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How to learn a song in another language?

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MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 08:44 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,mando-player-91 18 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 12 - 07:14 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 07:21 PM
Rob Naylor 18 Aug 12 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,mando-player-91 18 Aug 12 - 07:26 PM
skarpi 18 Aug 12 - 07:29 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 07:31 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 07:55 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 08:00 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Stim 18 Aug 12 - 08:16 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 08:34 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 08:51 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Aug 12 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,Stim 19 Aug 12 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,Stim 19 Aug 12 - 12:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 12:36 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 12:48 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 03:09 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 03:18 AM
Joe Offer 19 Aug 12 - 04:04 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 04:15 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 05:47 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 07:01 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Stim 19 Aug 12 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Stim 19 Aug 12 - 05:34 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 06:54 PM
Gallus Moll 19 Aug 12 - 07:00 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Aug 12 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Stim 19 Aug 12 - 10:47 PM
Haruo 20 Aug 12 - 12:11 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Aug 12 - 01:42 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Aug 12 - 04:30 AM
Allan C. 20 Aug 12 - 05:54 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Aug 12 - 07:06 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Aug 12 - 07:28 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Aug 12 - 08:55 AM
Haruo 20 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM
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GUEST 20 Aug 12 - 12:40 PM
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Haruo 20 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM
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Subject: How to learn a fast song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:44 AM

So a few minutes ago I was listening to Desi Arnaz sing "Babalu" and thought I'd like to learn it myself. I've sung in Spanish before- I can sing "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" in the original Spanish. The problem is "Babalu" is really fast so I can't catch all the words. I do know what it's about though, a man who's calling on Babalu Aye for help with his love problems and good health and luck for them both. How does everyone handle fast songs in another language? I'd really like to learn this one.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:05 PM

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,mando-player-91
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:07 PM

I've been wanting to sing in other language since I heard Pete Seeger and The Weavers as a kid.It takes practice start slow or maybe get together with someone who knows the language to help you out.for some reason I always found Spanish the hardest to sing


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:14 PM

Slowly! I know a couple of songs in other languages, and I found the only way to learn them was to get a written lyrics set PLUS a translation (a "sense" translation rather than a transliteration) and then start very slowly. Knowing the "story" of the song via the translation helped me a lot with both of them.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:21 PM

@GUEST: The song is [i]fast[/i].


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:25 PM

"Guest" was me with a dead cookie.

OK, so the song is fast....but you'll need to learn it slow. Like playing an instrument....when I learned "St Anne's Reel" on the guitar I had to play it initially at less than 1/4 speed, until I'd got it sorted, and then could speed up.

Vocals are the same...you need to imprint them, even if it means singing them horribly under-tempo until they're in your brain.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,mando-player-91
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:26 PM

It's best to start of with slower songs though. There's many that I would love to sing too but can't manage to do so


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: skarpi
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:29 PM

try Icelandic .good luck ...


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Subject: Lyr Add: Babalu (Margarita Lecuona)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:31 PM

Thanks, Rob!

The lyrics:
from: http://tropicananightclub.tripod.com/babalu.html
(an I Love Lucy fansite)

1st VERSE

Babalu
Babalu
Babalu aye
Babalu aye
Babalu
Ta empezando lo velorio
Que le hacemo a Babalu
Dame diez y siete velas
Pa ponerle en cruz.
Dame un cabo de tabaco mayenye
Y un jarrito de aguardiente,
Dame un poco de dinero mayenye
Pa' que me de la suerte.
Yo

CHORUS
Quiere pedi
Que mi negra me quiera
Que tenga dinero
Y que no se muera
Av! Vo le quiero pedi a Babalu 'na negra muy santa como tu que no tenga otro negro
Pa' que no se fuera.

2nd VERSE (CONCLUSION)
[Repeated 10 times:]

Babalu a ye!


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 07:55 PM

Has anyone here ever attempted to sing the above song, or have any tips for me?
(I like to learn songs I like, and I like this one.)


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:00 PM

"Dame diez y siete velas" means "The lady of the seven candles"


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM

Lyrics to Babalu :

Babalu
Babalu
Babalu aye
Babalu aye
Babalu
Ta empezando lo velorio
Que le hacemo a Babalu
Dame diez y siete velas
Pa ponerle en cruz.
Dame un cabo de tabaco mayenye
Y un jarrito de aguardiente,
Dame un poco de dinero mayenye
Pa' que me de la suerte.
Yo

Quiere pedi
Que mi negra me quiera
Que tenga dinero
Y que no se muera
Av! Vo le quiero pedi a Babalu 'na negra muy santa como tu que no tenga otro negro
Pa' que no se fuera.

Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu a ye!
Babalu
Babalu
Babalu aye
Babalu aye
Babalu

As to how to learn it, once you can say "Babalu Aye" you've
got about half. If you were me, or I was you, I'd read through the words a few times, locate the ones that had problems with (either with pronounciation or with the scan) and study my recording till I could recite them smoothly.

Given that it is a conga, one thinks that it would be next necessary to acquire a conga drum and learn the basic beat, and then begin trying to fit the lyrics to the beat. Once you've got that, the world is your oyster.

I would be wary, as a performer, of using this as my first foray into Cuban territory. It lacks a strong melody (or much of a melody at all) and doesn't have a compelling lyric, so there is not a lot to work with, except the drum.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:09 PM

Morwen, I think it means "Give me 17 candles."

dame - give me

diez y siete = 10 and 7 = 17

The only way to do it is to do it. Spanish is relatively easy, from an English perspective. The "rules" of pronunciation are relatively simple. Learn the pronunciation rules first, then read the text with your best pronunciation.

Nowadays, you can plug phrases into Google Translate. Not only will you see the translation, but you can play back a little robot voice to hear what it should sound like. You can put your mouse over specific words to see what means what (so you know how to emphasize).

Then it's memorize, memorise, memorize.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:16 PM

That was me. It looks like you've got the lyrics. One more thing: I used to know a number of people who played in Afro-Cuban type bands, and this is not a song that they did.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:34 PM

Stim: Probably because of the image that it evokes. It was a common standard for Desi Arnaz and was originally done by Miguelito Valdes, who got his start singing in Havana nightclubs. It's basically a cabaret standard.

Can you tell me what songs the people you knew did? I'd like to learn some Afro-Cuban songs.

Gibb Sahib: Thanks!


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 08:51 PM

Addition to the above post: I wouldn't know for sure, but I'd guess the reason is something like that.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 09:11 PM

Although the song is Cuban- it was composed in 1933 by Margarita Lecuona.
Stim: The people you know wouldn't happen to have done "Guantanamera", did they?Would that be a good choice? It's certainly got a good tune, and it's slower.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 12:26 AM

It's been a while, but some of the numbers I remember hearing a lot were the Tito Puente tunes Oye Como and Va,Ran Kan Kan, (whlch people tended to do together), Black Magic Woman(and a lot of the more familar Santana stuff, because it was very popular at the time) Mambo No.5(long before the Lou Bega version), a more serious song called Traigo La Salsa (you may recognize when you hear it).
They would know Guantanamera and love it. None of that "that's a 60's pop song and I only do traditional" music" stuff goes on. Celia Cruz did it with an up tempo, more danceable feel, and that is very well known too.

I love this kind of music (and a lot of other music from cultures not my own) and am always aware of, and frustrated by the language/cultural barrier. I am never going to understand this stuff like someone who has grown up speaking the language, and who has shared the cultural experiences that are reflected in the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 12:35 AM

I did a bit of googling--I did know that Babalu Aye was an African/Voudou/Santaria god, but I didn't know that in that he was equated with St. Lazarus, and that the Santaria worshippers make an pilgrimage to his shrine in the Cuban village of El Rincon on December 17 each year. Hmm.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 12:36 AM

Stim: Thanks.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 12:48 AM

And for the record, I did know about the Lazarus connection.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 03:09 AM

I have an MIDI for the song on my computer.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 03:18 AM

And I think (emphasis on think) I may have figured it out.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 04:04 AM

Hi, Morwen -
  1. If you're singing in a Romance language like Spanish, I think it helps to have familiarity in some Romance language, not necessarily Spanish.
  2. Make sure you understand the song - get a good general translation, and then make sure you understand what every word means.
  3. Listen to a recording by a native speaker, and then sing it over line-by-line
  4. I think the word I want is "elisions," but my understanding of "elision" is to sing two or more syllables distinctly, but on a single note. It happens often in Spanish, and it's a very difficult trick to master. Try singing the passage slowly enough that you can pronounce every syllable, and then gradually increase your speed.
Hope that helps.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 04:15 AM

Joe: Thanks for those tips. I am familiar with French.
2. Know what the song is about.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:47 AM

Addition to the above: This song is written from the perspective of a man preparing for a ritual to Babalu Aye, a Santeria god, with seventeen candles in the shape of a cross, and aguardiente. It's his prayer that the god give him the love of his girlfriend, (a black woman=negra) luck, and protection for them both. It's a religious song (but not a hymn).


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 07:01 AM

So far I think the trick with this song is to sing the words close together, with very short pauses. That helps keep the rhythm.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 07:14 AM

And another thing: This song is a prayer, so I have to sing it as one.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:31 PM

The ritual being prepared in the song is a funeral that is being offered to Babalu. It is a Voudou/Santaria ritual, though, so singing it as a prayer would be a whole different thing that what we learned in Sunday school.

In that tradition, from what I can garner, Babalu Aye is the divinity of disease and illness (particularly smallpox), also of healing. He brings both healing and death, and apparently, must be thanked for which ever of them them occurs.

Here is a clip:
Babalù Ayè orisha della santeria

You will notice at the end that they are smoking a cigar, which would be the "cabo di tobacco", and drinking a clear liquid which one assumes is the "jarrito di aguadienta", so the lyrics describe the ritual. One is inclined to guess that this song is either a prayer for healing the girl, or, if it is literally a funeral ritual, an appeal for her eternal life.

From what I understand, the ritual use of aguadiente is continuous for the course of these rituals, which can go on for quite a few days. Also, the music and religion are connected to the Afro-Cuban revival, which was a cultural and intellectual movement in the 20's-30's
that sought to reawaken the Afro-Cuban identity by reconnecting with cultural and artistic traditions.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:34 PM

So there is a lot more to this than we saw on "I Love Lucy":-)


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 06:54 PM

Stim: I never went to Sunday school, but some of my friends did and I have Christian Studies as a school subject. One of my teachers said she went to Sunday School for the cookies :).


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 07:00 PM

I can sing the national anthem of Norway and 'Per Spelman' as well as several French pop songs of the 1060s - learned by ear on       a) a Devonia cruise (to Norway and Iceland - we were not taught an Icelandic song!)and
b) from a French Assistante at school who used singing to improve our accents.
I can't necessarily tell you the meaning of everything I am singing mind you - - !


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 07:03 PM

Thanks for the information, btw!


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 10:47 PM

No Prob. You've got me interested in this now. I've actually changed my mind about playing the song, too. The Desi Arnaz version was a very theatrical show piece, and I wasn't hearing it as a song.

When I found the Miguelito Valdes version on YouTube, I finally heard the song in it, and I got the guitar out and started picking out the chords.   When I found this, though,Bola De Nieve's Babalu, I finally realized that it was not just singable, it was actually a sing along!


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:11 AM

What Joe mentioned, elision, is certainly a critical point in learning to sing anything at all fast in Spanish. More often than not in Spanish when two vowels come together (even if there's a word boundary between them) they will be sung as a single syllable, and often one of the vowels will essentially disappear. I don't know much Spanish, and I don't know this song, haven't ever heard it to my knowledge, but looking at your text I would say for the following portion the underlined parts are likely to be treated as single syllables:

Ta empezando lo velorio
Que le hacemo a Babalu
Dame diez y siete velas
Pa ponerle en cruz.
Dame un cabo de tabaco mayenye
Y un jarrito de aguardiente,
Dame un poco de dinero mayenye
Pa' que me de la suerte.

My wife and I rode with my niece who grew up in Mexico and now lives in Guatemala to visit a cousin/aunt and back early last week, and we sang some Spanish stuff (mainly hymns), and listening to her, the tendency for one vowel to completely disappear was much more marked than it would be if I sang the same text, which probably just means I would "sing with an American accent".


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 01:42 AM

Thanks, Haruo! Will work on that.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 04:30 AM

One interesting thing is- I found this http://www.oocities.org/tuillp/illmidis.html.
which has an midi file of the song, but when I try to sing along with the MIDI, it sounds a bit flat, as in I can barely recognise the tune. I don't think it's possible to sing this acappella.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 05:54 AM

Something that may be of help in figuring out a translation is to know that "Ta" is a contraction of "esta'" (I can't figure out how to put accent marks over the appropriate letter,) which means, "it is". Likewise, "Pa" is a contraction of "para", meaning "for". Babblefish doesn't know this.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:06 AM

Allan C. are you saying that I shouldn't try to sing this in Spanish? Or was "translation" a mistake?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:28 AM

Anyone want to help me figure out the MIDI?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 08:55 AM

Because the tune in it sounds very different to both the Desi Arnaz and Miguelito Valdes versions.


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Subject: RE: How to type a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM

If you're typing on a full-fledged desktop-PC keyboard with a calculator pad on the right side of the keyboard, you can probably get accents for Spanish (and French and German and Italian and Portuguese and Scandihoovian, and even some fancy-pants varieties of English) by holding down the ALT key while typing four-digit numbers on the calculator keypad:

à as in Che serà is ALT+0224
á as in Que será is ALT+0225
â as in mon âme is ALT+0226
ã as in São Paulo is ALT+0227
ä as in Häagen Dazs is ALT+0228
å as in smörgåsbord is ALT+0229
æ as in Encyclopædia is ALT+0230
ç as in façade is ALT+0231
è as in ma mère is ALT+0232
é as in alabaré is ALT+0233
ê as in moi-même is ALT+0234
ë as in the Brontë sisters is ALT+0235
ì as in lunedì, martedì... is ALT+0236
í as in para mí is ALT+0237
î as in maître d' is ALT+0238
ï as in Thaïs is ALT+0239
ð as in Loftleiðir Icelandic airlines is ALT+0240
ñ as in pequeño is ALT+0241
ò as in che può amare is ALT+0242
ó as in mi amor, mi corazón is ALT+0243
ô as in À toi la gloire, ô Ressuscité! is ALT+0244
õ as in õigekeelsussõnaraamat (standard dictionaries in Estonian!) is ALT+0245
ö as in bei mir bist du schön is ALT+0246
ø as in øl is ALT+0248
ù as in Più bella cosa is ALT+0249
ú as in hijo único is ALT+0250
û as in jeûne (as opposed to jeune) is ALT+0251
ü as in Deutschland über alles is ALT+0252
ý as in býr, mýl (in Sindarin) is ALT+0253
þ as in þe Olde Curiosity Shoppe is ALT+0254
ÿ as in L'Haÿ-les-Roses is ALT+0255
ß as in muß i' denn is ALT+0223

Note: many laptops, notebooks, etc, do not support this approach (this is my single biggest gripe about my own laptop, which was configured without my advice by a nephew who didn't know about this stuff). And Apple products use different systems to get odd letters.

Note: The above system, if it works on your keyboard>screen, can also be used to get a variety of other characters you may find handy at times, such as

—, an em-dash, is ALT+0151 (150 is en-dash)
¡ as in ¡Hola! is ALT+0161
¿ as in ¿Donde? is ALT+0191
½, one-half, is ALT+0189
©, Copyright, is ALT+0169
®, Registered Trademark, is ALT+0174
™, simple trademark, is ALT+0153
£, pound ("sterling") sign, is ALT+0163
¥, yen sign, is ALT+0165
«, left-pointing pointy quotes, is ALT+0171
», right-pointing pointy quotes, is ALT+0187
¢, cent sign, is ALT+0162
¶, "Pilcrow" i.e. paragraph, is ALT+0182
†, cross, is ALT+0134
‡, double-cross, is ALT+0135
…, ellipsis, is ALT+0133

etc.; you can also get capitalized diacriticized letters from À ALT+0192 to Þ ALT+0222 in more or less the same order as the lower-case ones.

Merry typing!


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:27 PM

And for some unknown reason, ALT+0140 and ALT+0156 are Œ and œ. Never have figured out why they aren't in the alphabetized section of the list, nor why ÷ (ALT+0247) is in the alphabetized part…

PS I apologize for the thread drift, but when the topic has to do with foreign-language texts, as highlighted by Allan C's comment «"Ta" is a contraction of "esta'" (I can't figure out how to put accent marks over the appropriate letter)», this information may be very helpful and pertinent...

Haruo


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:40 PM

Here's a much easier to follow version of the song. The melody stands out(as you pointed out, the other versions are" nightclub" performances, with all kinds of showy stuff tossed in) and, it turns out, when you hear it without the theatrics, the melody is something you can hum along with, or sing acapella Babalu by Los Caballeros .

The Desi and Miguelito versions are very different because Miguelito does it in rhumba rhythm(which seems to be the original intent) and Desi has re-arranged is as a Conga, and changed the minor sections to major.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:42 PM

That last GUEST was me.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM

In the comment thread below Los Caballeros' YouTube there are a couple of comments in what looks to be an African language:
Kiyala wedak naha !! Nevillege talent eka aayith match karanna baha. Mehema sindu aayith enne naha. Bohoma isthuthiy share keruwata!!

Obage watina kaalayen vinadi kihipayak gatha kara me geethaya asuwata saha Neville Fernando agaya kalata obata boho thuthy..!!
Anybody know what language, or what they say? All I know is it's not Swahili, and I'm guessing that "talent" is an English loan.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 02:56 PM

I know next to nothing about African languages, but according to the "Free Language Identifier" it is Makhuwa. I view this skeptically. whatlanguageisthis.com called it "Tagalog", but the Tagalog/English translator couldn't convert it, and at one point, FLI called it Swahili. Makhuwa is spoken in Mozambique, as is Portuguese, but not Spanish. Spanish however(as I am sure you know), is spoken in the Phillipines--

I was going to speculate about Santaria in the Phillipines or the African religion in Mozambique as a connection, but then I thought maybe somebody just liked the song, whatever it might be about...   

And yes, I have a life, I am just avoiding it right now!:-)


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 03:27 PM

I'm skeptical about language identifiers in general. Recently Google Translate added Esperanto (and does a generally adequate job of translating the gist of an Esperanto text into messy English), yet Google Chrome browser keeps telling me that Esperanto pages I'm viewing (especially in Facebook) are in Slovak, and asking if I want it to translate for me...

Anyhow, it's definitely not Tagalog, and I never even heard of Makhuwa before...


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 03:28 PM

I'm actually even more interested in the content of those two texts than in the language they're in, which is rare for me, as I tend to be a language nibbler.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 05:30 PM

Stim, I'm trying to find an easy accompaniment, but can't find one. I'd like to sing this with an accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 06:53 PM

Haruo, I now believe, with a high chance of accuracy, that the language is Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language spoken widely in Sri Lanka.

This I discovered by simply clicking thru to the YouTube library of goonewj, who archives music that was broadcast on the Sinhala Commercial Service in the early 70's. Los Caballeros turn out not to be Cuban, but Sri Lankan. As to what goonewj and guitarmanaruna had to say, you may click thru to their YouTube libraries and contact them directly. One is in London, the other in the US, and both speak English fluently.


Morwen...-What kind of accompaniment are you looking for?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:02 PM

I imagine you're right, I just don't think of Sinhala as romanized (though if it had been romanized Hindi I'm sure I would have recognized it)...


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:02 PM

An MIDI accompaniment. I found one, but it's a bit wonky. The link is on the 4.30 AM post. Could you help me figure it out? I heard you say there were minor-key sections? Which ones are those?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 07:04 PM

*Note: "you" is Stim.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 08:25 PM

I tried that link, and Google says it isn' there yet, whatever that means. I'll see if I can find something. When you say "wonky", what does that mean? The rubato at the beginning could be a bit of a problem in midi, because midi fovors even tempos, and you have to use tricks to get it to come out right. Other stuff can be just cut and pasted or swapped out.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 10:53 PM

It's actually an archive link
I can't recognise the tune.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM

Try this link. The problem with the 4:30 post link's archive link was that the final period was included in the URL. This is where it was supposed to take you.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 11:34 PM

@Stim: What minor sections are you talking about? Where are they in the song?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 02:24 AM

The midi file that is listed above is in the key of Ab. The beginning is in F minor, and starts on an Fminor chord. Then it opens to a B minor chord which resolves to the F minor--it does that a couple of times. Then it modulates to the Eb7 chord which eventually resolves to the Ab. It does that a few times. The babalu aye part is bounces from Eb7 to the Ab.

I am fooling around with the midi above, which, thanks to Haruo, I got.
I am mostly editing the voices so it doesn't sound so dippy. The instrumental parts themselves are actually really good


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 02:46 AM

Thanks, Stim! Could you show me where to download it when you're done, please?


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 02:49 AM

Note: I meant "send it to me."


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 11:07 AM

I think this will get you to it, and I set it so you could download it.
Babalu Sound File


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 07:17 PM

Thanks, Stim.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 01:31 AM

Morwen, I find this helpful for learning songs in languages that I don't speak:
I print a copy of the lyrics, then listen to a recording of the song and underline all the stressed syllables.

And with Spanish lyrics, the most difficult thing for me is to remember not to pronounce the h's, so I cross them out in the print-out.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 01:36 AM

Oh, I just remembered; you're a calypsonian, aren't you? That's actually where I first used that underlining technique – in learning to sing old calypsos. Even when they're in English, I need the underlines because the tempo is usually so foreign to me.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 10:10 PM

Just found out that it's apparently "Una negra bembona'' (a thick-lipped woman) not "una negra muy santa".

Tony: Not a real calypsonian yet.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 10:45 PM

Descriptions of people (Especially women) in racial terms are common in Caribbean cultures. For English examples, there's "Brown Girl In The Ring" , "Brown Skin Girl", "My High Brown." The woman being "thick-lipped" is a way of saying she's Black.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 11:21 PM

I just listened, and I think that's right. Other lyrics seem a bit off, too. I think that the first line of the verse sounds more like " Et en pensando ya velorio", though I don't speak Spanish, so that might not even be a real sentence. That's what it sounds like, though.

I don't hear "Que le hacemo a Babalu", it sound more like "Que me se la Babalu" which might not be a Spanish sentence either.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 11:42 PM

A more accurate translation might be this:

The vigil is starting
And what's to be done with Babalu?
Give me seventeen candles
To put in the shape of a cross.

And give me a cigar, Mayenye,
And a glass of brandy.
And give me a little money, Mayenye,
To bring me luck.

I want to ask
That my black woman love me.
And that she have money
And that she not die.
Ay! I want to ask Babalu
That my thick-lipped black woman
Have no other black man
So that she not leave.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 11:49 PM

The first line is talking about the vigil for Babalu Aye. People who practice Santeria with Catholicism hold the vigil on St. Lazarus' feast day. The male narrator is saying- wondering out loud- what's to be done with the statue. He asks for a cigar, a glass of brandy, and seventeen candles to put in the shape of a cross.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 02:27 AM

That makes much more sense. It would be good to get the Spanish lyrics that correspond to one of the videos we have. I am now invested in learning this song, and, after repeated listenings, I can approximate most of it, but there are a couple places where I can not get it at all. It's making me nuts. Plus, I found an article from the local paper about a San Lazaro/Babalu ritual they've started doing every year on 12/17, and I am thinking about going. Do you see what you've done to me? I hope you're happy:-)


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Fossil
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 08:31 PM

While the last few posts on this thread have been devoted to just one song in Spanish, there might be a bit more to be learned in taking a more general approach.

Personally, I had exactly this problem last year when I sang with the NZ Anthem Choirs for the Rugby World Cup. As a choir singer for four of the matches, I had to learn anthems in "foreign" languages for two counties - Wales and South Africa. And not only learn the words, but the bass parts as well.

In both cases I found the only way to do it was to write down the words phonetically. We had been given the music and words for each anthem, but written Welsh misleads, as it is not pronounced in the same way that you would if reading English. And the South African national anthem contains lines in five different languages, three African tongues, Afrikaans (basically Dutch) and English. The latter I two I could cope with, since I speak some Dutch and I am a native English speaker. The African languages again had to be learned phonetically. Fortunately, the NZ Choral Federation had anticipated this problem and they provided pronunciation guides for all the anthems on their website.

In both cases, I also found that looking up the Wikipedia pages for each anthem was useful as they gave an English translation, so I was able to get the idea of what was being sung, which in an indefinable way helped to get the emotions across.

Having got the phonetics and the music, it was just down to hard work and practice. The Welsh anthem "My henlad..." is a glorious song to sing anyway and the bass part just fell into place. The African words seemed to make a kind of sense and both anthems came out beautifully when we sang them on the pitch.

Fortunately, Wales got into the quarter-finals so I got two chances to sing their anthem. A great experience which improved my sight-reading considerably.

The general point seems to be that if you want to sing anything in a language foreign to you, do a lot of work on pronunciation, understand what you are singing about and then go for it!


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 09:12 PM

That's a perfect way to do it, Fossil. And our problem here is that we can't seem to find the right words to the song.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 26 Aug 12 - 09:23 PM

Stim: Actually my main interest is Trinidadian calypso, but calypsonians sing songs from other traditions frequently.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Sep 12 - 08:21 PM

As an addition to the post where I mentioned racial description, there's also Wilmoth Houdini's "Black But Sweet". "The sweetest women in this world are black."
Nice.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Sep 12 - 08:58 PM

This, I think, is the point at which you throw in the towel:

Anthem of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechen_language

Between 40 and 60 consonants, 44 vowels, all kinds of other phonetic weirdness, 8 cases and 6 genders.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Sep 12 - 09:02 PM

@Jack: Wow...


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 05 Sep 12 - 03:44 AM

There are two ways to learn - one method is through imitation, ie listening to a recording over and over and over until it sticks in your head. I have memories of this from the school choir having to sing in
German and Latin.

To learn from text/sheet music etc it is a big help to learn the alphabet of the language - ie difference in pronunciation. - phrasebooks often provide an English equivalent to how words are pronounced, but that is only an approximation, so it is worth the effort to learn the proper pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: How to learn a song in another language?
From: GUEST,iNSaNeoTAkU
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 12:43 PM

I would suggest reading the lyrics without the music accompaniment, and work through the song at your own pace. Try practicing one verse at a time, starting slowly, then each time you sing it sing a bit faster until you can sing it close to the original speed. Once you've done that try to find a lyric video (or a video of the song and open another tab with the lyrics) and practice with the music. Listen to the song till you can remember the tune and that's all the advice I could think of, hope this helps!


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