Re: Translated Lyrics?

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Posted by Terry King ( on May 01, 2003 at 04:30:07:

In Reply to: Re: Translated Lyrics? posted by Gurnam Singh on May 01, 2003 at 00:25:57:

Hi Gurnam,

I totally agree with what you are saying.

So when the "cheap banana" thing comes up, that's where the likes of you and I (or perhaps people from our parents generation) step in to tell the children about the "true" meaning of the lyric.

I admit that the literal translation without a "cultural" point of reference somewhat negates the nostalgic atmosphere created by Gurdas Maan in his songs.

However, the literal translation is , in my opinion, better than no translation. This is not to imply that I am right or wrong, but that translations can be beneficial to some extent.

I know I am digressing from GM related discussion here, but you probably know as many young Punjabis as I do who listen to Punjabi music, but have absolutely no clue about what the singer is saying. So translations might help them to understand at least the literal meaning.

As a parent of young children myself, I am extremely worried that Punjabi is disappearing from the tongues of our children. For example, my 4 year old daughter was speaking beautiful Punjabi with us at home. However, for the last year and a bit she has been going to nursery and now only speaks English. In order to convince her to speak as much Punjabi as possible at home, we now pretend that we don't understand what she says to us in English in order to force her to speak Punjabi. You may think this is a bit cruel, but sometimes drastic measures are called for.

And as she is the eldest child in the family, it is best to "nip this problem in the bud". Otherwise, the younger daughter who is nearly 2 years old will speak even less Punjabi, and before you know it we'll be a family of "coconuts". A situation which my wife and I are keen to avoid.

I know I have moved the discussion sideways, but I genuinely believe that my point is well made and that some translation is better than none.

However, as I said at the beginning of this message, I also totally agree with you that the literal translation of songs does not necessarily convey the real meaning of the songs.

Right. I better end this message before it becomes a book.

Take care & Rab Rakha,
Terry King

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