Friday, March 13, 2009

Sakigake Chamorro #3: Naruto Shippuuden

When I get a break from writing my dissertation, but still want to use my brain somehow, I usually end up translating songs from Chamorro to English or from English to Chamorro, or as I started doing last fall, from Japanese to English to Chamorro.

I started the regular thread called Sakigake Chamorro, last year which is my quick, fun and sometimes ridiculous translations of songs from Japanese anime into Chamorro. I don't speak Japanese so I have to use other people's English translations. But these aren't meant to be perfect or well thought out, they are more for me to flex my brain and have a little bit of fun. So far I've made two Sakigake Chamorro, the first was from Sakigake! Cromartie High School and the second from FLCL.

The one I'd like to share with you today, is a beautiful, J-poppy song from Naruto Shippuuden. Its song by the Japanese rock band Ikimono Gakari and is titled Bluebird.

Here's the lyrics in Japanese:

Artist: Ikimono Gakari
Song: Bluebird

Lyrics: (Japanese)

Habata itara modoranai to itte
Mezashita no wa aoi aoi ano sora

"Kanashimi" wa mada oboerarezu
"Setsunasa" wa ima tsukami hajimeta
Anata e to daku kono kanjou mo
Ima "kotoba" ni kawatte iku

Michi naru sekai no yume kara mezamete
Kono hane wo hiroge tobitatsu

Habata itara modoranai to itte
Mezashita no wa shiroi shiroi ano kumo
Tsukinuketara mitsukaru to shitte

Furikiru hodo aoi aoi ano sora
Aoi aoi ano sora
Aoi aoi ano sora

Aisou sukita you na oto de
Sabireta furui mado wa kowareta

Miakita kago wa hora sutete iku
Furikaeru koto wa mou nai
Takanaru kodou ni kokyuu wo azukete
Kono mado wo kette tobitatsu

Kakedashitara te ni dekiru to itte
Izanau no wa tooi tooi ano koe
Mabushi sugita anata no te mo nigitte
Motomeru hodo aoi aoi ano sora

Ochite iku to wakatte ita
Soredemo hikari wo oi tsudzukete iku yo

Habata itara modoranai to itte
Sagashita no wa shiroi shiroi ano kumo
Tsukinuketara mitsukaru to shitte

Furikiru hodo aoi aoi ano sora
Aoi aoi ano sora
Aoi aoi ano sora

Without even knowing what the lyrics meant, I already liked the song, but when I saw it as part of the opening for Naruto, with the subtitles scrolling along with the singing, I realized that it did have a beautiful and somewhat tragic story behind the song. Its about someone always on the edge of leaving, someone stuck in a cage, always on the verge of breaking free, but always kept in place by the knowledge that should he or she leave, they would never come back, they would never again see the voice that lovingly sings to them and even supports them leaving. Torn, as we all are, between that which they could or might have past the horizon, or that which they already do have.

Here's the translation to English that I used for the song:

You say if you could fly, you would never come back
You aimed for that blue, blue sky

You've yet to remember "sadness"
Just now began to grasp "pain"
Even the feelings I held onto for you
Are just now changing into words

As you awaken from the dream of an unknown world
Spread your wings and take off

You say if you could fly, you would never come back
You aimed for those white, white clouds
If you break through, you know you'll find it

So try until you break free to that blue, blue sky
That blue, blue sky
That blue, blue sky

With a sound like all civility was gone
The rusted, old window broke

Look, you're so sick of looking at that cage that you're throwing it away
Without ever looking back again
That throbbing beat takes your breath away
And you kick open that window and take off

You said if you could run, you would obtain it
You're tempted by that distant, distant voice
It grasps your far too dazzling hand
Until you pursue that blue, blue sky

I understand that you are falling
But still, continue to follow the light

You say if you could fly, you would never come back
You searched for those white, white clouds
If you break through, you know you'll find it

So try until you break free to that blue, blue sky
That blue, blue sky
That blue, blue sky

I wasn't reading or watching Naruto for a while. It was getting annoying trying to watch and download the latest fansubs from Japan, and the publishing of the latest English mangas was very slow, and often took a couple extra months before they would come to Guam. But in the past few months I've started up religiously reading it. I was spurned into it, whenever I would hear a whisper of the action or the drama that was taking place. I would pass by a random site and it would speak of a major character who had just died. Naruto was often boring because none of the characters that I wanted to die (Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke) ever died, they all kept on living despite all the loathing and dread I kept infusing into page after page of the manga. I found myself flipping through fanslations and scanslations online of the latest Naruto in the hopes that one of the three main characters had finally been killed.

No such luck. Ti mumagahet i diniseha-hu. Since I was last an avid reader of Naruto, several important Konoha characters have died and one who's very important to my heart, Kakashi, is most likely dead as well. He appeared to have died, but his final fate has yet to be resolved. Para Guahu, hu diseseha mohon na ti matai gui'. Guiya i santo-ku. But nonetheless I'm hooked again now, and eagerly waiting the next fanslation (chapter 439!) to come out tomorrow! Ai lana, gof dongkalo na geek yu'!

Anyways, back to the Sakigake. As I said earlier, this one is pretty straight foward, not as crazy or creative as the other two. Its harmless pop song with some beautiful imagery that I wanted to try and find a way to capture in Chamorro. Alot of times as you can see from the lyrics I came up with, I abandoned translating directly from the lyrics and either made up my own images or took a single word or thought and then went my own way with it. I know that there are many who complain about Chamorro singers or musical groups who take English language songs and then just translate them directly into Chamorro. I understand the reasoning behind this complaint, alot of these translations are boring or cumbersome, and often don't do justice to the minds or the language abilities of those doing the singing or the music making.

But sometimes I find these complaints midguided. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with translating songs from one language to another. But what people sometimes forget is that there can be an exciting creative dimension to the translation and thus they assume, both those doing the complaining and those doing the translating, that translation amounts to transcribing a song into a different language and nothing more. But it can entail so much more. For Chamorro, our language has become so limited in recent generations. Such a marginal part of life in Guam, something which so few use to communicate and even fewer use to express creativity or artistic emotional depth. The amount of words that people know and use daily is slowing being reduced, and thus the types of imagery or metaphors that they can readily paint through the Chamorro language is reduced as well. The ways in which songs are written and translated provide clear evidence of that limiting.

But, this trend need not continue, but reversing it requires that the Chamorro language be nudged or even forced to expand. Forced to say things or envelope ideas, images, feelings that it at first glance might not be ready or capable of accomodating. It means bringing back old words and older grammatical forms, old metaphors and sayings, but it also means creating new ones. It means being able to reach all the different facets of contemporary Chamorro life. It means being able to capture everything from gossip at Church, to politics and the economy, to even as one friend said to me recently "interface design." I won't argue that I broke any huge metaphorical barriers with this song, but these sorts of exercises help me push my own language limits, and I hope that for others it might as well.

Asut Na Paluma
Ilek-mu yanggen siña gumupu hao
(You said that if you can fly)
Ti pon bira tåtte
(You won't come back)
Fo’na Fo’na hao asta ayu na asut na långhet
(Foward Forward you'll go until that blue sky)

Tåya’ nai un hasso “linayo’”
(You've never thought of "heartbreak")
På’go ha’ un tutungo’ “piniti”
(Just now you are knowing pain)
Lao este na sinientete-ku para Hågu
(But this feeling I have for you)
Puru ha’ petbos nu Hågu
(Is nothing but dust to you)

Pinangon hao ginnen un guinife oru
(You were awakened from a golden dream)
Ni’ i malamåña na oriyå-mu
(By your savage surroundings)
Baba i hinasso-mu ya gupu ha’
(Open up your mind and fly!)

Ilek-mu yanggen siña gumupu hao
(You said that if you can fly)
Ti pon bira tåtte
(You won't come back)
Fo’na Fo’na hao asta i apå’ka na mapagåhes
(Foward Forward you'll go until the white clouds)

Ya yanggen siña un botsa siha
(And if you pocket them)
U machalåni hao hulo’
(You will be led up higher)
Umugong i tano’ kalang kumekematai
(The land groans like its about to die)
Mapokka’ i bentanå-mu
(Your window is shattered)
Pinacha’ i mata’-mu nu i sirenu
(Your face is touched by the night wind)
Ya esta listo para un yute’ este na gigao
(And you are already ready to through away this trap/cage)
I ninuebu muna’mongmong i kerason-mu
(The newness makes your heart pound)
Ya mientras masasakke’ i hinagong-mu
(And while your breath is being stolen)
Makililili hao lokkue’
(You are being swept away as well)

Ilek-mu yanggen siña malågo hao
(You said that if you could run)
Pon hagu’i i langhet
(You would reach the sky)
Ayu bos pumoponne hao mo’na lachago’
(That voice which is tempting you ahead far away)
Ha batsasala hao hulo’
(It is dragging you up)
I mitdenggat na kannai
(A hand full of lights)
Esta ki un sodda’ ayu asut, asut na langhet
(Until you find that blue blue sky)


Kel Muna said...

is bluebird the official song for naruto? i don't watch it, so this is the first time that i've heard the song. it's pretty cool.

also - i dig the translation!

Kel Muna said...

Oh yeah - and i dig the new banner!

Michael Lujan Bevacqua said...

For the long running animes they change the theme song at least once a season, so Naruto probably has like a dozen different theme songs. But glad you liked the translation and the banner.

yesheng said...

Thanks For Sharing naruto shippuuden infomation


lohking said...

Naruto Shippuuden sub episodes can be watched at Bleach Shippuuden

Dante said...

Thanks For Sharing!!!



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