Monday, February 11, 2013

Chamorro Gangnam Style

Add caption
I was asked to do this months ago and it has been sitting on my computer ever since.

Gangnam Style was still new at that point and it was only primarily K-pop fans and nerds who were aware of its massive, macarena-like, world changing potential. Someone asked me to do a Chamorro version of it, taking the lyrics and translating them into Chamorro. It didn't take very long, but I just never got around to posting it.

First a couple of points. Number 1, this song is in Korean and I don't speak Korean. In order to understand it I had to rely on the translations of others. So there maybe obvious ways I couldn't grasp accurately what I was translating. But then again, the intent wasn't to take the lyrics to Gangnam Style exactly, but rather translate the feeling into Chamorro. This is a conundrum that you often face when doing translation work. If you take it exactly as it is written, you run the risk of making it lose the correct meaning in the new language, because of the way something may be said commonly in one language, but have an entirely different structure or system of meaning in another.

I chose to change several of the lines in order to make them easier to translate. I am never one to argue that something cannot be translated from one language to another. I believe everything can be translated, but the trick is that what can be said in a single word in one language, may require a sentence, a story or something much more complicated in order to express. What you find in the translation of songs is that while you may be able to say something in one language in just a few sentences, translating it directly into another language would take longer than the rhythm and beat of the song might allow.

One issue that always comes up is whether or not to change something that might be too synonymous with the original song and can't be easily changed? For example, Gangnam Style refers to the style of people who live in a certain affluent area in Seoul. When facing a translation choice like this you can simply keep "Gangnam Style" because it is so essential to how so many people know the song, that changing it to anything else, even "Modan Gangnam" or "Kustumbren Gangnam" wouldn't feel right. Another option it to localize it instead and attempt to capture the intent of the term, why it was used in the first place, and what it was supposed to convey. You can replace Gangnam with another area, someone the people who speak the newly translated language may be more familiar with. So when translating a song like this, you could change Gangnam to an area on Guam where people live a little bit or a lot bit better than those around them. Gangnam Style can be changed to Jonestown Style or Perezville Style.

So for my translation I left the famous line "Oppa Gangnam Style" in place, but it could easily be changed to something more local with Oppa being changed to Sus or Chu, and Gangnam Style change based on the discussion above.

The Chamorro version I translated is below, with an English translation of my translation as well.

***********

Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style

Un palao’an ni’ mangge yan gaimamahalo gi ha’ani
Un gaimoda na palao’an ni’ ha komprende i minalulok gi un gimmen kafe
Un palao’an ni’ korason-na mumas maipe gi i puenge
Un palao’an ni’ echong taiguihi

A girl who is delicious and has shame during the day
A fashionable girl who understands the satisfaction in a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart becomes warmer at night
A girl who is twisted like that 

Lahi yu’
Un lahi ni’ maipe lokkue’ gi ha’ani
Un lahi ni’ gumalamok i gimmen-hu kafe achokka’ mamaipe ha’
Un lahi ni’ gaikorason ni’ pumokpok kada puengge
Ayu na klasin lahi

I'm a guy
A guy who is also warm during the day
A guy who gulps down my coffee even if it's still hot
A guy with a heart that explodes each night
That kind of guy

Hunggan, Hagu, hunggan, Hagu, hoi
Gefpago, Guaiyayon
Hunggan Hagu, hoi, hunggan hagu hoi
Nihi ta konsigi esta ki i finakpo’

Yes you, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable,
Yes you, hey, yes you hey!
Let's continue until the end! 

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style

Oppa is Gangnam style
Oppa Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh



A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that

Un palao’an ni’ trankilu lao gof a’gang an maagang
Un palao’an ni’ muna’libre i gaputulu-na sa’ ti ya-na magodde
Un palao’an ni’ matampe lao mas sinexy kinu I kesnuda
Un gaisensia na palao’an taiguihi

I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy

Guahu un lahi
Un lahi kalang katma lao a’gang an maagang
Un lahi ni’ sen kaduku anggen mafatto i ora
Un lahi ni’ machucha ni’ tiningo’ ti kodu
Ayu na klasin lahi
 
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end


Hunggan, Hagu, hunggan, Hagu, hoi
Gefpago, Guaiyayon
Hunggan Hagu, hoi, hunggan hagu hoi
Nihi ta konsigi esta ki i finakpo’

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh


On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two

Gaige gi hilo’ i malalagu na lahi un gekpu na lahi, nene nene
Guahu na klasin lahi ni’ gaitiningo’
Gaige gi hilo’ i malalagu na lahi un gekpu na lahi, nene nene
Guahu na klasin lahi ni’ gaitiningo’

You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style


No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails