Translation Questions

The Prelude of Chopin has eight lines, in two groups of four. The way it has been arranged we call the first group of lines Part A, and the second Part B. The arrangement has the following structure:

A classical
B classical
B intimate "MJQ"-style transition
A rock
B rock
- jazz solo
- "choral" transition
B techno finale

Notice that the ending is a bit different, but we decided for technical reasons to make every ending in English, so you need only think about the regular A and B parts.

Each line has four strong accents, and if you listen to the original music (the start of the playback version with music only), you will hear that the rhythm of each line is consistently

DUM - DUM - DUM dee - DUM

Counting 4 beats to the bar, like the two-bar counter at the start of the playback version, this would be:

DUM 2 3 4 DUM 2 3 4 DUM 2 3 dee DUM 2 3 4

For example, the first line of the English version:


It's just the fifth line in the original that contains four DUM's without the dee:


For example in the English version:


but in some of the adaptations this line also has five syllables in a DUM DUM DUM dee DUM rhythm. For example, in the Occitan version

DO - NA - ME la - MAN

Many adaptations have five syllables to the line in a different pattern:

DUM - DUM dee - DUM - DUM

for example, in the Spanish (castellano):

CA - MI na - RE - MOS

and you can even have a six syllable line in a pattern:

DUM - DUM dee - DUM dee - DUM

for example, in the Gallician:

CO - LLE a - MI ña - MAN

but these 6-syllable lines should not be overdone.

Listening to the classical piano version at the start of the playback a few times, with a copy of the words in front of you at the same time, will help you to make a good translation and adaptation.

Finally, as far as content goes, note that the eight lines of the song form four pairs, with the following ideas conveyed in the original song and all translations:

First pair: time is arriving for change and renewal
Second pair: time for putting the past behind and forgiving
Third pair: idea of accompaniment (take my hand / give me your
hand) and going forward together
Fourth pair: the arrival of the new/third/our millenium.