Apr. 30th, 2010

marshtide: (Mist)
I was going to make another detailed post about living in Sweden, specifically the fact that it's Valborgsmässoafton and maybe a bit about Swedish celebrations (hint: there is alcohol), but I'm battling an ant invasion today. It'll have to wait!

Instead I bring you really dubious translations of Kent songs, as a sort of testament to my limited ability to understand the Swedish language and example of the kind of crazy projects I get up to while trying to improve my fluency. In my defence, I do think that the other translations I've seen on the internet are actually more dubious, in that they vaguely resemble translations made with babelfish. If there are decent ones out there they've hidden from me! (Actually they're probably buried somewhere on the Kent forums.)

Be amazed, for I am talking about media which doesn't concern itself primarily with gender and sexuality. This happens fairly infrequently right now. (But actually my theme for this week seems to be Northern European Stuff, so maybe I'll just run with more about that until the weekend is done and then see what else I can come up with to post.)


Kent - Röd

Kent are a pretty big band up here in Sweden, but they're not exactly what one might call well-known outside. They released a couple of albums in both English and Swedish, but didn't make the breakthrough they were after, got worn out trying and stopped. I think they're pretty great. They're fairly political, fairly cynical, and know at least a million and one ways to talk about how sad they are and how covered in snow everything is. In the specific case of this album, Röd (Red), one can upgrade fairly to really. Also, this album is a further step in their departure from their very guitar-heavy sound which they're possibly more famous for; they've been moving in this direction for a while and I actually like it a lot, but if you're after something awesome in a more guitar-y way may I point you in the direction of their album Hagnesta Hill, also conveniently avaliable in English? (Sample track in English. I do actually prefer the Swedish versions at the moment but the English versions of Isola and Hagnesta Hill were my gateway, a year or two before I spoke a word of Swedish.)

I don't have clean translations of the whole album yet. I've got my rough note-covered translations for the last few songs, but these are the ones that I've at least walked through with a native speaker afterwards to see if I'm headed in the right direction. So here is the first half! Swedish lyrics and links to the songs provided too and corrections welcome.

1. 18:29-4
This is an intro track. I don't listen to it much. But the lyrics certainly set the tone.

Youtube link to song

Lyrics )


2. Taxmannen (The Dachshund Man)

Youtube link to song

Lyrics )


3. Krossa allt (Destroy Everything)

Youtube link to song

Lyrics )


4. Hjärta (Heart)

Youtube link to song

Lyrics )


5. Sjukhus (Hospital)

Youtube link to song

Lyrics )


6. Vals för satan (din vän pessimisten) (Waltz for satan (your friend the pessimist))
1st of May is all about left-wing demonstrations in Sweden. For reference.

Youtube link to song

Lyrics )


(& now I'm off to continue the ant-battle. Gah, was that really my idea of a quick alternative update?)

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