What is this? "Songlations" is a blog with English translations of Spanish song lyrics intended for an audience that is interested in understanding the Spanish lyrics. I try to strike a balance between fidelity and transparency, i.e. to be literal, but also sound natural. However, the translations are meant to be educational, so I will err toward a faithful translation if necessary.
Who are you? I am the translator, a fluent heritage speaker of Mexican Spanish (my home language). My parents are immigrants from Mexico. I was raised in California in a neighborhood with a dense Spanish-speaking immigrant population. I am currently a science graduate student who maintains an interest in linguistics. For citation purposes, I am Cairaguas Gonzalez.
Why? I started translating songs as a hobby because I wanted to maintain my Spanish vocabulary and (especially) written grammar. This is one way of keeping up a constant practice. This blog is also a way for me to contribute to the knowledge pool of the internet, which I so often utilize. Plus, it is fun. I have discovered a lot of good music through people's translation requests.
Who is your intended audience? How do you translate? I am assuming that the people who look for these translations are not native Spanish speakers, but rather people who are learning the language. The translations here are faithful to the meaning and phrasing of the lyrics, so they should help you understand what is being said and how it is being said. The notes at the end of each song provide further clarification. Questions and comments are great, of course, and very welcome.
Since when? I started translating occasionally in 2004. I became more organized and serious in late 2007 when I opened Songlations at LiveJournal.
Other languages? I studied French for three years (enough to stumble through a conversation and cross reference French Wikipedia when I'm looking for something). I know a few random bits of German and Japanese (not nearly enough to hold a conversation, but enough to recognize really common words when I hear them). I'm currently learning to read Japanese kana. I sometimes try to read Portuguese Wikipedia.
Do you take requests? I take most (not all*) suggestions. Be aware that the turnover time is very long since I am a graduate student and must focus on my research (which has nothing to do with Songlations). Even when I do have time, I have a lot of songs that are in-progress, many of which are also requests, so new requests usually have to wait a while.
songlations_es - For translations in the reverse, from English to Spanish. Also mine. These translations are not as good, I admit, but oh well. They are just for fun. linguaphiles - If you are interested in linguistics. (Not mine.)
If anyone knows about any similar projects in other languages, let me know! I would love to see a Songlations equivalent in German or French or anything really.
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Proceeds go toward hot chocolate, lunch, and stuff to make translating easier (e.g. new keyboard, headphones, dictionaries, books). Thank you!
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