EN->CZ: A couple of lyrics lines

Discussion in 'Vocabulary & Translation Help' started by wizaard, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    Hi to everybody!

    In December I've (literally) discovered Johnny Cash's music and now I can't live without it. My current goal is to translate some of his songs (not professionally) but due to the fact I'm not that experienced in English, I need a little help with a couple of sentences/phrases. I would be really pleased if anyone helped.

    Here they are...
    "I find myself alone when each day is through" - I feel alone at the and of day?
    "I'm a fool for you" - I need to know whether the meaning is only "I'm in love with you" or the preposition "for" makes it more like "I do crazy things for you"
    "(I wear it for the sick and lonely old,) For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold" - For the ones, who didn't take care of the old ones? Or am I totally wrong? :)
    "I saw the little judge commence to look about" - I have no idea what this may mean. Could it be something like "I saw the (damned) judge to take care about things"?
    "Broken thoughts" - I don't know exactly what this expression means.

    I have one more but I think it would be necessary to listen to the whole song and that's probably something I can't ask.

    Anyway - many thanks to anyone who replies!
  2. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Very interesting, Wizard.
    Yes, Johnny Cash was the best. A real icon in american country music.

    You have some interesting lines there.
    "I find myself alone when each day is through" - I feel alone at the and of day? or simple..I am alone at the end of each day.

    "I'm a fool for you" - I need to know whether the meaning is only "I'm in love with you" or the preposition "for" makes it more like "I do crazy things for you"
    A little bit open to individual interpretation....
    could be...I do foolish things for you
    Foolishly, I have fallen in love for you
    or. ...I have crazily fallen in love with you

    "(I wear it for the sick and lonely old,) For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold" - For the ones, who didn't take care of the old ones? Or am I totally wrong?
    No.. you have that a little bit wrong.
    He wears it for the reckless ones, for those, whose (trip left them cold....maybe....whose life didn't go well)

    "I saw the little judge commence to look about" - I have no idea what this may mean. Could it be something like "I saw the (damned) judge to take care about things"?
    I saw the little...small....(does not infer 'damned')...start looking around.
    To put this in czech.. Viděl jsem malého soudce jak se začal ohlédnout se.

    "Broken thoughts" - I don't know exactly what this expression means.
    could be...nespojité myšleny, odpojité myšlenky
  3. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    Scrimshaw, I'd like to thank you in the first place!

    The good thing is that I understood the first two sentences well ("I find myself alone when each day is through", "I'm a fool for you").

    "(I wear it for the sick and lonely old,) For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold" - so as I understand it - these two sentences are not connected? Because originally I thought they are (so originally I translated it like "For the ones, who didn't care about the old ones"), then I came to decision that they're not connected (and translated the second one like "For the reckless ones, who lose their lives"). So my final decision was correct?

    "Broken thoughts" - I'm probably a bit stupid but I still don't get what this expression means :(. Can you, please, describe it in a few words?

    The expression is from the song "Hurt". There's one more thing I really don't understand much - if you had some free time, could you, please, look at the "and you could have it all, my empire of dirt", since I don't even know to whom he's talking - to the sweetest friend? But who is it? God? Or does the sentence have some meaning unknown to me (especially the first part)?

    Just a note - please don't think I haven't tried to search - I have, many times but got no answer for these I'm asking about. And also thank you for your patience!

    EDIT: One last more, please - "Late in the hot joints takin' the pills (in walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill)" - I can't see the meaning of the first part of the sentence.

    Thank you again - I really appreciate your help!
  4. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    I will try to translate that song and send it...but first your specific questions

    broken thoughts...unconnected, disjointed, random, bits and pieces of thoughts that have nothing to do with one another

    Yes, you had it right...two different lines
    He wears it for the sick and lonely old people, and also he wears it for those who have not done so well in life.

    and you can have it all, my empire of dirt
    I'm guessing that he is talking to us, anyone, someone, a listener, and telling us that even his sweetest friend has died. And I am sure he is referring to his wife who had just recently died.

    EDIT: One last more, please - "Late in the hot joints takin' the pills (in walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill)" - I can't see the meaning of the first part of the sentence.

    Je to pozdě, jsem někde(v tavárně, u klubu), beru si pilulky(drogy)

    Understand, this is one of his last songs....he was much more melancholic and thoughtful towards the end of his life. His wife of many years, June, had recently died. His heart was hurting.
  5. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!

    Regarding the "Hurt" song - strange, I didn't get that June was already gone when he sang the song. My mom thought so, so she was right. Now the entire song makes a way better sense to me!

    Thank you again.

    BTW - I was confused about the phrase "Late in the hot joints", since I found its meaning nowhere. I thought the "hot joints" is some sort of joints ilness (artritis, or something).
  6. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Zranil jsem se dnes,
    abych si zjistil zda se ještě mohu cítit.
    Soustředím se na bolest,
    (je to) jediná věc, která je realná,
    Jehla trhá (do kůže) díru,
    ten dobře znamý bolest(bodat).
    (snažím se) zapomenout na všechno,
    ale vzpomínám se na všechno,
    co se mi stalo?.....Co je tohle ostuda, kterym jsem se stal?
    Moje nejdrahejší kamarádka(podle mě, jeho manželka),
    všechny, které znám,
    jdou pryč nakonec,
    a ty, ty mužes mít všechno, (co mám)
    můj impérium špíry

    Budu tě zklamat,
    budu tě ranit, (Kvúli mně budeš cítit bolest)

    Je mi na hlavě koruna trnů,
    (sedím tady) na moje lhářovy židle,
    Jsem plný nespojitých, nesouvislých myšlenků,
    (které) nejsem schopen spravit,
    pod kazy časů,
    pocity mizí,
    ty jsi někdo jiného,
    já jsem ještě právě zde.

    Kdybych mohl zacít znova
    odsud milion mily,
    pečoval bych o mně
    našel bych způsob, nebo cestu.
  7. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    I hope this won't sound like repeating myself, but thank you very much!

    Through the translation you helped me in several ways. If I may - the last (I hope) question: There in the end (the last part)...

    I. If I could start again,
    II. a million miles away,
    III. I would keep myself,
    IV. I would find a way.

    The first two lines I understand perfectly. But you're saying that the last two mean: "I would take care of myself, I would find a way" or you meant something more like: "I try/would do my best to change"?

    BTW - your translation is very good - I'm really surprised (in the good way)! You really helped me by the notes inside the translation - if only I had some American by me :wink:! Because, you know - I understand the meaning of the words, in many cases I do even understand the phrases or I can find their meaning, but unfortunately in many cases it's necessary to know more about the language, about the customs and frequent expressions - this experience I have not.
  8. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Yes....That is how I would read the last two lines

    I would take care of myself....i.e....not do drugs, make better choices,
    I would find a better way....I would do things differently...I would travel a different road.

    Could be interpreted like this
    I will keep myself....I will remain true to who I really am
    I would find a way (to do that)

    And your other quote
    I saw the little judge commence to look about.
    Maybe this is a truer translation....
    Viděl jsem malého soudce jak se začal rozhlédnout.
    Malý soudce se díval na všechny strany.
    Rozhlédl se kolem sebe.

    Glad to help.
  9. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    I know it will seem I'm stuck in some sort of loop but - THANK YOU! This is exactly the kind of info I needed to get! I really appreciate what you're doing for me!

    Now I can finally understand the whole song - I do the translation mainly for my mom, because she doesn't speak English (only Russian) but she's very interested in Johnny's music, especially in the "Hurt" song - every time she listens to it, she cries - believe me or not, she cried while listening to it even though she had no translation, then I translated it to her simultaneously (so it was just a brief translation) and now I can finally bring her the proper translation.

    Just a little question(s) about the Cocaine Blues song (little judge):
    "Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds" - one Czech translator (who translated the Walk the Line movie - Johnny's biography) put it this way: "Early one morning while being drunk" - is that correct?
    "Shot her down because she made me slow" - does it mean that she slowed him down or is there some sort of sexual meaning? If I translate it directly/word by word into Czech, it may also have the second meaning.

    I. Just before the jury started out I saw the little judge commence to look about,
    II. In about five minutes in walked the man holding the verdict in his right hand,
    III. The verdict read in the first degree I hollered Lordy Lordy have a mercy on me

    Regarding line I - the judge looked about (around) waiting for the man with the verdict?
    Regarding line III - does it mean he was guilty for the first degree murder?

    The judge he smiled as he picked up his pin 99 years in the Folsom pen (...) - shouldn't the word "pin" be "pen"? And the word "pen" is maybe "pit"? Or am I totally wrong again? :)

    I hope my questions are within this section's boundaries... And I also believe these are the last ones. If I'm annoying, just please tell me - I'll stop.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    "Making the rounds" here means drinking a lot. A "round" of drinks is a term for a single drink, or in the case of drinking in a group, it includes a single drink for all in the group.
    This doesn't make sense to me. Either this is a Southerner slurring the words "so low" together so fast that people hear "slow" or else as another lyrics site suggested the correct word is "sore." In the first case, it would mean that his girlfriend/wife made him depressed (low). In the second, that she made him angry (sore). Probably the second is correct, as it makes a perfect rhyme with "more" in the next line.

    I assume both interpretations of lines I and III are is correct. There might be some undertone, however, in line I that the judge was trying to influence the jury somehow. In that case, the previous line saying "I was handled by twelve honest men" would be ironic. Probably, though, your reading of the first line is correct.

    I think you are correct that the word "pin" should be "pen," that the judge was writing the verdict and sentence down. The last word of the line is definitely "pen," in this case used as a shortened form of "penitentiary," meaning prison.
  11. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    MANY THANKS for your reply!

    That's what I originally thought.

    Now, I think, I know all I need to finish the whole translation.
  12. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Wizzard, your questions to this site are totally appropriate.
    You have created a nice topic.

    About that song 'The Cure'
    I see that it was not written by Johnny, but he recorded it because he felt it captured his state of mind.
    That clears things up for me, because in the song he's referring to taking drugs through a needle. As far as I know, he did not do that.

    I agree with sova's comments, also this, 'making the rounds' could mean going from bar to bar.
  13. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    In short it’s “runda” in Czech, pretty the same word, except that it comes from German “die Runde” with the same meaning.

    This is “obrážet bary” in Czech.
  14. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Ok, lots of rewriting in different words, don't think it changed the meaning though.

    Brzy ráno, když jsem se pil v tavarně,
    vzal jsem kokain a potomm jsem zastřel moje žena
    šel jsem hned domů a lehnul si na postelšel, dal jsem zbraň pod postařem.

    Vstal jsem příšti ráno a zachytil jsem tu zbraň, vzal jsem kokain a utekl jsem,
    byl to hezký útěk, ale utekl jsem příliš pomale a dohonili mě v Juarez Mexico,

    Bylo to pozdě, v takové tavařně, brál jsem pilulky, vešel šerif od Jericho Hill,
    řekl, Willy Lee, tvůj jméno není Jack Brown,
    jsi darebák, kdo zastřel svje ženu,
    řekl jsem, ano, ano(věř mi), jmenuji se Willy Brown, pokud máš záruku, čti mi ji.
    zastřel jsem ji, protože mi naštvala,
    myslel jsem si, že jsem byl jeji muž ale měla také dalši pět.

    Když jsem byl zatčený, byl jsem oblečený cely v černé,
    hodili mě ve vlaku, přivedl mě zpět.
    neměl jsem žadný přítel, kterým jsem mohl zavolat, hodili mé vysušenou zdechlinu do venkové věžení,

    Brzy příšti ráno, kolem půl deset, spatřil jsem šerife jak přecházel před zamřižovanima celama.
    hovořil a kašlal, a odkašlal si,
    řekl, poj'd se mnou ty špinavý venkovský balíke do okresního soudu,
    (šel jsem) do soudu, moje zkouška to začala a byl jsem soužený dvacet skromnými muží,
    Hned dřív než porota začala odejít od soudního síňu, věděl jsem malého soudce jak se začal rozhednout.

    Po asi pět minuty vešel muž, který vpravou ruce dřžel rozsudek,
    rozsudek řekl, vinen vraždou, první stoupě, a vykřikl jsem, páne, páne, měj smilování nad mně.

    Soudce se usmíval jak sebral svoje pero, (dál mi) devadestát devět roky u Folsomského věžení,
    devadesat roky (budu muset žít) pod tom zeměm, nemohu zapomenout na dny, když jsem ji zastřel,
    Poslyš, prosím tě, odkladej tu whisky a dej kokainem pokoj.

    I like trranslating, always learning new words.
  15. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    Making the rounds - I thought it could mean something like that but the explanation I found was slightly different...
    But many thanks for the explanation!

    Well - that makes a way better sence to me. Anyway - just a little note (mainly for fun) - if there were "slow", some people could read the "more" like "mo"...

    Needle tears a hole - yes, I also understand it as "take drugs", and the "to kill it all away" means (I think) "to forget about it (all the bad things) by taking drugs".

    The only thing I didn't know was the original name of the song (The Cure) - I knew Johnny didn't compose it but I was not familiar with the original name, maybe because I've never tried to search.

    Scrimshaw, you helped me by these: "spatřil jsem šerife jak přecházel před zamřižovanima celama", "dřív než porota začala odejít od soudního síňu" (so it means before the jury went to make the "brainstorming"?).

    I've learned many new words and phrases! This topic gave me more than 4 years on grammar school (now studying university) - thank you for that!

    Just a question - if I found some other "problems" in Johnny's songs, may I ask you, guys, again? I'm a little afraid that the extension of my questions exceeds the limits of the section...

    P.S.: If you're interested, I could give here links to the translations as soon as they're done.
  16. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    dřív než porota začala odejít od soudního síňu" (so it means before the jury went to make the "brainstorming"?).

    No, 'brain storming' doesn't work there. I probably didn't pick the right word.
    Before the jury left the courtroom. They then went into the juror's chamber to make their decision about his guilt or innocence, decide his fate.

    I am not aware of any limits wizzard. Thank god, they would have thrown me out a long time ago. :lol:

    Btw, they misspelled a word in the song

    venkovský balík je 'hick', not 'heck'
    kind of derogatory
  17. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    No - on the contrary - I'm the one who used the wrong word - I understood it just like you've explained it now but I shouldn't have used the "brainstorming" - by that I meant "to decide" or "to consult". (I used my knowledge based on American TV series like "Murder, she wrote" or such. :))
  18. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Brainstorming....very colloquial, modernish...word..usually meant almost comically.
    Here is how it is used.

    They are having a brainstorming session in the office(sitting around trying to come up with ideas)

    Didn't fit in the earlier context, because that was a pretty serious topic and 'brainstorming' leans toward comical.
    and plus...
    Juries are supposed to follow determine guilt or innocence
    brainstorming(in my opinion) means trying to come up with new ideas, or resolve some problem.

    slight, but noticeable difference
  19. wizaard

    wizaard Member

    I still keep on translating (actually everything's translated but it's necessary to revise all the texts - currently I'm working on Man in Black and I have to say - it's a tough one) - thank you all once more, you've helped me really VERY, VERY much (especially I thank to Scrimshaw).

    You can keep in mind
    that what you've done is right.
    All the things will remain
    in my little humble brain.

    (Just for fun :))

    As I've promised, I will upload all the translations (once they're done) to my SkyDrive. I've finished these so far: I Walk the Line (it was fast because most of the translation is not mine) and Hurt. They're here. But please keep in mind that I'm no pro, so the translations are (in comparison with the original lyrics or with professional translators) quite poor.

    P.S.: My previous English knowledge didn't help me much in certain parts of the songs and the current one is not helping me at all :) - you know, it's "GDP" or "marginal rate of substitution in consumption" all the time but you never hear "late in the hot joints" or "make the rounds" :wink:.
  20. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    That is very good wizaard,
    you made it rhyme well still keeping the meaning of his words.

    I especially liked these
    Všechno čas zahalí kabátem nicoty
    Time veils everything with a cloak of nothingness
    Přelstil bych osud....I would trick, outwit, outsmart fate.

    One point though
    The question....What have I become?...Čím jsem se to stal?
    The question ends there
    The next lines are a statement.
    My dearest friend (and)
    everyone I know,
    (they all) go away in the end.

    You should find somebody to record your czech version :D

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