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1. Translating “This is Me” song for singing and subtitle
2. How metaphors in song and dialogues in “The Greatest Showman” movie are subtitled by
3. Condensation in “Wonder” subtitle

Article and thesis review for the topic: translating “This is me” song for singing and reading

1. Translation of song lyrics as structure-related expressive device by Elena Gritsenko

and Evgeniya Aleshinskaya, 2016
The paper aims to find out whether or not inserting a part of translated lyrics or
integrating a whole translated lyrics to the original lyrics may “reinforce the expressive
potential of the song and create additional meanings”, to explore the audience’s and
professional’s perception towards the original and translated lyrics, and to find out “what
indexical (symbolic) meanings can be achieved by language confrontation”. The three
multilingual songs observed in this paper are from “The Voice Russia”. Those songs are
“A Yiddishe Mame” performed in Russian, Hebrew and English, “Le temps des
cathedrales” and “Une vie d’amour”, both performed in French and Russian.
This paper concludes that the translations of these songs still preserve meaning-making
function of translation, and are more focused on the “verbal domain” and “musical
aesthetics”. Also, the translation to Russian “fosters understanding and ensures the
empathy of the listeners”, while performance with the original language is “usually
symbolic” to the listeners, since it preserves the “original flavor” and “reinforces its
emotional effect”. Lastly, “language juxtaposition can highlight the climax of the song;
reinforce the contrast between the verses and/or between the verse and the chorus, and
serve as an emotional introduction conveying the message of the song”. (Gritsenko &
Aleshinskaya, 2016).

2. Translating Song Lyrics: A Study of the Translation of the Three Musicals by Benny
Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, 2009

Aiming to understand the “process involved in translating song lyrics”, this paper
analyses translation features of 12 song lyrics from musical CHESS, MAMMA MIA! and
Kristina från Duvemåla by comparing the original and translated lyrics, paying attention
to number of words, syllables vs. words, word-for-word translations, additions/omissions,
metaphors, rhymes, reorganization of text, paraphrases, and whether or not there is “any
untranslated English words kept in the Swedish version” (Andersson & Ulvaeus, 2009).
The paper concludes that the most common strategy used is translating by using
paraphrases. Also, that the translator must be musical, very good at playing with words,
have good association skills, and have a large vocabulary. Lastly, it concludes that the
words ‘text arrangement’ or ‘interpretation’ are more appropriate to be used rather than
‘translating’ when it refers to “the act of transferring the song lyrics of a musical in one
language into another language” (Andersson & Ulvaeus, 2009).

3. Singable Translation of Songs by Peter Low, 2010

This article discusses the strategy used to translate song, and recommends the
pentathlon principle; “a deliberate balancing of five different criteria” which are
singability, sense, naturalness, rhyme, and rhytm. The example for the practice are German
Lied and French popular song, both translated into English.

4. A Choices in Song Translation: Singability in Print, Subtitles and Sung Performance,

Johan Franzon, 2008
Options in song translation and the concept of ‘singability’ from a functional point of
view are examined and the strategic choices made by translators/lyricists in translating
songs is described in this article. The options are: “not translating the lyrics, translating the
lyrics without taking the music into consideration, writing new lyrics, adapting the music
to the translation, and adapting the translation to the music”. It also suggests that
‘singability’ “can be defined as a musico-verbal fit of a text to music, and that this musico-
verbal unity may consist of several layers – prosodic, poetic and semantic-reflexive”. To
create a fully functional and singable TT lyric, these layers must be united. To illustrate
this, examples from different musical genres which are translated for sung performance,
for subtitles or to be printed in books are examined.

5. Subtitling and Dubbing Songs in Musical Films by Martha García Gato, 2013
The research aims to find out what “makes translation of songs for dubbing and
subtitling a complex task”. The object used in this study are songs from the musical film
My Fair Lady. The research concludes that since the constraints of subtitling and dubbing,
the way of translating is different too. Also, “it has been noticed that there is more content
accuracy in subtitling than in dubbing, or, at least the content translation appears more
synchronized with the original”. However, subtitle has higher risk to be criticized, since
“they are more exposed to comparison with the original”. While in dubbing, “the content
is easier to manipulate or, at least, less noticeable”. (Gato, 2013)

Andersson, B., & Ulvaeus, B. (2009).
Translating Song Lyrics: A Study of the Translation of the Three Musicals. Undergraduate
Thesis. Department of Culture and Communication: Sodertons University College.
Retrieved from 02
Franzon, J. (2008). Choices in Song Translation: Singability in Print, Subtitles and Sung
Performance. The Translator, 373-99.
Gato, M. G. (2013). Subtitling and Dubbing Songs in Musical Films. Comunicación, Cultura
y Política, 107-125.
Gritsenko, E., & Aleshinskaya, E. (2016). Translation of song lyrics as structure-related
expressive device. Procedia, 165 – 172.
Low, P. (2010). Singable Translation of Songs. Perspectives: Srudies in Translatology, 87-