Thursday, May 23, 2013

How I Write Translyrics



I thought I would do something a little different today and explain how I write translyrics.  Writing translyrics is NOT I repeat NOT easy.  Sometimes it’s harder than others, for instance it’s easier to write translyrics if a song is really catchy or if you really like the song.  It’s a lot harder to write translyrics when the song is trying to tell a story because you have to try to smush all of the author’s story/message into good sounding English lyrics.  In addition personally I feel like it’s easier to write lyrics to more vague songs.  However I really like the result of my lyrics for songs with stories such as A Certain Country’s Lyre, Sword of Drossel, and Who’s Afraid of the Wolf? (goodness this one was hard!).  But here’s a step by step walkthrough of how I write lyrics.  First one has to find the song one wants to dub in English.  It might help if you really like the song, or you have some idea of the lyrics you want to write.  Once you find your song, it is very important to find an ACCURATE ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the song.  Some English translations online are machine translations and they are actually a lot harder to make good sounding English lyrics for and on top are sort of confusing.  There’s a list somewhere on vocaloid wiki which has a list of recommended translators most of which I use here’s a link enjoy (or in my case have a major epiphany to why some translyrics turn out better than others!): http://vocaloid.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Damesukekun/Song_Translating_and_Mistranslating
If you can’t find an accurate translation you may have a harder time making translyrics, but if you REALLY want to do it go for it, just know that the translyrics may not be completely accurate, and they may not make a lot of sense, however translyrics are YOUR INTERPRETATION of the song, so make up a few things won’t cause any harm.  Once you have your translation and song basically listen to the song a couple of times and read the translation, so you understand the purpose of the song, the story, or if the song is really vague its meaning.  If you have no idea what the meaning of the song is ask other people what they think and brainstorm.  Once you have a good grip on the meaning go ahead and began writing translyrics!  Look at the English translation (and more than one if you can) because even the best translators get stuff wrong so if you cross examine multiple translations you get a better picture of what the composer is attempting to convey.  In addition you can look at the romaji.  If you can you should try to match up the syllables and make the timing the same as the original, also look for a way for the ideas to flow clearly from one way to another.  Make sure the lyrics aren’t that confusing, however they can be though provoking.  Also if you want you can make them rhyme.  Personally I like my lyrics so much better when they rhyme because they just flow better and sound more mellifluous to the ears.  Sing the translyrics a couple of times all the way through (that usually helps weed out the kinks).  Although this doesn’t apply to a lot of songs background knowledge of what the song is about can usually help with writing translyrics.  For instance my translyrics of Adam by Diarays.   The song is about Ib a free online horror game (which by the by is pretty fun, but for some reason I can’t get the ending I want!!!!Grrr) anyway I applied my background knowledge of the game to the translyrics, which I feel makes the lyrics more meaningful, because the author was trying to allude to that knowledge.  Therefore if there’s a reference you don’t know about in a song LOOK IT UP!  However due to cultural differences this may not be applicable 100% of the time.  Some warnings about translyrics:  they shouldn’t just copy the English translations, and should reflect an attempt to really understand the meaning of the song, also don’t get so caught up with making the lines rhyme (I’m guilty of this a lot) that you compromise more important things like idea flow, grammar, timing ect.   Don’t be afraid to edit your translyrics.  We all make mistakes, we all have to start from somewhere.  Lastly don’t be afraid to TRY.  Your first few might not be the best but practice makes perfect right?

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