Generic Korean

Boohwal Never Ending Story Unfinished Lyrics

Posted on: June 5, 2011

I began translating the lyrics to this song and realized just how hard it is.  A direct translation is easy but it would totally minimize the poetry of the song.  For example the first few stanzas of the song literally translated are:

손 닿을 수 없는 저기 어딘가
오늘도 넌 숨쉬고 있지만
너와 머물던 작은 의자위엔
같은 모습의 바람이 지나네

Somewhere where my hands cannot reach
Today you are again breathing
The little chair you and I lingered on
The same wind passes by

—–

Using some creative license, the lyrics can easily be changed to be more coherent but I find it hard because for example,”breathing” can mean so many things; to exist, to live, to release, etc.  After half an hour of writing and then rewriting my version of this song I gave up.  I don’t think I can do it justice.

Also I noticed Kim Tae Won uses a lot of homonyms and homophones in his writing as well as a ton of metaphors.  Its hard enough to explain why “this star” and “farewell” are sort of the same in Korean and even harder to convey it in a translation.  I’m always amazed at the great translation of Korean poetry online and in books.  There are some creative people out there because this ish is hard.

Anyways, the reason I even attempted to translate this song was because I was looking through my youtube “favorites” and came across this video.  Its been a while since I watched this performance but damn if it didn’t make me a fan of Jung Dong Ha (the lead singer).  During the refrain, Jung Dong Ha points his mic to the crowd just as the camera pans across and you see the entire crowd singing while gently swaying to the music.  All the while a breeze passes by making the entire scene really look like something out of a movie…just like the lyrics.  Freaking awesome.

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