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Somewhere in the Balkans 09/06/2013

Posted by allthingsro in music, translations.
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You’re more likely to find biting social commentary in Romanian hip-hop than in the newspapers, so it’s said. The rapper Puya is one example of this phenomenon. Here’s my attempt to translate his hit “Somewhere in the Balkans“. I’m much indebted to the Romanians on YouTube and elsewhere who have provided their own translations.

We drink beer and wine
Not whiskey or gin
We love bribery, corruption with all our hearts
We don’t know much, no kidding!
It’s a tradition here since we were kids
We love having dollars, we hate having jobs
What do I care about global warming
We want dollars, dollars, let the whales starve to death
Many problems, mess-ups on our minds, babes
Do you think we like
Knocking up against them all the time? Translation of “Somewhere in the Balkans”


How good is to be a fish 03/06/2012

Posted by allthingsro in language, music.
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Spotify has helpfully translated track 10 of Puya’s Romanisme – Part 1. According to Spotify, “Ce bine e sa fii peste” means “How good is to be a fish”. Spotify, you rock, but, no, that just doesn’t work. Let’s leave word order aside and focus on the fishy business.

Romanians, being good Francophiles, appear to have adopted the French slang “maquereau” (“mackerel” meaning pimp) for, well, pimps. In English, our fish are generally sweet and innocent, when they are not getting away.

So, in English it has to be something along the lines of “How good it is to be a pimp”, unless someone can suggest something more colourful and fishy.