Thursday, March 15, 2007

sub-titling across the globe

so one set of audio files were emailed to sonjah in jamaica for translations. another set to ratnakar in patna. thats how vast my film is - so dont crib about the length you guys!

now sub-titling songs is a tricky job in itself. but sub-titling these songs is worse because the dialect of english spoken in jamaica is called patwa. its english but indecipherable to the rest of us. translating patwa is easy but it would mean cleaning up the english. since every few words are recognisable it will be very distracting to get a grammatically correct translation. so i guess should keep the syntax intact and translate the words? ideas, suggestions?

eg. Police come out inna red white and blue
Inna dem crew pon curfew
No long talk, tek interview
Pop off and buss yuh face in two
Dem say dem a lawmanPut gunshot under you craw man


and then there is the bhojpuri - its a language used largely in songs, but no longer spoken. So its a remembered language, not a living language. Many words have fallen through the crack...

koirini koirini, tuhu bari bhagiya
koirini could be a nameyou are very fortunate
kahan van ke hardi upper kaile aajuho (2)
where did you get haldi today?
jhume je baithe

baithe may be bate or bade – meaning IS swaying……

3 comments:

Space Bar said...

sur, as far as i know, it's not patwa (which is phonetically accurate) but patois, which is originally French, to indicate the mixure of spoken languages across the carribean in the 17th and 18th centuries.

that apart, have you read silip chitre's notes about the translation of hamid dalwai's Fuel? read bout it here:

http://middlestage.blogspot.com/2006/09/on-hamid-dalwais-fuel.html

scroll to the bottom. Chitre's also done dalit poetry as american slang, to create interesting juxtapositions. Perhaps you could try something like that?

Kuntal said...

keep syntax intact and translate only the impossible to understand words - that's what I would do. Would go with your instinct to preserve the sense with minimum tampering. Cheers and goodluck. kuntal

surabhi said...

patois in patois is spelt patwa. the most difficult part about patwa seems to be the way they spell the words. So now that sonjah has sent me the translations i intend to keep most of the words but use the 'english' spellings.