Posted by: felishkulitz | October 14, 2009


Sakura in Asuwa, Fukui, Japan.
Image via Wikipedia

Translation is really helpful when it comes to sharing one people’s thoughts to the non-speakers. This way, many people who do not understand a certain language can learn from the speakers more things about the later and about what the later learn. Understanding the perspective of the others may help us better understand ourselves and our surroundings. Learning from others may provide more knowledge to explore and more to share. I dare to guess that translation efforts are as old as the time when men interact with other groups.

I entitled this post, Salinwika which means translation in Tagalog/Filipino wherein salin means to pour and wika means language.  I created this post to recount the efforts that I made on my first translation project. I found a traditional Japanese song and since there are already English translation to it, I decided to write a Tagalog translation. The result of that translation can be found here. As for the “behind the scene”, I will share it in this post.

The first thing that I did was to count the notes per line. Then, I compared it with the number of syllables. In most lines, the number of notes is greater that the number of syllables. I, then, tried to translate it in a rather simple way and to my surprise, it was a little easier. Although it was not true in all of the lines. I tried, as much as possible, to grasp the meaning of the words minus the cultural barrier. Another challenge was the meter itself. Though I value the original, I somewhat varied the translation in favor of the meter. I wanted it to be a mirror of the song in terms of meter and thus explained. Anyone who knows that song can sing my Tagalog version with ease.

Another thing that I did was to list the vocabulary in both Japanese and Tagalog/Filipino using English as my medium. For the Japanese-English part, there were ready list for that and my only effort to that was to confirm the equivalent terms. For the Filipino-English part, I just translated the words but not the sentences unlike the first part where I even translate per line. I want to continue my story about my translation project next time so I could provide more information. I will also try to have a Spanish translation of the song but I will still check if it will be more hard or not. Again, I want to prefer meter over the original so if ever feasible, that will also be metered exactly like the original.

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