Author Topic: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki  (Read 3631 times)

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Caroline Targaryen

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Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« on: June 23, 2015, 12:12:27 pm »
Hey guys.  So I love singing and yes I know "Let It Go" from Frozen is overplayed I get that but I still love the song none the less.  I would really appreciate the help to maybe translate that into Dothraki/ Valyrian.  If anyone is interested please comment in this topic.  I would love to sing this song in Dothraki/ Valyrian.  I will try to post what I can on this topic possibly under this.

"Let It Go" Lyrics

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I'm the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I tried!

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!

I don't care
What they're going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all!

It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free!

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry!

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on!

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back,
The past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go
When I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

The video link is below as well to the video of "Let It Go"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 07:32:56 pm by Caroline Targaryen »

Hrakkar

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 01:47:35 pm »
What a grand idea! That song occasionally gets stuck in my head as well.

I will not have the time to really work on this for at least a week (about to travel for a convention). But maybe Qvaak or some other speaker better than I will see this and help you first. In the meantime, you might want to post the lyrics.

I might repost this in the Na'vi community as well. I don't think anyone there has tried translating that song, either. (They did do most of 'The Lion King', though.)
Don't tell Khal Drogo I am here ;)

Caroline Targaryen

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 07:17:51 pm »
I will post the lyrics in English and then I guess put a translation below the best I can for right now.  I might be busy for a few days but probably can work on it Friday.

Qvaak

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 11:09:45 am »
I have some kinda bad news, and maybe a crumb of good news too.

Conlangers like DJP are quite vocal about one thing: their languages are not ciphers where you map English words into made up words and to confuse matters further, perform a few mechanical transformations on the sentence syntaxes. Instead, their languages have words for stuff and sentence structures to spin words into complicated concepts, so that you can communicate with their languages. When you're making translations, you are not really looking to translate words, you are looking to transalte meanings. You can't really expect to always find words with exactly same meanings or syntaxes with exactly same function. You try to find words that intersect or come close in meaning with the required meaning of your English words. You try to find sentence syntaxes that intersect or come close in function with the required function of your English words. This makes Dothraki and Valyrian and all the other deeply constructed conlangs a hell lot more interesting, but also damn much more challenging.

Translating song lyrics is a very common attempt at Dothraki translation, but it's much much much more difficult than most understand - at least if you have any ambition for creating a proper translation. Of course hitting the rhythmic pattern - let alone the rhyming pattern - requires you to essentially write the song again from the scratch - hopefully maintaining the gist of the original (check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U8jLrpErmk for Let It Go translated to my native language Finnish and subtitled back to English). But that's not even what I'm talking about. Even when you accept that your song is turning into an awkward uneven text that's maintaining the meaning, not the form, lyrical text is still particulary hard to translate, because the text is heavy with language-specific compact expressions, subtext and sentence fragments that are interpreted through convention. The small number of words is inviting, but it's a trap.

The good news is, there is one aspect in which Let It Go is unusually easy: As long as there's concept of snow, the song's themes and consequently words are non world specific to a surprising degree.

The sort of good news is (as you no doubt know), there's some meta encouragement for translating the lyrics: Not only is the movie really neat work, respected by even the language creator David J. Peterson himself, the translations of the song are kinda a thing (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC83NA5tAGE or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCtL0nK3TSg or how ever many you can stomach). I'm willing to try at least a bit. Maybe we can come up with a real thing.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 11:12:51 am by Qvaak »
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Qvaak

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 05:12:03 pm »
Let's start with the first "let it go" refrain. It's pretty good example of my usual translation ruminations.

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!


My translation:

Annevak mae, annevak mae
Laz vo qorok mae memras ajjinoon
Annevak mae, annevak mae
Notak elataan ma jonak emrakh!


"Let it go" sounds like a command, as per English syntax, but how does that work, when generally the singer seems to speak about herself? It seems like an advice, encouragement or command that is said to oneself, and might work in Dothraki as an informal command, annevas mae, or even explicitly self-referential encouragement annevalates anha mae. Or maybe you might take it as more abstract, less sentence syntax bound notion of 'letting it go' instead of any kind of self-addressing and translate just as infinite verb form: annevalat mae. I looked forward and saw that the verse was very pronoun dropping, opposing the normal English way. You could read the verse going (I'll) let it go / (I) can't hold it back anymore / (I'll) let it go, / (I'll) turn away and slam the door! I decided to replicate this interpretation, as Dothraki is also normally opposed to pronoun dropping. It however has more redundancy, so the 'I' would still be more pronounced: annevak mae. This, however, brings a further dilemma. While I did use future in the English interpretation, I used present tense in Dothraki, so my translation is actually more (I'm) letting it go than (I'll) let it go. I might have gone all the way and put it into vannevak mae.

Then there's it. English uses a lot of syntactical dummy its that don't denote to much anything at all, something like "It's, funny: I thought it would rain." This it does not feel like properly dummy, but it's still pointing at extremely fuzzy general implied all the stuff weighing on my mind. If Dothraki syntax did not naturally support keeping it, I would have happily skipped the whole word. But then in keeping the word, I'm left wondering, how would Dothraki naturally denote to this kind of a vague general topic of conversation. Even in English the choice between it, this and that is fine. Dothraki has two thats, so all mae, jin, haz and rek seem possible to me.

Oh, and then there's of course the small question about what to let something go means. To be sure, I consulted an idiom dictionary. I got
Quote
let it go. Allow it to stand or be accepted. For example, Let it go; we needn't discuss it further.
which seems about right. It doesn't make much sense to go literal with something approximating to allow to depart (azhat elat perhaps). I first thought I'd keep kinda close with eqorasolat, which pretty nicely translates the idea that you've held onto something and are now letting go of it. But thinking further, I felt annevalat was keeping even closer to the actual meaning. Also, eqorasolat could be interpeted in a favorable way, but the metaphorical sense is not really established as far as we know; of annevalat we actually know that the appropriate metaphorical dimension exists, so it mirrors better the established English idiom. Both are IMO defendable.

phew. That isn't even the whole translation of the verse explained, just the first line.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Caroline Targaryen

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2015, 06:25:55 pm »
So basically I'll have to re-write let it go so that it can work in Dothraki?  Just making sure I'm on the same page as you are.

Qvaak

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2015, 08:23:23 pm »
Well... No, if you want to make a humble close translation like what I'm trying to do (and have already done for a full verse!). But if you're attempting to make a working song with a reasonably fitting syllable count and working rhymes, then yes. But I would not recommend that. At least give up on the rhymes - hitting those is damn near impossibe with our limited word bank.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Qvaak

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2015, 04:03:37 pm »
Some more, how am I doing :)

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I'm the queen.


   Ahesh rahsana she krazaaj k'athzasqazari ajjalan
   Vo sho rhaeshi thihataan
   Rhaesh ha athataraan
   Ma ki venikhi anha khaleesi


The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I tried!


   Chaf awaza ven jin vaz ohaf memras
   Laz vo qoro mae memras, asavva nesa m'anha kis et

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know!


   Vos azho morea emralat, vos azho morea tihat
   Veni nayat erina fines eth veni yer ayyey
   Arresi, vo frakho, vos azho morea nesataan
   Gwe, mori nesi ajjin


Maybe "Can't hold it back" would need some more clever translation than Laz vo qorok mae memras, since it's a bit uncomfortably similar to "couldn't hold it in", Laz vo qoro mae memras.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 12:23:37 pm by Qvaak »
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Havazhyol

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2015, 06:30:31 am »
Maybe "Can't hold it back" would need some more clever translation than Laz vo qorok mae memras, since it's a bit uncomfortably similar to "couldn't hold it in", Laz vo qoro mae memras.

It does not shock me, word similarities are already used in the french translation of the song. Most evident  proof : Let it go, let it go is libérée, délivrée (released, liberated).

And now I have a manly Khal Drogo, in a beautiful blue shiny dress, singing the words of Qvaak. I am strangely both amazed, and scared of it...
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 06:32:06 am by Havazhyol »
I'm back !!

Qvaak

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Re: Translating the Song "Let It Go" into Dothraki
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 08:49:41 pm »
Phew. So here it is in its entirety, a close translation with relatively little artistic freedom and no attempt at making the text lyrically sound:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I'm the queen.


   Ahesh rahsana she krazaaj k'athzasqazari ajjalan
   Vo sho rhaesi thihataan
   Rhaesh ha athataraan
   Ma ki venikhi anha khaleesi


The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I tried!


   Chaf awaza ven jin vaz ohaf memras
   Laz vo qoro mae memras, asavva nesa m'anha kis et


Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know!


   Vos azho morea emralat, vos azho morea tihat
   Veni nayat erina fines eth veni yer ayyey
   Arresi, Vo frakho, Vo azho morea nesataan
   Gwe, mori nesi ajjin


Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!


   Annevak mae, annevak mae
   Laz vo ohhok mae ajjinoon
   Eqorasok mae, eqorasok mae
   Notak elataan ma jonak emrakh!


I don't care
What they're going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!


   Me vo mra zhor
   Rek vasti mori
   Zin ivezhofates vaz
   Athfishar affes anna avvos disse

   
It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all!


   Anha nem allayafak kirekosi loy athhezhahari
   Avvena ei vekhikh zolataan
   Majin athrokhar fini ray asso anna
   Laz frakho vosecchi anhaan


It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free!


   Ajjin kashi ha vitihirataan rek laz tak anha
   Ha ittelataan athchilar ma gidataan mevis
   Vos athjilar, vos athojilar, vos asekelen anhaan - anha serisak


Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry!


   Annevak mae, annevak mae
   Anha ma chaf m'asavva norethaan
   Annevak mae, annevak mae
   Yeri otihi vosecchi anna laqat

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on!


   Jinne anha kovarak
   Ma jinne anha avikovarerak
   Zin ivezhofates vaz


My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back,
The past is in the past!


   Athhajar anni nokitta vi chafasaraan mra rhaeshaan
   Oakah anhoon chorka ki fireseri jesho qisi ei gache
   Ma at dirge chongoe ven ildo jeshoy
   Anha vessok vosecchi
   Tikh fini rayim tish ray nakhosh


Let it go, let it go
When I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!


   Annevak mae, annevak mae
   Arrek anha ayathok ven aena evoy
   Annevak mae, annevak mae
   Haz nayat kogmen ray e


Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!


   Jinne anha kovarak
   Mra shekhikh asshekhi
   Zin ivezhofates vaz
   Athfishar affes anna avvos disse


It would be fantastic, of course, if someone gave this a critical read to catch all the errors and suboptimal costructions. Somehow I always end up doing these projects well past my bedtime and have zero energy for any proper proof reading.

...And if you, zhey Caroline, are trying to create a singable version, I hope this gives at least some ideas.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.