“Act Cool” is a rap song co-written and performed by Wonder Girls member Lim. I am not usually a hip-hop fan, so the first several times I heard the song (particularly its repetitive intro with that particular slurry synth I hate), I was pretty uninterested, often to the point of skipping it. One line in particular jumped out to me each time I listened through, though:
~~~~~~~~~ I can rap in English.
~~~~~~~~~ Speaking foreign language.
And each time it made me cringe a bit.
This came about because I like doing “good” translations of songs, where “good” means both true to the original meaning and lyrically, musically, and prosodically pleasing at the end. Most translations (or parodies) only accomplish one of these.
The original song “Wedding Dress” (Taeyang) is pretty great. I picked it up from my K-pop friends, and (later) they came across this translated version (J. Reyez and Tommy C.). This is actually a very good one (I love the nod to “Apologize”), but it loses a bit of the original story. So then to back up my claim that I could…