Language

Phonology Is Why Song Translations Usually Suck

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

In English, that beautiful old ballad "La Vie En Rose" begins "Hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose." But if you were to take a direct translation of the original song in French, it would really be "When he takes me in his arms, he speaks softly to me, I see life in rosy hues." Doesn't sound quite as musical, does it? This is common with a lot of song translations, and the reason why is a fascinating lesson in linguistics. Learn about it in the video below.

Why Song Translations Usually Suck

Share the knowledge!

5 German Swear Words That Have The Best English Translations

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement