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:
- Singable within the original melody.
- Grammatically and idiomatically passable in English.
- As faithful as possible to the original imagery, varying only to satisfy the previous two conditions.
So here is my localization and thoughts:
- 在我心中 曾經有一個夢
I have a dream that’s been in my heart
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?
Ordinary people inspire me the most.
- 再沒有恨 也沒有了痛
To end all hate and know no more pain
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
May your life never be the same from now on.
Seize every minute of our lives
All for the dreams in our hearts
- 不經歷風雨 怎麼見彩虹
Without the rainstorms, where are the rainbows?
No one randomly succeeds
Seize every inspiring moment in life
And the passion in every friendship
- 讓真心的話 和開心的淚
Let sincere words and happy tears
Flow freely in all of our hearts
[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.