Lyrics and their translation

September 24, 2015, Chennai

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Lyrics and their translation
(Viewer answer's sought!)

Context is what defines anything. Songs in one setting may not make sense in another.


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Similarly a train of thought, an idea may be relevant to a particular culture and may make sense only in its native language and translations could be totally meaningless.

Consider for example the English translation of some of these lyrics.
'tanga changili minnum paingili tane konjiyado'

"Did the parrot shimmering with a golden chain fondle itself' ?

It sounds hilarious!

Here is one more..

'tangattile oru kurai irundaalum tarattinil kuraivadundo'..

'Despite its defects, gold doesn't go down in value'

The above translation sounds more like a Wall-Street forecast than a translation of tamil lyrics into Hindi.

It is always a challenge for lyricists to re-create lyrics in dubbed movies - particularly if they plan to stick to prosodical rules like edukai and monai.

Well, grammar apart, let us enjoy the joy of interpreting English translations of Tamil lyrics.

Here is an opportunity for viewers to participate and decipher the original songs from the following translations.

1. 'Secret dreams are cold'

2. 'She repeated uncle's name over and over again and attained puberty'

3. 'Put it like that'

4. 'he looked at her with bloodshot eyes and asked for directions to the holy assembly of the god of love'

5. 'matrimonial alliances are a boon from God'

6. Here is one from the middle of a song..
"I will be a tooth in the comb she uses to detangle her hair.."

7. "Minister of the kingdom of the God of love"

8. "Silkworms will attain liberation if she wears silk sarees"

9. "You kept on placing flowers on the damsel till she caught fire"

10. "We got mixed together like water and mud"

Post your answers in the feedback section! We will post the answers in a continuation of this article next week.

About the author

Kanniks Kannikeswaran
www.kanniks.com