Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can you translate?




I'm learning to love shit writing.

I don't mean that in a snobbish way. I mean the business and technical jargon you get from people who expect others to try to keep up with it.

They keep writing it, I'll keep translating it. I'm doing it at the moment for a client who is more than able to talk plain English to your face, but when it comes to writing, he talks gibberish.

Some people can't help it, like Police.

Some people should know better, like BBC journalists (I don't know about you but I've also been cringing at the attempts of the BBC, AL Jazeera and Sky to wax lyrical about the devastation in Japan right now).

From a massive tragedy overseas to one a bit closer to home: Smiley Culture died yesterday.

Remember him? He brightened up my world in 1984 and 85. Maybe he brightened up your world, too.

He had a unique and incredible voice and lyrics to match, if you could catch them all.

I've stolen the lyrics to COCKNEY TRANSLATION off one of those lyric websites and have copied and pasted them below. I don't feel guilty (should I?)

Read them. They're hilarious, if not only because he managed to get the phrase 'batty man' into the charts (no. 71). Please don't take offence at that. None is intended.

Before Smiley, here are a couple of translations of my own:

BBC: Smiley Culture made a cameo appearance in the David Bowie film Absolute Beginners in 1986, but failed to achieve mainstream exposure.

Translation: Really? TOTP was underground? You mean just because he didn't cross over like 'celebs' of today? Or are you just trying to hype up the fact that his life didn't always go as smoothly as he might have wanted?

The Police: While we were at the address, an incident occurred during which a 48-year-old man died.

Translation: Your guess is as good as mine.

Cockney Translation

11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
It's I Smiley Cuulture with the mike in a me hand
Me come to teach you right and not the wrong
In a de Cockney Translation

Cockney's not a Language it is only a slang
And was originated yah so inna England
The first place it was used was over East London
It was respect for the different style pronunciation
But it wasn't really used by any and any man
Me say strictly con-man also the villain
But through me full up of lyrics and education
Right here now you a go get a little translation

Cockney have name like Treey, Arthur and del-boy
We have name like Winston, Lloyd and Leroy
We bawl out YOW! While cockneys say OI!
What cockney call a Jack's we call a Blue Bwoy
Say cockney have mates while we have spar
Cockneylive in a brum while we live in a yard
Say we nyam while cockney gwt capture
Cockney say guv'nor. We say Big Bout ya
In a de Cockney Translation!
In a de Cockney Translation!

Well watch a man..............................
The translation of cockney to understand is easy
So long as you don't deaf and you listen me keenly
You should pick it up likea youth who find some money
Go tell it to your friends also your family
No matter if a English or a Yardy
Ca' you never when them might buck up a cockney
Remember warm dem dem deh man dem don't easy
Dem no fire sling shot a me say strictly double B
Dem run protection racket and control 'nuff C.I.D.

Say cockney fire shooter, We bus' gun
Cockney say tea leaf, We say sticks man
You know dem have wedge while we have corn
Say cockney say be first, my son! We just say Gwan!
Cockney say grass, We say outformer man
When dem talk 'bout iron dem really meam batty man
Rope chain and choparita me say cockney call tom
Say cockney say Old Bill, We dutty Babylon
In a de Cockney Translation!
In a de Cockney Translation!

Well watch a man........................
Slam bam
Jah man
Hear dam
Fashion
Smiley
Culture
Origiantion

But first let me tell you more about thr cockney
Who live comfortably and have yacht by the sea
And when it come to monry most of then have plenty
But where dum spend it? In de bookie
Lose it all on the dogs or on the gee gees
Or paying off fe dem bribes to the Sweeney
So dem nah go do no time fe no armed robbery
Or catching antthing that fell off the back of a lorry

Slam bam
Jah man
Hear dem
Fashion
Me strong
Me long
Me at the mike stand
More time
In a dance
Me chat
'Pon a sound

But sometimes me shake out and leave me home town
And that's when me travel a East London
Where I have to speak as a different man
So that the cockney can understand
So black man and white man hear dem fashion

Cockney say scarper, We say scatter
Cockney say rabbit, We chatter
We say bleach, Cockney Knackered!
Cockney say triffic, We say waaacked!

Cockney say blokes, We say guys
Cockney say Alright? We say Ites!
we say pants, Cockney say strides
Sweet as a nut...................... just level vibes. Seen?

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