Localization / Translation of 真心英雄

真心英雄 by 李宗盛 (The Sincere Hero by Jonathan Lee), sung by Jackie Chan, Wakin Chau, Anthony Wong, and Jonathan Lee. I liked this song a lot while listening to Jackie Chan’s discography, and the lyrics are easy enough to understand.

Again, the hope for this exercise is that I come up with something that is:

  1. Singable within the original melody.
  2. Grammatically and idiomatically passable in English.
  3. As faithful as possible to the original imagery, varying only to satisfy the previous two conditions.

So here is my localization and thoughts:

[Verse 1]

  • 在我心中 曾經有一個夢
    I have a dream that’s been in my heart
  • 要用歌聲讓你忘了所有的痛
    To use song to make you forget your sorrows
  • 燦爛星空 誰是真的英雄
    Oh, starry sky, who are the real heroes?
  • 平凡的人們給我最多感動
    Ordinary people inspire me the most.

[Verse 2]

  • 再沒有恨 也沒有了痛
    To end all hate and know no more pain
  • 但願人間處處都有愛的影蹤
    If only everyone was a beacon of love
  • 用我們的歌 換你真心笑容
    Let our song put a smile on your face
  • 祝福你的人生從此與眾不同
    May your life never be the same from now on

[Chorus 1]

  • 把握生命裡的每一分鐘
    Seize every minute of our lives
  • 全力以赴我們心中的夢
    All for the dreams in our hearts
  • 不經歷風雨 怎麼見彩虹
    Without the rainstorms, where are the rainbows?
  • 沒有人能隨隨便便成功
    No one randomly succeeds

[Chorus 2]

  • 把握生命裡每一次感動
    Seize every inspiring moment in life
  • 和心愛的朋友熱情相擁
    And the passion in every friendship
  • 讓真心的話 和開心的淚
    Let sincere words and happy tears
  • 在你我的心裏流動
    Flow freely in all of our hearts

[repeat verses]

[repeat chorus 2 three times]

Some overall thoughts:

  • Some idioms are more fun to translate literally than idiomatically because the metaphorical imagery makes for prettier language.
  • Rhythmically it’s always a challenge when the Chinese is able to pack so much meaning into fewer syllables due to the single characters carrying so much or when the Chinese uses a two-character phrase and English has a single syllable word for the matching concept. Having to figure out how to make up or to lose syllables makes the localization tough.

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