaolek i exercise. Sa' sina ha na'expand i nina'sina-hu gi i lenguahi-hu.

To keep myself from spending too much time on this, I decided to make these five minute translations. So in the translation below I am not going for correctness or attempting to provide a very well-thought out translation.

P.S. I originally thought about naming this exercise "animeslation Chamorro" or "Chamorro animelsation" but that sounds weird. So I just decided to be even stranger to call it "sakigake Chamorro" or "charge ahead Chamorro!" Since this is the spirit alot of these sorts of songs have.

Pues estague, sin mas inintrodusi, i kanta ni' hu ayek:


Jun sung by Takuro Yoshida
The reason I am crying is because I am very frustrated
I feel as though the nobility and kindness of man is being trampled upon
Those who show their strength lose their grace
Covered in dirt and lies, isn’t it a vexing sight?
Let’s live more stronger, fiercely and tougher
Let’s walk straight
The wind is against us
Move, move, move, those with a guilty conscience move aside
Light up the town of riffraff
Move, make way, truth is coming through
The era of justice will come
There are songs of hope too
I would happily sacrifice my life for this world

Ya estague i gof chaddek na pinila'-hu:

The reason I am crying is because I am very frustrated
I mina’tanges yu’ sa’ frustrated yu’!
I feel as though the nobility and kindness of man is being trampled upon
Sinientete-ku kulang manma’pos todu i minatua gi entre taotao
Those who show their strength lose their grace
I matatnga muna’falingu i grasia-ña
Covered in dirt and lies, isn’t it a vexing sight?
Kubietto i fache’ yan dinagi, kao esta fumoffoffo hao?
Let’s live more stronger, fiercely and tougher
Nihi ta fanla’la’, lametgot, lafotte yan lamesngon
Let’s walk straight
Na’tunas i chalån-ta!
The wind is against us
Maninasa hit ni’ i manglo’!
Move, move, move, those with a guilty conscience move aside
Seha, seha, seha, seha todu i gaiisao!
Light up the town of riffraff
Na’fañila este na songsong dugeru
Move, make way, truth is coming through
Suha, suha, suha, esta mamagi i minagahet!
The era of justice will come
I tiempon hustisia u fåtto!
There are songs of hope too
Guaha kantan esperånsa lokkue’
I would happily sacrifice my life for this world
Magof na bai hu sakrifisia lina’la’-hu para este na tåno’!

1 comment:

Marques De Valia said...

isn't it a great song?
Cromartie is definitely one of the most overtly Surrealist/Dada anime that exist. i look forward to a chance to get the manga. anyway, i was just surfing for the lyrics.

i tend to avoid all 'blog' but found yours thought-provoking, very interesting. especially your obvious strength of feeling about minority/ethnicity/nationality. some people think that Earth is going through a birth pain that will produce, soon, a more enlightened "human race". i'm one of those people.

hey, i freely invite you to GooglePlus.

seeing as you posted this in 2008. the explanation of the reason for a weak yen was like a sucker punch -- it was so intelligent and straightforward. i gave up searching NHKWorld for an explanation...

surely, Cromartie is social commentary that shows how much Japan has in common with so many other parts of the world. and surely, "civilization" is a subjective term, as cultures wildly vary on what we deem "civilized behaviour." of course the development of computers means that people have a very good chance to gradually, yet quickly, create a more enlightened world.

such is my belief.



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