Found in Translation: My Way, If You Go Away and Ray

Published on Madagascar-USA.com, by Lova Rakotomalala, Oct. 10, 2010.

They say Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In the world of music, some classics are sometimes just too big to be confined to one language. My friend Ayeesha linked to an interview with professor Muhammad Umar Memon who states:

Translation for me stems from two different but interrelated impulses: a good text matures for the reader with every reading, reveals itself gradually—call it literary striptease. I can delve into it only through extended togetherness. Translation makes it possible to tease out all I can through this prolonged intimacy. The other insatiable impulse is to uncover my own potential

Musicians all over the world would tell you, one of the hardest thing is probably to sing a cover from an original artist and try to put your take on it that will both honor the work of the  creator and provided added value for your audience. Now add to that the difficulty of fitting the melody with the intricansies of a totally different languages. It’s not easy and it’s so much more than just imitation. After all, one can argue that all inventions/ideas are derivative. (For instance, the Creative Commons project states its goal as follows: dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright).

The following are a few popular songs, interpreted in different languages: … (find texts and video exemples).

Comments are closed.