A song and dance for translation

Published 29th June 2012
post thumbnail

Subtitling - Lingua TranslationsToday’s blog comes from blog competition winner, Emma Wilberforce.

I think one of the best tests for translation, viewed by millions of people all over the world, is the Eurovision Song Contest.

Someone has the job of subtitling everything that is said and sung, with over 26 different countries taking part and more joining in for the voting.

What’s more is that the songs that are sung are often translated directly from the native language, so you get some unusual phrases, such as Hungary’s ‘let it fill your cells’ or Bosnia and Herzegovina ‘you have many worries’ so ‘don’t make it harder these days’.

The Russian grannies took first place for singing about bread and telling us that ‘the dough is rising joyously’, whereas Italy was slightly more morbid and claimed to have ‘bought a brand new gunshot’.

Moldova really made us puzzle though, when they boasted that ‘you haven’t seen before how looks the trumpet’; a phrase that you wouldn’t even know where to start with interpreting that.

Instead, it was better just to enjoy the song and revel in the fact that translation can provide a bit of fun as well as embarrassing slips, such as the subtitles for the English commentary; after three songs in, that was the ‘last ballot for a while’ meaning ballad, of course.

There was also a bit of a contradiction when the subtitles read ‘if you haven’t just joined us, you’ve missed..’, although that’s not what the commentator said.

While I had put the subtitles on for fun, what would someone have thought who was relying on them to catch what had been said? I expect they would have been very confused and frustrated, as it then turns into a guessing game as well as trying to watch the show.

However, it’s probably best to be taken with a little humour too, after all the people who type them are just as fallible as the rest of us and can’t always be 100% correct, especially on live TV.

Despite the errors on live TV, subtitling is invaluable. Not only does it allow you to follow a film in a foreign language, subtitles are also helpful to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and make TV and film much more accessible for everyone.

disney-institute-lingua-translations 178 × 75
amazon-lingua-translations 120 × 28
procter-gamble - Lingua Translations 114 × 92
london-partners-lingua-translations 154 × 101
Swansea City | Lingua Translations 154 x 146
Man City | Lingua Translations 154 × 154
FC_Barcelona_(crest) 154 × 156
Star_Wars_Logo.svg_-1 1280 × 773
FiFA | lingua Translations 154 × 86
The-Score 232x120
M & S 271 × 186
Walmart-Lingua Translations 232 × 65
Welsh Government & Lingua Translations 400 × 400
Costco & Lingua Translations 232 × 155

 

TUI-Group Testimonial 205 × 46 EN

Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

Roland Garros 2018- Useful Vocab!

The French open 2018 Roland Garros is almost here!     On the 21st May, some of the best will take to the clay courts to compete for the French Grand Slam title. Now, when it comes to clay, we’re always going to think it will be Rafael Nadal, but this year, who knows! Could …

Read More

Signing up a birth

Signing up a birth You might’ve seen my blog a few weeks ago about an Iranian couple who required an interpreter for the birth of their child. I’m sure anyone who has given birth or been a birth partner will say it is a scary and traumatic experience. You are hoping that everything runs as …

Read More
Get a quote today