marshtide: (Mist)
[personal profile] marshtide
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

Swedish:

De ringer alla klockor nu
some ett bomblarm över stan
men ingen tänker tanken
ingen orkar ställa frågor
& De stirrar som om ansvaret bara vilade på mig
Jag som betalat dyrt för att slippa vara med
Det sista brevet skickades till en ogiltig adress
med ett frimärke värt en halv långvårdsenhet
& De skjuter alla soldater nu till en
gammal sång om fred
Ett helt hav normala människor sjunger med
men även hundratusen röster kan ha fel.


English:

They ring all the bells now
like a bomb warning over the town
but no-one thinks the thought
no-one can be bothered to ask questions
And they stare as if the responsibility only rested on me
I who paid dearly to not have to take part
The last letter was directed to an invalid address
with a stamp worth half a long-term care unit
And they shoot all the sodiers now to an
old song about peace
A whole sea of normal people sing along
but even a hundred thousand voices can be wrong.


2. Taxmannen (The Dachshund Man)

Youtube link to song

Swedish:

Jag står i skuld
En obetalbar skuld som växt sig stor &
större, störst
Man jagar mig som om det gällde pengar
Jag hade en vän
En underbar & trofast vän
Som en hund jag svek dig igen
Jag svek mig själv så se mig som en varning
En varning
Älskling det är livet som leker
Det leker med oss nu
Älskling det är livet som leker
Det leker med oss nu igen
Du vet inte vem jag varit
Du vet inte vem jag är
Vet du alls vem duvarit
Vet do ens vem du är
Min medicin
En sol går upp och tvingar mig att kisa
Hårt ljus, hårt
Svarta dagar följs av vita nätter
Det svarta hålet fylls av vitabletter
Älskling det är livet...


English:

I stand in debt
An unpayable debt that grew big and
bigger, biggest
They're pursuing me as if it was about money
I had a friend
A wonderful and loyal friend
Like a dog I betray you again
I betray myself, so see me as a warning
A warning
Darling it is life that plays
It plays with us now
Darling it is life that plays
It plays with us now again
You don't know who I have been
You don't know who I am
Do you know at all who you have been
Do you even know who you are
My medicine
A sun comes up and forces me to squint
Harsh light, harsh
Black days are followed by white nights
The black hole fills with us tablets
Darling it is life...

[Note: well, if you have a more elegant way to translate "vitabletter" I would love to hear it... also I think that 'livet som leker' is almost a turn of phrase... livet leker, meaning stuff is going really well?]


3. Krossa allt (Destroy Everything)

Youtube link to song

Swedish:

Det finns inga tecken vad jag kan se
Inget som tyder på din oskuld
Det finns ingen förmildrande omständighet
bara ögonen som följer dig
genom en dörr genom hela ditt liv
Förbi alla fönster som lockar till hopp
& ingen förmildrande omständighet
gör ansvaret till någon annans än ditt
Men kärleken finns där en gång
Bygg något vackert
eller krosser allt
När ska jag lära mig att ingen är hel
Att allting är mer eller mindre trasigt
Glöm symmetrin tänk att mindre ger mer
Men episoden slutar ändå med att
Ingen kom ridande till ditt försvar
ingen som vittnade till din fördel
Nej det är bara du och så har du ju mig
men jag är ingen man kan räkna med i kris
Men kärleken
som fanns där en gång
Bygg något vackert eller krossa allt
& när ljusen släcks så ska du vara min
när ljusen släcks så skal du bli min


English:

There is no sign that I can see
Nothing indicates your innocence
There is no mitigating circumstance
just the eyes which follow you
through a door, through your whole life
Past all windows which tempt to hope
And no mitigating circumstance
gives the responsibility to someone other than you
But the love was there once
Build something beautiful
or destroy everything
When will I learn that no-one is whole
That everything is more or less broken
Forget symmetry, think that less is more
But the episode ends anyway without
anyone riding to your defence
no-one who gave witness in your defence
No, it is only you, and you also have me
but I am no-one one can count on in crisis
But the love
which was there once
has built something beautiful which destroys everything
The love
was there once
Build something beautiful or destroy everything
And when the lights go out you will be mine
when the lights go out you will be mine


4. Hjärta (Heart)

Youtube link to song

Swedish:

Ingen lämnas kvar
vi hämtar dig bakom fiendens linjer
Ingen lämnas kvar
Vi skyddar dig med all kraft vi har mot svinen
Om jag fick regissera slutet
Tystnad! Tagning!
man vet man blivit gammal när ens ungdom
börjat glittra som Allens Manhattan
Dan förre dan...
Som det strålar från din hjärta
Som en motorväg av ljus
Genom hålet i mitt hjärta
kommer räddningen till slut
Genom hålet i mitt hjärta
Har du kartan kvar?
Eller an aning om var vi är på väg så led oss
Inget lämnas kvar
Vi saboterar allt vi inte kan ta med oss
När du öppnar fönstret blåser en vårvind
Förändring
& bakom murarna vid ån lämnade jag spår
jag skrev mitt namn i vattnet
så du vet var jag finns...
När det strålar från ditt hjärta...


English:

No-one is left behind
we fetch you from behind the enemy's lines
No-one is left behind
We protect you with all strength we have from the pigs
If I got to direct the ending
Silence! Action!
One knows one has become old when one's youth
begins to glitter like Allen's Manhattan
The day before the day...
As it shines from your heart
Like a motorway of light
Through the hole in my heart
The salvation comes in the end
Through the hole in my heart
Have you still got the map?
Or a notion of where we are headed, so lead us
Nothing left behind
We sabotage all that we can't take with us
When you open the window a spring wind blows
Change
And behind the walls by the river I left traces
I wrote my name in the water
so you know where I am
When it shines from your heart...


5. Sjukhus (Hospital)

Youtube link to song

Swedish:

De tog mig till en plats där inget växte
till en plats där bara skuggorna i dammet hade tid
De tog mig till en sal ett solblekt sjukhus
där alla dörrar var så tunga att de inte krävde lås
De leder mig förbi rader av stärtka sänger
där våra steg ska eka långre efter att vi alla gått ur tiden
och jag skriker ditt namn just när regnet
träffar fönstren och en ond vind skakar träden
tamburiner, shakers av döda löv
De tog mig till en smutsig strand där vålnader av
surfare som drunknat samlade petflaskor för pant
På en grusväg mellan fält där omdskans blommor tilläts
växa och förvandla evig skog till skvallerpress
De pekade med en fond giftgula moln orange lampor
tysta silos jetplansångspår bengrå torn
set du hur inget växter inget lever men inget dör
När man äntligen kan se alla mekanismerna där bakom
se alla kejsare stå nakna så vänder allt igen
Allt vänder om igen
Jag vaknar i en sal på en skugigt sjukhus står en kvinna
vid min säng som blekt sina tänder en grad för hårt
Hon smeker min kind varligt med en hand konstgjord
sin dockors
Rynkfri ringlös målad tung och febervarm
Min hud är vitt porslin små ilskn utslag
är en släng av allergi främst mot min samtid och min tro
Jag skriver dit namn tveksamt på ett vykort liksom testar
vem du var det har jag glömt för längesen
När man äntligen kan se vem som drar i alla tråder
så blir man aldrig rädd mer
När man äntligen kan se alla kejsare stå nakna
så vänder allt igen
Allt vänder om igen
Jag går ensam in i ljuset...


English:

They took me to a place where nothing grew
to a place where only the shadows in the dust had time
They took me to a ward, a sunbleached hospital
where all the doors were so heavy that they didn't need locks
They lead me past rows of starched beds
where our steps will echo long after we all have gone out of time
and I cry your name right when the rain
hits the window and an evil wind shakes the trees
tambourines, shakers of dead leaves
They took me to a dirty shore where ghosts of
surfers who drowned collect PET bottles to deposit
On a dirt track between fields where evil's flowers were allowed
to grow and change endless woods to gossip magazines
They pointed to a background toxic yellow clouds orange lamps
silent silos jetplane steam-traces bone-grey towers
They whispered in my ear, do you see the future
do you see how nothing grows nothing lives but nothing dies
When one finally can see all the mechanisms there behind
one never gets scared again when one finally can
see all emperors stand naked, so everything turns again
Everything turns about again
I wake up in a ward in a shadowy hospital, a woman stands
by my bed who bleached her teeth a shade too hard
She strokes my cheek carefully with an artificial hand
like puppets
Wrinkle-free ringless painted heavy and feaver-hot
my skin is white porcelain, small angry rashes
are a spot of allergy, chielfy from my age and my faith
I write your name hesitantly on a postcard as if to test
who you were, I have forgotten that long ago
When one finally can see who pulls all the strings
one never gets scared again when one finally can
see all emperors stand naked
so everything turns again
Everything turns about again
I go alone into the light...


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

Swedish:

Lägg dig damm
Röda maj
värmen erövrar stan
Bland fanor
stöveltramp hör jag din puls
Det är då jag önskar att jag kunde stanna tiden
Tysta alla nätverk
Stoppa trafiken
En stilla bön om lugn igen
Att kunna ta besvikelsen
Så blås din vind
ur din tro på att tron i sig själv räcker till
Att någon i sig själv kan vara nog
& jag, jag står maktlös inför kärleken igen
Man blir ödmjuk inför kraften i rörelsen
om man tror på någonting som du gör
Att aldrig någonsin ge upp
Om jag hade lite kraft kvar att ge dig
Om jag hade lite hjärta att dela med mig av
Om jag hade lite kärlek så var den till dig
Säg ditt namn
och din hand den öppnas och sluts
Du leder din dröm
i ett band
Du lever din dröm
Det är då jag önskar att jag kunde hålla käften
Tysta pessimisten bara vara din vän
En stilla bön om lugn igen
Att slippa ta besluten
Om jag hade lite kraft...

English:

Settle down, dust
Red may
The heat conquers the town
Amongst banners
Boots stomping, I hear your pulse
It is then I wish that I could stop time
Silence all networks
Stop the traffic
A quiet prayer for calm again
to be able to take the disappointment
So blow your wind
from your faith that the faith in itself is enough
that someone in themself can be enough
and I, I stand powerless before the love again
One becomes humble before the power of the movement
if one believes in something as you do
to never ever give up
If I had a little strength left to give you
If I had a little heart to share with you
If I had a little love then it was for you
Say your name
and your hand opens and closes
You lead your dream
by a string
You live your dream
It is then I wish that I could shut up
The silent pessimist, just be your friend
A quiet prayer for calm again
to be excused from making the decisions
If I had a little strength...


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

Date: 2010-04-30 01:28 pm (UTC)
unnique: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Awesome! You're doing so well. :D I find translating lyrics can often be harder than prose, especially well written poetic stuff like Kent's songs. And about Kent, you can safely say that they're world famous in all the Nordic countries. I might be wrong about Denmark, but in Norway, Sweden and Finland they're huge. :)

Re. 'vitabletter' - this is what I found on forumet.kent.nu when I googled:
http://forumet.kent.nu/showthread.php?s=6b01ca03026c7f6efd8692836cb4997f&t=6692&page=2

Med tanke på vad "Vita nätter" är benämning för (konstant festande) så låter det som ett mycket möjlig sammansättning. Vita tabletter, lyckotabletter som ger en kraftigt rus. Som ger en kraft flera dagar.
Kan vara nån slags metafor för påhittad makt som senare kan "sänka en"...


My first thought was that it was a typo'ed "vita pletter", but 1) I don't know if "pletter" (spots) exists in the Swedish language and 2) I like the above explanation far better. :)
Edited Date: 2010-04-30 01:29 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-04-30 02:14 pm (UTC)
unnique: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Re. the Denmark thing, I suspect it's because when Swedes and Norwegian go there, we tend to become stupidly drunk and not remember much upon our return home. :P

That, or Lars von Trier captures us and experiments on us and we forget in sheer self defense.

Date: 2010-04-30 02:20 pm (UTC)
unnique: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Mhm, that's what they do down south, as well. They go on the ferry to Denmark or Kiel (Germany) and get wasted. As per the happy oompah-song "Drita full før Drøbakksundet" will attest. ('Stinking drunk before (passing) the strait of Drøbakk', which is not that far out the Oslo fjord...)

Up here, we don't have cool ferries like that so we make our own booze and just get drunk. 8)

Date: 2010-04-30 02:33 pm (UTC)
unnique: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unnique
Good call. Moonshine (heimbrent) tends to be shades of awful, ugh. Systembolaget and its Norwegian sister Vinmonopolet get a lot of unfair complaints. Truth is, these stores have a much wider selection of alcoholic drinks than any off-licence type store would have, thanks to the regulations that govern these state owned monopolies. And if the local store doesn't have what you want, you can simply order it and it will be delivered to the store for you to pick up, or to your door. Ha.

And since it's Friday, I wanted to share the song I mentioned above. It's not oompah, it's a Svensktopp parody. But >_> this same band made another parody song called "Jag är inte sjuk, jag är bara svensk", which is linked from Drita full's youtube entry. I don't want to be banned from your dw! 8D/

Also, Val might kill me for making her educate you on the terror that is Svensktoppar and Vikingarna...
Edited Date: 2010-04-30 02:37 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-05-05 05:19 am (UTC)
softestbullet: Aeryn cupping Pilot's cheek. He has his big eyes closed. (Foto/ beating like a hammer)
From: [personal profile] softestbullet
Oh, neeeat. :D I've loved Kent for many years, despite not knowing any Swedish, so this is really cool for me. Thanks for translating & posting!

Date: 2010-05-05 06:07 am (UTC)
softestbullet: Aeryn cupping Pilot's cheek. He has his big eyes closed. (AtLA/ have you seen this bison?)
From: [personal profile] softestbullet
That's so interesting! Man, people who know more than one language are awesome.

(This is making me think of the community [community profile] forkedtongues -- you might like it. :D)

Date: 2010-05-11 10:44 am (UTC)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
Svek is past tense! Sviker, svek, etc. Like vrida, for example. Same pattern.

Profile

marshtide: (Default)
Toft

December 2012

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30 31     

Style Credit

Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 07:54 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Most Popular Tags