The steps beyond simply “translating” a song (“Mimikyu’s Song” – Pokémon)

mikukyuToday I wanted to make a quick post talking about song translation and the difficulties/challenges people face when actually localizing it (officially or not). For reference, what I mean is beyond the simple translation, a way that works in the spirit of the original while still applying to the target audience/medium.

I felt it was a perfect opportunity to talk about after posting several different versions of the Mimikyu Song

I post every version in order below with some brief comments describing the step by step. A big thanks to aria and Alisha Lyn for doing the rhyming & rhythm fitting respectively. : )

Check out aria’s twitter here!

Check out Alisha Lyn’s twitter here!

Here is the song for reference:

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Pokémon – “Mimikyu’s Song” Lyrics Translation [Rhythm Fit / Singable]

I posted a literal translation of the Mimikyu Song earlier. Then a reader named aria came along and took up my challenge of making it rhyme and flow like a song should in English while keeping to the original meaning, which can be seen here.

And now, a reader on twitter named Alisha Lyn came along and did the last step: The rhythmically flowing version! So not only does the song stick to the original meaning, but it rhymes and flows in line with the music. Try singing along in English to the song above, it should work.

Check out aria’s twitter here!

Check out Alisha Lyn’s twitter here!

Update: Here’s an example of what it sounds like in practice!

Enjoy!


 

I’m not Pikachu, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
The lonely and friendless Mimikyu, you know?
Sunlight and brightness is all that I fear,
So shade and darkness is where I’ll appear.

Lonely and sad, I just want some friends,
And that’s why I chose this look: to pretend.
A Pikachu disguise, doesn’t it look good?
I made it myself, were you nearly fooled?
But don’t take it off, oh no don’t even try,
You could get cursed, or worse, could even die!

I’m not Pikachu, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
I’m not a monster, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
My claws will protect you from any sort of danger,
My thunderbolt will always help my kind and friendly trainer.
A loyal Pokemon that will follow ’till the end,
So come right over here and make me your friend.

I’m not Pikachu, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
Let’s all be friends, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
I’m not Pikachu, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
The lonely and friendless Mimikyu, you know?

I’m not Pikachu, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
I’m not a monster, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
I’m not Pikachu, I’m Mimikyu, you know?
So let’s all be friends, I’m Mimikyu, you know!


They did a great job huh? : ) I would’ve thought it was an official write up. A big thank you to them!

Please feel free to use these lyrics for your own purposes, whether it be for singing or what have you. All I ask is you link back here to give the proper people credit : )