Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sakigake Chamorro #2: FLCL

Last month I started yet another regular post thread which brought together my love for anime and the Chamorro language. I named it "Sakigake Chamorro" which translates to "Charge ahead Chamorro!" and is taken from the manga/anime Sakigake! Cromartie High School! What this thread amounts to is the theme songs for anime translated into Chamorro in more fun, less precise fashion. I named it "Sakigake Chamorro" because the first song I chose to translate was from Cromartie High School.

This evening, as I was trying to unwind from a long, stressful week of teaching I decided to translate another anime song. I decided to pick one that would be a lot of fun to translate, this meaning one which is really catchy, but also completely nonsensical and insane. The one that immediately popped into my mind from those on my computer was "Ride on Shooting Star" from the anime FLCL. I've never really liked this one, but i che'lu-hu Jack really does, and always used to make me listen to the soundtrack, and I have to admit, achokka' ti ya-hu i anime, ya-hu i dandan-na. The Pillows is the name of the band that does FLCL's songs, and they are one of those ridiculous sounding Engrish rock regularly non-sequitur lyrics group.

I looked up a translation of the song and I was not disappointed. The song contains intriguing phrases such as "lobster of revenge" and "grunge hamster" which I'm pretty sure have never been contemplated in the Chamorro language.

These are the types of things which make learning and speaking Chamorro fun. Expanding the language, using it in ways I never imagined possible, to talk about things which Chamorro isn't usually used to capture, describe, explain, etc. Estague i mismo na palabras-na gi fino' Chapones:

orange no slido utsusu sora
sponge no pride burasagete

iketotta sono yokanwa
kakusanakutatte iinda
irono tsuita yume mitaina

Ride on Shooting Star
kokorono koede sandanjyuno youni
utai tsuzuketa

Grunge no hamster otonabite
Revenge no lobster hikitsurete

fuchidotta sono sekaini
naniga mierutte iunda
neraumaeni sawaritaina

Ride on Shooting Star
kimiwo sagashite kindan shoujyouchuu
usowo tsuita

Ride on Shooting Star
kokorono koede sandanjyuno youni
utai tsuzuketa

Since alot of the lines were completely nonsensical, and probably just written or used because they sounded cool, or because the person who wrote them was bileng, I was alot freer in this translation in terms of saying whatever I wanted to that sounded good or sounded cool to my ears. This meant that instead of saying phrases like "orange slide...sponge's pride" which in Chamorro sounds weird in a not exciting way, I could used cooler archaic, antigu Chamorro words, which people probably don't even use anymore, or have such specialized meanings that their meaning is captured today in more generic ways using other more general and basic Chamorro words, or its simply said in English.

One word which I've wanted to use for a long time, but frankly never have a context where I can is "guahne" which according to Topping's Chamorro English Dictionary means "to remove feces." Its a cool sounding word, which I have never heard and never known about prior to seeing it in the dictionary. If I was to say in Chamorro "did you clean up/remove the feces that was in your room?" before learning this word, I would say "Kao un na'gasgas i take' gi i kuatto-mu?" with "na'gasgas" or "make clean" the verb I would use. This is the way Chamorro is trending, and even amongst i manamko' na Chamorro siha who would have used or heard these words much more frequently when they were young or younger, these sorts of words are disappearing, fading from memory. Often times when I go through the dictionary looking for a word to say something, I'll also ask my grandmother if she has heard this word before. Around half the time, she'll say to me, "Gof apmam desde hu hungok enao na palabra." or "its been so long since I've heard that word."

But, since the song "Ride on Shooting Star" is not your typical song, with a coherent theme, but rather a collection of cool sounding or interesting words and sentences, and images, I felt free to used some gof antigu na palabras Chamoru in my translation, just to spice it up and make it really really weird. Naturally, to make it even weirder, I was determined to find a way to use "guahne" in the translation. I also wanted to try and rhyme words, and it was an interesting challenge trying to use words I've always wanted to such as "guahne" or another one "gifan" which means "dislocated jaw," and then find another word which rhymed with it!

Here's the translation that I found on the internet:

Orange slide, the sky that it reflects
Sponge's pride, being dangled

The apprehension that was caught alive
It's okay even if I don't hide it
I want to have colored dreams

Ride on Shooting Star
With the voice of my heart, like a shotgun
I kept on singing

Grunge hamster, be grown up
Lobster of revenge, bring it along

I'll say, "What can you see
In that fringed world?"
I want to touch it before I aim for it

Ride on shooting star
Searching for you, and in withdrawal syndrome
I told a lie

Ride on shooting star
With the voice of my heart, like a shotgun
I kept on singing

Ya estague i gof chaddek na pinila'-hu yan hafa ilelek-na gi fino' Ingles. The antigu words that I've used are as follows: a'ok: a wedding gift from the groom or groom's family to the bride. guakkle: to empty out the contents of something. guahne: (as I said already) to remove feces. sufan: to peel the skin of something, such as a fruit. gulek: the crush something to dust, to grind or make powder out of something. kalankangi: to shake out the contents of something. ñatas: scum, that builds on the surface of liquid. uke': To carry something on your shoulders. (One note before I go, when I say "antigu" or "archaic" I don't mean to say that no one knows these words, but so what if everyone who speaks Chamorro knows these words, I for one have never heard anyone (and this is from speaking Chamorro for seven years) say in regular conversation any of these words. Preserving the language means just knowing these words, revitalizing the language means using these words and making sure that they are there for those from subsequent generations who will be learning Chamorro).

Kinilili ni' Sumåhi

Annai eståba yu’ ginifan, i langhet masakke’
When my jaw used to be dislocated, the sky was stolen
Iyo-ku “ego” gui’ sinifan, ya ma u’u’ke
My ego was peeled (like a fruit), and it was carried (on their shoulders)

Make it tremble (like breaking waves)
Este minalago’-hu mapongle yan manlaolao
This desire of mine was imprisoned and it trembled
Put i mitkulat mafa’sahnge
Because of the abundance of colors it was set aside
Gi i patmå-ku bei kalankangi
I'll shake it out in the palm of my hand

Kinilili yu’ ni’ sumåhi
I was carried away by the waxing of the moon
I bos gi korason-hu, kulang pinaki
The voice in my heard, like a gunshot
Ya sigi ha’ yu’ kumantåyi
And I kept singing to it

Chå’ka gaiñatas, mungga mafatani
Scummy rat, don't placate it
Mahonghang gaiemnok, puru ha’ gumuahne
Vengeful lobster, all it does it clean up feces

Treat it like a human
Ilek-hu “Hafa siña un hokka’
I said, "Hafa can you collect
Gi un tano’ på'go ha' ma gulek?”
In a land that was just ground to dust
Ya-hu bai pacha antes di maguakkle
I want to touch it before its emptied out

Kinilili yu’ ni’ sumåhi
I was carried away by the waxing of the moon
Hu aliligao hao gi i afao i minalangu-hu
I searched for you in the fog of my sickness
Mañodda’ yu’ a’ok
I found a wedding gift

Kinilili yu’ ni’ sumåhi
I was carried away
I itak gi korason-hu, kulang yinugi
The bird in my heart, like a firestarter
Ya sigi ha’ yu’ dumandåni
That I keep playing music to

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