Monday, October 13, 2014

Let It Go - Translated from Hungarian back to English

Ever wonder what people hear when they watch a movie dubbed? Is it still the same? Or is it a whole different experience?
Translating movies is a very delicate and tricky thing to do. You do not only pay attention to translating what is being said; you also have to make sure you get the cultural references, and follow the motion of the actors' lips as close as possible, even if it means tweaking what is being said to fit better. Take all that, and then multiply it by 10000 and you get the effort needed to translate a song, where there is rhythm, and melody, and all of that fun stuff.
With all of this said, I wanted to give you a taste of what Hungarian audiences hear when they hear a song in translation. For this exhibit I selected Let It Go from Frozen, because we have not quite heard enough about this song yet. (*dutifully holds up sarcasm sign*)
Here is the Hungarian version of Let It Go:


And here are the lyrics, mirror-translated from Hungarian back to English, by moi:

A sea of snow covers the mountains today,
The light is blinding, isn't it?
Your heart is encased in ice too,
Here at the edge of the world.
I know I made a mistake,
My horrible deed hurts,
How did it even happen?
Maybe it doesn't matter anymore.

My soul has been afraid of this for so long,
It is really hard that this happened today,
So let the wind come, and the winter, and the snow,
Maybe it is good this way too.

Let is snow,
Let is snow,
It has never been like this before,
Let it snow, 
Let it snow,
The kind that moves your soul!
I wish I knew what else will happen here,
Let a hundred storms come,
And all the while ice covers my heart.

Strange powers come today from somewhere far away,
This everlasting feeling is all about passion,
Here and now, this is a turning point,
So let everything be snow and ice,
The heart speaks in a magical voice,
It calls to me!

It is good (isn't it?)
It is good (isn't it?)
That my problems fly away with the wind,
It it good (isn't it?)
It is good (isn't it?)
I don't cry anymore,
A big step, and a home awaits me here,
What was doesn't hurt anymore.

My heart will blow through everything like a blizzard,
Let my soul race, rage, and sing,
And when finally all moments have been turned into ice crystals
Tomorrow will find me,
And the past will descend on me (?)

It is good (isn't it?)
It is good (isn't it?)
As the shining snow takes me away,
It is good (isn't it?)
It is good (isn't it?)
The power is withing me.
Look at me! 
Everything used to be different,
But a new day awaits today,
And all the while ice sits on my heart.

(So, is it just me, or is our Elsa a little more wild and a little less optimistic?... Because that would totally be fitting for a cultural translation.)

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