Friday, March 21, 2008

Guadalajara, Guadalajara!

As my wife's from Chile, for some time I've tried to learn some Spanish. This last year I've been pretty serious about it, even taking evening classes at college.

Getting tired poring over my textbook, I decided to do some alternative studying and tried to translate the lyrics to "Guadalajara" from Fun In Acapulco. Turned out that move wasn't too good for my self-confidence.

The first two lines I translated to something like "You have the provincial soul, you smell like a fresh early rose." But from there it went downhill with incomprehensible lines such as "to green woods, fresh from the river" and "thousand doves and your farm."

It really made no sense at all so I called for help from my wife who speaks Spanish fluently. As it turned out she didn't recognise all of the words either! She told me it was kind of like translating a poem, which of course isn't an easy job.

Can't have been easy for Elvis learning the song, either. A couple of years ago, when I proudly played it for my father-in-law he just laughed at it, and said he preferred "Don’t Be Cruel."

At the time I couldn't judge Elvis performance from a Spanish point of view, but hearing it now and reading the lyrics at the same time, even to me it's pretty obvious the pronounciation leaves a lot to be desired.

For example, the Spanish word "Sabes" (meaning "You know") sounds like "Some piece" which is a bit off the mark. But it's like someone commented on YouTube (in Spanish) where you can watch Elvis performance. "I'm very much Latin, and I think Elvis sings this Mexican song very professional. I take my hat off for Elvis Presley."

Speaking of hats, the scene where Elvis sings "Guadalajara" must hold the record for most sombreros seen at the same time in a movie. And when they are all thrown in the air at the end it looks like Kelloggs Froot Loops!

1 comment:

timberly73 said...

That is comical. I wondered how well he did at other languages too. I would like to know how "Wooden Heart" compares as far as him being fluent when signing foreign words. Good for you for trying to decipher it yourself, and I guess it only goes to show how human and how much like "us" that Elvis really was. ;)