Today, the challenge is to translate a song that can actually be sung in Toki Pona. Sung so that it sounds natural. Without stretching the syllables to catch a rhythm that seems to run away from you. If you know what I mean. Not that easy.
I have tried several times to translate French songs but I have never succeeded in reproducing the metrical balance of the verses while keeping the rhyme structure. From this point of view, I feel that the Greek language is a bit more tokiponizable.
Here is a song written in the 70’s by Giannis Kalatzis. I don’t really speak Greek but I know this song since I was a child. It is simple and funny.
The song is about a certain Koutalianos who has Herculean strength and is able to do incredible things but who shakes like a fish in front of his wife.
Panagis Koutalianos (1847-1916) was a Greek wrestler who remained unbeaten until the end.
Needless to say, the grammar of toki pona is not respected at all. I followed the Greek wording, which is not very grammatical either, but it does not pose a comprehension problem. I quickly wanted to have a singable song to impress my family. Now I’ll have to try to correct all this while keeping the rhythm and the rhymes. n…
r/bestrand did a tremendous translation that is grammatically correct.
jan Kutalano li pake e tomo tawa suli
jan Kutalano li uta e kiwen ma
jan Kutalano li pakala e ma nena, kin!
taso, lon tomo lili anpa pi Kutalano
la ona li jasima e kala pi kama moli lon sinpin meli ona
jan Kutalano li pilin monsuta suli tan meli ona, a!
jan Kutalano li sama e kala pi open moli lon sinpin meli ona
o toki tawa jan ala e ni!
jan Kutalano li jo e ko ma lon insa uta ona
jan Kutalano li mije pi pilin monsuta tan ala, kin
jan Kutalano li mije pi sama soweli wawa, kin!
It goes like this: