How to translate English song lyrics accurately to Japanese song lyrics?

I compose music and recently I've decided to expand my horizons to Japanese music. Unfortunately, I'm too young to take Japanese at my school, so I'd appreciate some ideas on how to translate my English song lyrics into Japanese song lyrics. I'd like people who actually speak Japanese to be able to understand my lyrics, I understand this will be difficult but I'd like to give it a try. If you have any ideas or suggestions I'd certainly appreciate it. :)

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't think you need to have Japanese song lyrics to write songs inspired by Japanese music. There are a lot of Japanese songs that are written in English and other languages. Take Yuki Kajiura for example. She has Canta Per Me in Italian, and several songs in English such as Ring Your Song and Stray Child. Music in English is really popular in Japan (and other non-English speaking countries). There are a lot of westerners who love Japanese music. There is also a German song called 99 Luftballons which became really popular in Australia (as in the German version, not the English translation)

    On the other hand, if you really want to write songs in Japanese, it might be hard if you don't know the language first. Although Yuki Kajiura has written songs of languages she doesn't speak fluently, I have seen critical comments on Canta Per Me in regards to proper wording.

    If you do have a good understanding of the language, it might be a good idea to look for inspiration on Youtube. There are a lot of fan-dubs of Japanese songs where they translate the Japanese lyrics into English. It might give you some tips on how you can change the syllables in the song. There are also songs in English translated into Japanese. I remember seeing a professional Japanese version of one of Hilary Duff's songs on Youtube.

    Source(s): -Japanese original -English fan-dub I can't find the Japanese cover for any of Hilary Duff's songs but trust me, they exist!
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  • Erika
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Translate A Song

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  • Amy D
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Google translator does translate English-Japanese (and vice versa) better than any other online translators, but you still need to have some knowledge of Japanese to be able to fix the translations up a bit, as word order and multiple meanings of one word can confuse the translator, therefore making the translations incorrect. Even though you are too young to take Japanese at school, there are various sites online which you can use to help you understand at least the basics of Japanese language.

    And unfortunately, you'll have to accept that some things may get lost in translation. What I mean by this is that some phrases or sentences don't have a direct translation, so you'd have to find alternate ways of saying things. Eg 'Douzo yoroshiku' is used as 'Nice to meet you' but does not literally mean that. The literal meaning is something on the lines of 'I hope you mean well for me' (gives a sense of 'please look after me') So there are no quick fixes here. You have to understand as much Japanese as possible to get your meaning across, by studying hard (either by yourself, or taking extra classes) <<Japanese lesson site I use the most

    Source(s): Learnt Japanese for 5 years in junior high - now in university so brushing up on it
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  • 9 years ago

    have you tried google translate, it really works

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