• We're currently having issues with our e-mail system. Anything requiring e-mail validation (2FA, forgotten passwords, etc.) requires to be changed manually at the moment. Please reach out via the Contact Us form if you require any assistance.

Thoughts on English Translations of songs? (pet peeves, what you like, etc)

MoaHarbor

UTAU and art enthusiast
May 10, 2023
31
I have a lot of thoughts of English covers vocaloid songs. IMO many English covers tend to be way to vague or direct with their translations, rather than interpreting the lyrics into something that sounds good in English.

I do not know Japanese, but I am aware that it's a very difficult language to translate (let alone into a song). But in my opinion, I think I prefer an English translation to sound good rather than be accurate. I dunno if this is a hot take, but if I wanted a completely accurate translation I would just look it up, right? I think translations should at least carry the themes and emotions of the original songs, but I really don't mind if it's not one to one. It really bugs me when I look at comments of English covers and see people complaining how it's not true enough to the original. By nature, it can't be exact since Japanese and English are so different!

One of my big pet peeves is when the lyrics don't match the genre of music. For example, I think JubyPhonic kind of tries to fit a "pop" rhyme scheme into every cover (ie simpler rhymes that can sound forced). I don't have anything against her, in fact I think her lyrics can work very well in the right genre. Her drop pop candy cover is one of my favorites, but that's because it calls for a simple, catchy rhyme scheme. I haven't listened to her in a while, so maybe she's improved.

I think you need to be very aware of how stressed syllables work in English to make a good translation, otherwise it'll sound cramped and unnatural. Throw in some English idioms/figures of speech and it'll sound much more natural, too. Of course, I don't have any experience in song writing or translation; if someone who does wants to throw in their two cents I would love to hear them!!

Overall, I think it would benefit English utaites to be more comfortable in changing translations and interpreting the original lyrics.

Thanks for reading
 

PearlStarLight5

Miss Retrocore, at your service!
2 pet peeves (or maybe nitpicks) with translations I can think of:
-when words are awkwardly stretched across more notes than they should be, e.g. a single syllable English word stretched across like 3 distinct Japanese syllables.
-the strange overuse of "that" for padding (or maybe that just happens to be mostly the translations I know of).
 

MoaHarbor

UTAU and art enthusiast
May 10, 2023
31
2 pet peeves (or maybe nitpicks) with translations I can think of:
-when words are awkwardly stretched across more notes than they should be, e.g. a single syllable English word stretched across like 3 distinct Japanese syllables.
-the strange overuse of "that" for padding (or maybe that just happens to be mostly the translations I know of).
I totally get the "that" nitpick, I think I would prefer the stretching of syllables over it
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)