quinientos veinticinco mil seiscientos minutos
May 11, 2022 5:48 AM   Subscribe

RENT in Spanish.
RENT in Japanese.
RENT in Portuguese.
RENT in Korean.

(I realize the title of this post is not the way many Spanish speakers would probably say that number. I didn't write it. The Argentina production did. But, the inevitable spelling mistakes are entirely my fault.)
posted by eotvos (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
As mentioned elsewhere, I claim that all spelling and grammar mistakes are actually an intentional test for the reader. Including names of major languages. (Sorry!) [edit: maybe I didn't actually get it wrong. I'm confused. Second edit: or the world is confused.]
posted by eotvos at 9:48 AM on May 11


Hey, it comes in French too!
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:39 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


I saw the touring cast perform Rent (with the Hong Kong pop star Karen Mok playing Mimi) in Beijing back in 2006 or so. There were Chinese supertitles, and the translation was generally pretty accurate, except that there were no references to drugs, AIDS, or homosexuality. In "La Vie Boheme" (I think), the line "and here's to fruits!" was translated as "为水果干杯" -- "Cheers to fruit."

The actress and blogger Xu Jinglei was sitting a couple rows ahead of me. That night she wrote on her blog that she'd enjoyed Rent, but was thinking that she needed to work on her English because she'd had a hard time following the story. I can only imagine.

(It's sobering to reflect that even the censored version probably wouldn't play in today's PRC. The US isn't the only place where things have been ratcheted sharply backward over the last few years.)
posted by bokane at 9:48 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]


That's really interesting, bokane. Thanks.

I don't want to turn this into an anti-PRC derail - especially because those are languages I don't speak at all and politics I only know third-hand - but it saddens me to learn that all the incredibly smart, thoughtful people I've met there can't see an unedited version of RENT. Not because RENT is such an important or significant part of world art. But, because the existence of AIDS in NYC in the '90s is something that should not be in any way controversial.

I'm also curious what both Santa Fe and Motel 6 mean to local audiences. I *think* I know what it means to move to Naha or Iguaçu, though I'm not confident I've got it right. Perhaps they lyrics are obvious from the context. (It's also true I don't actually undertand 30% of the lyrics written in the language I grew up speaking.)
posted by eotvos at 4:40 AM on May 12


i know they've translated other broadway musicals into korean in the past--for instance, hedwig and the angry inch's "the origin of love".

so this appears to be the written translation of `seasons of love` into korean
eng orig:
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure - measure a year?

In daylights - In sunsets
In midnights - In cups of coffee
In inches - In miles
In laughter - In strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life

How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love / Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand Journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It's time now to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
Remember the love
Remember the love
Measure in love

Measure, measure your life in love
Seasons of love / Seasons of love


---

kor trans:
52만 5600분의 귀한시간들
우리들 눈앞에 놓인 수많은 날
52만 5600분의 귀한시간들
어떻게 재요 일년의 시간

날짜로 계절로 매일 밤 마신 커피로
만남과 이별의 시간들로
그 52만 5600분의 귀한시간들
어떻게 말해요. 산다는 것을

그것은 사랑! 그것은 사랑! 그것은 사랑!
사랑으로 느껴봐요
사랑으로

52만 5600분의 귀한시간들
그 많은 인생을 어찌 살아갈까
52만 5600분의 수많은 날
그 인생의 가치를 어찌 판단을 하나

그대가 진실을 안 걸로
누군가 고통을 안 걸로
또 다른 방법으로
죽은 이유들로

다함께 노래해 우리 인생을 위해
자 친구들과 함께한 일 년을 노래해

기억해요 사랑
기억해요 사랑
기억해요 사랑


---

eng trans:
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred1 minutes of precious time
Before us2 are countless days
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of precious time
How can you measure a year's worth of time?

By days - By seasons - By nightly coffees
By moments of meeting and parting
Those five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How can we say, say we're alive.

It's love! It's love! It's love!
Embrace the love3
Love~

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of precious time
How can we live so many lives?
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of countless days
How can you judge the value of any single life?

Through your truth
Throughs another's pain
Or alternatively
How someone passed.

Together, let's sing about our lives,
and sing about the year spent with our friends.

Remember love.

1korean counting actually has this as "fifty-two ten-thousands, five thousand six hundred"
2lit. "in front of our eyes". also, the korean lyrics use "our" or "us" far more often, which is a tendency found in korean speech
3lit. "feel the love"

posted by i used to be someone else at 9:21 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


it's always interesting to see how songs are translated into other languages. disney does this with every major release too.

how far i'll go (moana): māori, tahitian (which can subtly change meanings: "you're welcome" is rendered as "it's all good" in korean)
let it go (frozen): arabic, finnish, ukrainian
surface pressure (encanto): vietnamese, brazilian portuguese, iberian portuguese, lat am spanish (they didn't do european spanish for this one)
posted by i used to be someone else at 9:54 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Both Korean Hedwig and Māori Moana are absolutely delightful. (I should really see that film one of these days.) Thanks! Working my way through the others as time allows. I wish there was a TV channel for this.
posted by eotvos at 12:19 PM on May 12


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