Corrections to the songs pages

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Corrections to the songs pages

Postby kiwehtin » Tue 03 Nov 2009 11:33 pm

Some notes on songs you have up, first about the Arabic counterpart of Jingle Bells, and then your songs from southern Africa.

You put up the correct equivalent of the Arabic title Laylet Eid, but the Arabic text “كلمات اغاني” beside it actually reads “kalimaat aghaanii” (words of the song… X). The Arabic text that transliterates as Laylet Eid is actually the text “ليلة عيد” that repeats three times in the first line.

Now for the Zulu and Xhosa songs:

You have a song put up as follows:

Hamba natil (Zulu)

Hamba natil makulule wethu

Hamba natil makulule wethu

Hamba natil makulule wethu

Hamba natil makulule wethu
makulule wethu

makulule wethu

makulule wethu

makulule wethu

Translation
Now is the time, I send you all my thoughts.

Actually, the Zulu is rather garbled -- especially ’natil’, which is not a possible Zulu word --, and the translation has nothing whatsowever to do with the Zulu text. Here is a version below that gives the Zulu correctly, but still gives a “translation” that only has a tenuous connection - at best - with the meaning of one word in the text.

Hamba nathi (Go with us/Come with us)

http://www.spiritseasons.com/sublevel.t ... rency_id=0

Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu,

hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu.

Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu,

hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu.

Mkhululi, Mkhululi, Mkhululi wethu, 

Mkhululi, Mkhululi, Mkhululi wethu. 

Mkhululi, Mkhululi, Mkhululi wethu, 

Mkhululi, Mkhululi, Mkhululi wethu.

The text, contrary to what the web page claims, says nothing that translates as “you are holy”.

Literally, it translates as “go (hamba) along with us (nathi) our (wethu) saviour/redeemer/liberator ([u]mkhululi)”. More idiomatically in English, ‘hamba nathi’ would be something like “Stay with us”.

‘Nathi’ is na- ‘with’ + thi[na] ‘we/us’; ‘wethu’ is -ethu ‘our’ with the u-/w- agreement prefix for umu- class nouns. ‘Mkhululi’ is the noun umkhululi ‘liberator, emancipator, saviour’, from the verb root -khulula. Nouns in Zulu/Xhosa normally begin with the inherent vowel of the (V)CV noun prefix repeated before the consonant, but when used as vocatives, i.e. to speak to the person or thing the noun identifies, the pre-prefix vowel is dropped. This also happens for names: when someone is referred to in the third person, their name is always preceded by an u- pre-prefix, but it is dropped when addressing a person directly. I’m guessing the fact one possible translation of ‘umkhululi’ is ’saviour’ gave someone an excuse to give the song a more religious connotation than was likely intended in the original Zulu.

For “Senzeni na” you have the following lyrics and translation:

Senzenina

What have we done?
So no se thu, u bu mya ma

Our sin is we are poor
So no se thu, yin ya ni so

Our sin is we are black
Si bu la wa yo

They are killing us
Ma yu bu ye, i Africa

Let Africa return

The ’na’ should never be attached to the preceding word: it’s a question particle that doesn’t pull the stress one syllable over from its usual place. The base word is ’senze’ (si ‘we’ + enz- ‘do’ + -e [perfective ending]): the stress is on the second to last syllable (sénze), its regular location in the non-ideophone lexicon of Zulu. Then the interrogative clitic -ni ‘what’ is added and pulls the stress over to the next syllable because it has now become penultimate (senzéni). When ’na’ ends a sentence, though, it never pulls the stress over to the last syllable of the word that precedes it, which is why it is always separate in Zulu orthography.

That dealt with, it’s amusingly ironic that in the REST of the lyrics you were given, whole words are inexplicably chopped into syllable-sized chunks - some of them with consonants grouped into the wrong syllable - without any indication of what groups with what to make a word, and with a spelling mistake or two thrown in. Imagine doing this to a song from a European language! (Think “Gwl ad beur dda cha tnor ion en wog io nof ri” for the approximate effect… *wince*) This unfortunately happens far too often with languages that some still seem to unconsciously consider “savage dialects” without their own spelling rules that should be respected just like those of European languages. Hopefully you can correct this taking into account what I say below.

Here are two links to somewhat more accurate transcriptions and translations of the lyrics:

Senzeni na

http://www.mamalisa.com/blog/senzenina- ... eral-song/

Senzeni na
Sono sethu ubumnyama
Sono sethu yinyaniso
Sibulawayo
Mayibuye i Africa

What Have We Done?
(English Translation)
What have we done?
Our sin is that we are black
Our sin is the truth
They are killing us
Let Africa return.

Here, the spelling is more accurate, as is the translation. The most glaringly strange thing in the lyrics is ‘ubumnyama’, a noun meaning ‘blackness’, which if the first ‘u’ is pronounced with a breathy low tone, would mean literally ‘is blackness’, but not ‘that we are black’ or ‘being black’. I admit to not being an expert in Zulu/Xhosa grammar, so I just located a Xhosa-language page that mentions it here:

http://www.capegateway.gov.za/eng/pubs/ ... May/104064

The discussion seems to be about a protest at one of the SA government ministries, and the person writing asks: ”Kodwa sobuye sicule sisithi SENZENI NA? ISONO SETHU BUBUMNYAMA NA?” (But should we again sing the words WHAT HAVE WE DONE? IS OUR CRIME BEING BLACK?) It seems then that the correct word is the predicative noun ’bubumnyama’ (bu- verb agreement + bu- abstract noun prefix + -mnyama ‘black’), and not ‘ubumnyama’. The rest of the text and the translation this site gives are OK, except that a literal translation of ‘sibulawayo’ is “we who are being killed” (si- ‘we’ pronominal prefix + bulal- ‘kill’ + -wa passive indicative -- the final ‘l’ drops out in the passive -- + yo relativiser). (A side note: this verb is related to the name of Bulawayo in the majority Ndebele southwest of Zimbabwe: it comes from kwaBulawayo ‘at the place where [someone is] being killed’.)

Here’s another, slightly different version, with [u]ku+ba+mnyama “to+be+black” and the predicative ku+yi- “it (verbal agreement with uku-) is” prefixed to isono:

https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/181 ... OSUpdf.pdf
(page 6)

Senzeni na senzeni na
Senzeni na senzeni na
Senzeni na senzeni na
Senzeni na kulomhlaba?
(Amabhulu azizinja
Amabhulu azizinja
Amabhulu azizinja
Amabhulu azizinja)
Kuyisono ‘kubamnyama
Kuyisono ‘kubamnyama
Kuyisono ‘kubamnyama
(Kuyisono kulelizwe)

[What have we done, what have we done?
What have we done, what have we done?
What have we done, what have we done?
What have we done in this country (world)?
(Boers are dogs
Boers are dogs
Boers are dogs
Boers are dogs)
It’s a sin to be Black
It’s a sin to be Black
It’s a sin to be Black
It’s a sin in this country (world)] (Pollard 113)

A couple of other comments about the other two songs on the Zulu page:

The first song’s title should be spelled ‘Siyahamba’ (si- ‘we’ -ya- present progressive -hamb- ‘go’ -a present indicative), not ‘Sia humba’, which is just an approximation of the sounds using English spelling conventions. Also, the last word of the first line that is repeated should be kwenkos’ (the last vowel of kwenkosi being elided for rhythmic effect): in Zulu/Xhosa, when an aspirated consonant like the kh of -khosi ‘lord’ is prenasalised, it can’t remain aspirated and has to become nk (and the k becomes an ejective). So although the (irregular) plural is amakhosi, the singular is inkosi, without an h. Oh, and kwenkosi is kwa- plus inkosi (ku- agreement with the uku- noun prefix of ukukhanya ‘light, brilliance’ which is hidden inside the locative e- -ini circumfix). In both cases, a+i becomes e.
kiwehtin
 
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Re: Corrections to the songs pages

Postby Saimundo » Wed 04 Nov 2009 6:12 pm

Thanks a lot for these corrections.
one language is never enough / 一種語言永遠不夠 / dydy un iaith byth yn ddigon
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Saimundo
 
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Location: Bangor, Gwynedd, Cymru


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