Lost in Translation: Christmas Edition

Welcome to another occasionally recurring, non-creative, incredibly lazy feature in which I translate song lyrics into foreign languages, then back to English, and make fun of them. This particular lazy post idea was inspired by Seth Hoffman’s German translation wizardry on this thread over on InsideMDSports. Being as it’s Christmas Eve and all, let’s start by mangling some Christmas classics.


-The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire): English to German, back to English:
Kastanien, which roast on an opened fire, frost, which wedges on your nose, Yuletide song, which is sung by a choir, and peoples dressed above like Eskimos. Everyone knows a Truthahn and any Mistel, helping you, to form the season brightly. Small Tots with its eyes completely aglow, finds it hard to sleep this evening. They know that Santa’ s on its way; He’s loaded lots toys and good things on its Pferdeschlitten. And each mother’s child will spy to see if Ren can really fly. And so I’m, which offers this simple cliche, to the children from one to ninety-two, although its said many marks, many ways, very glad Christmas to you.

-Thoughts: First of all, why is Ren trying to fly? He’s a chihuahua, I thought reindeer were supposed to fly. How does Stimpy feel about this? But my favorite thing about this translation is how it changes “simple phrase” to “simple cliche.” Talk about your Christmas spirit. Way to go Germany.

-Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: English to Japanese, back to English:
The red-nosed reindeer of Rudolph it had the nose which has gloss very. When and it meets to him, it means that shines. Although the other reindeer him name amuse, you telephone entirely, it is used. Connect those with the game of all reindeer which do not make never poor Rudolph possible. Then 1 fog deep [kurisumasuibusanta] came saying: ” Rudolph which has the bright your nose so won’ Is t my sled tonight led? ” Then as for all reindeer way them who love him joy you shouted, the Rudolph red-nosed reindeer, you’ll enters with history!

-Thoughts: Holy syntax confusion. And how in the hell did a telephone sneak into this? Do they have phone service in the North Pole? I don’t know why but “you’ll enters with history” slays me. And somehow it’s even the right number of syllables.

-Winter Wonderland: English to Russian, back to English:
[Kolokoly] the ring of sleighs, you listening to, in the lane, snow of glistening beautiful sighting, We’ this evening re is happy. To go for a walk into the country of the miracles of winter. Away they go dark-blue bird, to here remain new bird it [peet] song about the love, in proportion to we go forward, to go for a walk into the country of the miracles of winter. In the meadow we can construct [snegovik], after this pretend that he the priest of Brown He’ll he says: You are married? We’ll he says: The absence of man, but you can make work when you’re in the town. Is more late further, we’ll it conspires, in proportion to we dream by fire to look at unafraid, plans which we’ made ve, to go for a walk into the country of the miracles of winter. In the meadow we can construct [snegovik], I pretend the he’ the clown of circus A.S. We’ ll it has series of fun [snegovikom] of Mr., other as long as little-ones will not knock by it downward. When it goes snow, ain’ t it exciting, although your nose obtains to cool We’ frolic ll and game, eskimo way, going for a walk into the country of the miracles of winter.

-Thoughts: Leave it to those icy Russians to turn “bluebird” into “dark-blue bird.” Actually, I’m surprised by how upbeat this remained through the translation. I didn’t think Communists believed in miracles. I’m also surprised that there’s apparently a Russian word for “ain’t.” Pretty strong evidence that we won the Cold War if you ask me.

OK, this post sucks. I’m tired of writing it and I doubt if anyone found it entertaining enough to even read this far. So my Christmas gift to you will be cutting this short and wishing you a Merry Christmas. 

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