Even though I was really looking forward to finally having our last meeting, I’ll have to admit, it’s a bit sad. EOTO became such a routine, we pretty much had one per week, and oftentimes in the same cafe in Finlayson.
Anyway, for this last meeting we had decided to translate a song from each language. The topic came up when we were listening to songs that were hits in our childhood, and we thought it might be a fun idea to translate some lyrics on an each one teach one lesson. Songs are often more poem like, with metaphors and hidden meanings, so translating them is not only more challenging, but more interesting.
The song we translated from Spanish was called “20 de enero” (20th of January) by an artist called “La Oreja De Van Gogh” (The ear of Van Gogh), and the reason we picked it was because the music video is an absolute blast to watch. The song is pretty old, from the early 2000’s, so that only adds the cheesiness into the music video.
Anyway, the lyrics. I’m not going to paste all of them here because this post would be insanely long, but maybe go through the new vocabulary I learned, and some more interesting passages from the song. It was largely in past tense, which made it a bit challenging, but I managed okay as long as I was told which verb was actually in question.
New vocabulary I learned:
Arrastrar – drag/pull
Llenar – fill something up
Sonrisa – smile
Madrugada – early morning (A better translation would be the Finnish word aamuyö)
Cristal – glass (not a drinking glass, a window glass)
Reflejo – reflection
Cara – face
There were some other difficulties as well, such as recognizing verbs that were in the past tense, and translating entire passages so that the sentences would actually make sense. To be honest, would have been easier to translate from Spanish to Finnish instead of English, because the structures would be more alike, especially with the verbs.
A passage I quite liked went: “La madrugada del 20 de enero saliendo del tren”, which meant: “The early morning of 20th of January coming out of the train”. It barely makes sense, but it sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Another one was: “Cogí un tren que no dormía”, which means: “I took a train that didn’t sleep”. Also quite a fun one.
Some passages I was able to translate almost entirely myself were:
Era un reflejo del sol de medio día – It was a reflection of the midday sun
Yo quiero quererte o morir – I want to love you or die
También de fotos tuyas de antes – Also with photos of you from earlier
Dibujé tu sonrisa junto a la mía – I drew your smile next to mine
It was nice to see that with a little nudge, I was able to translate something kind of complex. Some of it was so poetic that it was impossible, though.
The song I first thought I’d help Ignasi translate from Finnish was Ikuinen Virta by Indica, since it definitely was a hit when I was a kid, but it somehow turned out to be insanely hard to translate well. Probably because the passages are extremely short but somehow contain a lot of meaning? So, we ended up switching. I picked Hetken tie on kevyt by Tehosekoitin because I like the song and it’s quite pretty. I definitely had to help Ignasi a lot though, because it turned out the lyrics were pretty damn artsy.
Anyway, that concludes our each one teach one journey. What a fun course this was!