Little Shop Translated

edited October 2012 in Theater
The other day I was thinking about the blog post Sarah wrote ("Thirty Years Ago Today": http://howardashman.com/blog/thirty-years-ago-today/) where she linked a few pages from international productions of Little Shop. Being Norwegian I was intrigued by the fact that Little Shop had been put up over here so recently (2010, it's the Scandinavian one in the blog entry) because I didn't know that. (At the time, I wasn't paying attention.) And it made me think about international versions in general.

Now, I'm not sure if anyone else here are from countries where Little Shop has been translated, but I was mainly just wondering if anyone had heard translated versions and what they thought about them, both in general and specific versions.

Now, I realise that Howard's original words - and sometimes more than that - get lost in translation, but I normally find translations interesting at best and horrible at worst. (This goes for both things like Little Shop and the Disney-movies)

With all of that said, I thought the Norwegian version of "Suddenly, Seymour" was okay:
It's way less... subtle, I guess might be the word, than the original, though: "Her har du Seymour/Jeg står ved din side/Aldri skal noen få slå deg igjen/Her har du Seymour/Du slipper å lide/Og for bestandig, han er din venn." ("Here's Seymour/I'm at your side/Nobody will ever be allowed to hit you again/Here's Seymour/You don't have to suffer/And for forever, he is your friend") (Transcription and [literal] translation of the translation by me, so it might be a little off, but I think it should be pretty accurate.)

That's one of two songs available online, the other one is a bit of the title track:

So, anyone else have any interesting non-English versions to share? I'd love to hear other languages. :)

PS: I hope posting those videos was okay, Sarah.


  • edited October 2012
    I love, love, love these videos. It's so great hearing these songs in other languages. Being a typical American, I speak only English. We recently got a translated script as a courtesy - I said it looked fine to me since I had no idea what they were saying (when we get beyond French and Spanish, I'm totally lost. We rely on our reps in the foreign countries to protect us and the script). Some translators are real artists and some, I guess, are real hacks. They not only have to translate the lyrics, but they have to work within their own language and idioms to make sense to the audience. Howard did work with the person who originally translated the French version, being a bit of a Francophile, he quite enjoyed himself.

    Thanks for posting. It's more than OK, it's great.
  • I'm glad you liked that! :)

    I think it has a great flow, but it's a bit more straight-forward then I had expected and that put me off a bit. Listening to "Suddenly Seymour" a few more times, I realise I actually like it. And I'm not usually a fan of translations of *anything* so I'm surprised.

    There's a part in the beginning of the song that I really enjoy without actually knowing why I like it. The bit that's translated from the "Here, take my kleenex/Wipe that lipstick away" part in the original ("Her, ta en kleenex/gni den malinga av"). I find it really funny for some reason.

    Nice to hear that Howard actually worked with the original French translator, too, I've always wondered about that in general, if the songwriters ever have any input on those sort of things.
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