Lyric translation quiz – WIN BIG PRIZES

Someone’s built a website that translates phrases repeatedly into Japanese and back until the phrase stays the same in both languages. So, for a Crazy Friday Competition, I fed in a bunch of lyrics – pretty much all indie/rock stuff from the 1960s through to the 2000s, if that helps – and you have to work out the original, the song and the artist.

Whoever gets the most wins a Babylon Zoo album; whoever gets the second-most wins two Babylon Zoo albums. I’ll post the right answers on Sunday. Post your answers in the comments, along with sarcastic jibes about how the blog has gone downhill.

1) Do you love to love you?
2) At the foot of the toy, he is like a mixture of stuttering children
3) World, died at the western end of the city
4) I turn off the hazard lamps.
5) Also, all girls, to take gold
6) If the nitric acid, he knows the hearts of animals
7) Above, some other girl
8) In this case, if you have difficulty walking
9) Honey, get a lock to lock, it will take time
10) We need to maintain the greenery of the village community
11) I love his shows
12) Line of credit for the toes
13) This is a special fashion show is the result of his recent research on her head
14) Courage, hard core, a little fun
15) How many people, I can see the sense of shame

If anyone gets number 11, I’ll be so in awe that I’ll do pretty much anything they ask of me. If anyone doesn’t get number 10, then the opposite (but I like the way it sounds, very Japanised…)

13 thoughts on “Lyric translation quiz – WIN BIG PRIZES

  1. #4 is made a bit easier by being the phrase that comes up automatically when you click the link to the translation site. (Good job too, I'd assumed that one was interpol not nirvana, didn't realise quite how mental the translations would be)

    #6 – Animal Nitrate by Suede ?

  2. “You’re not hard core” (from “School of Rock”) doesn’t actually reach equilibrium – it forms a Markov chain of length 3.

    The main thing that seems to mix is up is to have a “that….” clause
    which it translates into an adjectival phrase using the plain form of the verb. When it translates it back into english it sometimes treats the plain form as an auxilary verb. I expect that it would handle kayooshi adjectives better than kayoodooshi adjectives, for the same reason.

  3. Haha, I see what you've done there. Again, good but not right. NRG has the correct band for #4.

    Another clue: 2, 3, 13 and 14 should all be fairly easily guessable as long as you know the song – some fairly unique words or concepts survive in the translation. The others… hmmm, I'll be super-impressed.

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