Lost in Translation

India Uncut points us at a series of fun blog posts over at Minor Scale.   Manoj has translated some choice South Indian film songs into anglais.  Most translations are just text but this one had pix and made me smile.   Next time some cultural elitist snob rants about how every piece of media was better in the original Tamil, Uyghur or !Xóõ, I’ll point ‘em here –

SBC 03  SBC 04 

Proof that if you can’t have the pix, some folks really do listen to the lyrics.

24 thoughts on “Lost in Translation

  1. What the hell is a watery orgy? OMG! I’m in the dark about so many things, how am I going to survive in this world? :(

  2. If only he had the translation to my fave du jour, Kannum Kannum Nokia.

    And it goes like this….

    kannum kannum nokia nee kollai kollum mafia cappucino coffee eh sofia kannum kannum nokia nee kollai kollum mafia cappucino coffee eh sofia…

    You can read more here.

  3. Olinda:

    Closest translation I can come up with (all punctuation mine):

    kannum kannum nokia nee kollai kollum mafia cappucino coffee eh sofia

    Eyes and eyes Nokia, You’re a looting/murdering mafia Cappucino coffee eh, Sofia?

    More fun down the song:

    kaadhal yaanai varugira remo mutha thanthathil muttuvom remo appalam ithayangal bathiram remo rambo remo…

    Love elephant is coming – Remo He will butt you with pearl tusks – Remo paapad hearts – be careful! – Remo Rambo remo…

    (You know paapad / papad, right?)

  4. The actor in the above picture is not too bad looking, but I have noticed that in many regional language films, while the lead female character is a very attractive slim and westernized young thing, the male lead is a stark contrast – old, balding, paunchy and very unsophisticated. Apparently these are the top billed male actors. This completely beats me.

  5. Well look at who more of the filmmakers are. How many female filmmakers would perpetuate such a dynamic? You often see the same setup in porn, innit.

  6. dude,

    in hollywood also, men actors who really run the show are never young, some examples:

    harrison ford, sean penn, tom cruise, brad pitt, clint eastwood, sean connery, robert redford, and bruce willis-they range from 40+ to close to 70.

    yes, sir even johnny depp.

    some of them are balding and what not too. the dynamics is always universal: older actor and most of the time, younger actress. they just have to be charismatic within their cultural context.

  7. “How many female filmmakers would perpetuate such a dynamic?”

    Like Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation”. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson weren’t 19something couples. This is just one example. If looked harder, I would dig dozens of them.

    In fact, I had read somewhere that in hollywood for a male actor to starting establish themselves, they pretty much have to 40+, for a real influence a lot older like Clint Eastwood.

  8. Dude, I totally would not object to being cast opposite of Johnny Depp, I don’t care how old he is.

    I actually had a friend whose mom worked with Mr. Depp back when he wasn’t very famous, and who used to tease us with offers of perhaps meeting him later. I was fairly, um, not old at the time, obviously, but my fangirl cred is properly antique.

    Slate had an article on this phenomena in sitcoms a while back.

  9. Saheli,

    Maybe, you could have a role in Johnny Depp’s Shantaram. You will be perfectly cast in many roles except Karla [no offense, ethincity limited]. That will be something……..I think if Shantaram succeeds, people will view India with a fresher eye. Even the book has made real impact.

    Sometimes, people do not look at facts. Another extra-ordinary female director movie was Piano – Harvey Kietel is no young handsome dude. Or Boy’s Don’t Cry.

    Only Penny Marshall will have something sugar candy – beautiful people acting beautiful roles, arghhh…very desi concept.

  10. That was hillarious :- )))) A Super find. Watery orgies ??? someone sucks at English much worse than I ever did.

    This sounds like the chinese product with funny sounding explanation that Jay Leno does on his show. I think the Tonights Show people get stuff from the 99c store and its hillarious.

  11. Oh, and Kush, I wasn’t referring to differences in age – there are totally a number of older actors that are attractive. I was making reference to Argus_nj’s comment:

    The actor in the above picture is not too bad looking, but I have noticed that in many regional language films, while the lead female character is a very attractive slim and westernized young thing, the male lead is a stark contrast – old, balding, paunchy and very unsophisticated. Apparently these are the top billed male actors. This completely beats me.

  12. Fuerza,

    I am sorry that I was being little obnoxious too. I think it is mostly cultural – an actor/ actress here has to maintain himself/ herself to be marketable and still get roles.

    There was no pressure on them there in past, especially in the regional movie industries. The market forces did not demand anything like that from them.

    Things are changing in Bollywood – SRK, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan etc. are not young (past 40s), are still going strong (or even stronger) and are keeping themselves presentable.

    Rishi Kapoor of “Bobby” fame (as all Kapoor family guys) had no incentive to keep himself sharp. Recently, I read in India Today, suddenly in Bollywood due to Amitabh Bachchan’s clout and need to cast him in almost every movie, older people are not “pathetic, living on the mercy of their children”. They are being portrayed as people full of life too. I was really glad to read that change.

  13. Hey Kush,

    It’s ALL good, baby. I do hear you on the whole bit about the market forces. If we keep watching, they won’t change the formula, innit. Saley.

  14. “If we keep watching, they won’t change the formula, innit”

    I know.

    Since I remember, I have averaged 2-3/ movies a week like the little kid in “Cinema Paradiso“. However, between 1992-2002, I only watched 3 bollywood movies in 10 years and was still maintaining my movie average – so there was a period when I totally walked away from Bollywood and Indian movies. But then I did return when the DVD business started.

    Changes are always slow, baby steps.

  15. Hi

    I read this Article and found it funny! I hope it wont be any problem for you, if we use this anywhere in our magazine.

    Regards

    Anuranjan Bhatia Maxim India

  16. Anuranjan,

    I think you’ll need to use the “contact us” function on Sepia Mutiny’s homepage and ask the people running this website for permission that way.