Should I use original lyrics instead of what the singer is singing?
Thread poster: Nixide
Nixide
Singapore
Local time: 00:44
Aug 5

Hello, this is my first post here, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, if it's not, please move it to the right place.

I'm trying to subtitle a song cover, however, the singer doing the cover sang differing lyrics compared to the original, on multiple occasions.
Should be using the original lyrics or the lyrics the singer is singing? The cover was not explicitly stated as modified in any way, and I cannot contact the singer who sang the cover.

Thanks in advance for any help.


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 17:44
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
... Aug 5

Nixide wrote:

Hello, this is my first post here, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, if it's not, please move it to the right place.

I'm trying to subtitle a song cover, however, the singer doing the cover sang differing lyrics compared to the original, on multiple occasions.
Should be using the original lyrics or the lyrics the singer is singing? The cover was not explicitly stated as modified in any way, and I cannot contact the singer who sang the cover.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Not sure what the context is here, but usually the subtitles should reflect what is being heard in the video.


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:44
German to English
Depends on the song Aug 5

If the song was a big hit in the country where the target language is spoken, you might want to use the original lyrics. Otherwise, just translate the lyrics that are sung.

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Nixide
Singapore
Local time: 00:44
TOPIC STARTER
Reply Aug 5

Jan Truper wrote:

Nixide wrote:

Hello, this is my first post here, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, if it's not, please move it to the right place.

I'm trying to subtitle a song cover, however, the singer doing the cover sang differing lyrics compared to the original, on multiple occasions.
Should be using the original lyrics or the lyrics the singer is singing? The cover was not explicitly stated as modified in any way, and I cannot contact the singer who sang the cover.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Not sure what the context is here, but usually the subtitles should reflect what is being heard in the video.


What kind of context information would help?


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Nixide
Singapore
Local time: 00:44
TOPIC STARTER
Reply Aug 5

Kevin Fulton wrote:

If the song was a big hit in the country where the target language is spoken, you might want to use the original lyrics. Otherwise, just translate the lyrics that are sung.


Thanks!


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:44
French to Spanish
+ ...
No. Aug 5

1.- I don't -and a lot of us- translate song lyrics, except if they are directly involved in the storyline; 2.- If you have to do so, translate what is said.
Good luck.


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Texte Style
Local time: 17:44
French to English
No Aug 6

You translate what is there, not what would normally be there.

If you could contact the singer you could ask why they don't sing the usual lyrics. You can't, so let's discuss the various possibilities:
- It could be a mistake, but even then, your duty as translator is to translate what was sung.
- It could be a matter of copyright issues, in which case you'll be getting the singer into trouble if you translate the original
- The modifications may even have been copyrighted, in which case you'll be getting into trouble with the singer if you don't translate their lyrics

The "multiple occasions" raises questions. Are you not translating one video in particular? Why are you looking at various videos? I mean, when I do stuff like this I invariably watch several if several are available (and will listen to the one I prefer while translating provided there are no differences such as those you have encountered) but I translate what I've been asked to translate. If I notice a problem I'll notify the client but I'll stick to what is actually sung unless otherwise instructed.


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Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 17:44
Danish to English
+ ...
Ask your client Aug 7

In the end, it is your client's decision, isn't it?

Explain the options to them and let them decide.

This is not a right or wrong question, just a matter of preference.


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