Google Translate Does Song Lyrics: Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo, K-Pop style

What better way to start 2024 than by bringing back our “Google Translate does song lyrics” series? We’re kicking things off with a recent pop song by Olivia Rodrigo and letting Google Translate do the work (something you will only ever hear us say as part of this blog series).

Vampire topped the charts in several countries across the globe when it was released last year, as well as reaching the top 10 in many countries where English is not the first language. This, therefore, is probably not the first time these lyrics have been copied into Google Translate. When I was deciding which language to translate up-and-coming artist Olivia Rodrigo’s song into, I thought it was a great opportunity to see what would happen if Vampire were a K-Pop song.

If you haven’t heard the song before, or fancy a little song break, have a listen below so you can compare the lyrics!

Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo

It is definitely a song you can belt, isn’t it? Would it also be a belter if it were a K-Pop song? Here are Google Translate’s lyrics:

흡혈귀

지금은 어떻게 지내냐고 묻는 만족감을 주기 싫어
당신이 아끼는 척하는 사람들을 기반으로 성은 어떻게 지어졌나요?
당신이 원했던 바로 그 것
널 좀 봐, 멋진 남자, 해냈어
가끔 눈을 감으면 파티와 다이아몬드가 보여
6개월간 고문을 금단의 낙원으로 팔아넘겼지
나는 당신을 진심으로 사랑했습니다
멍청함을 비웃어야 해

왜냐면 난 정말 큰 실수를 저질렀거든
하지만 넌 최악의 상황도 괜찮아 보이도록 만들어
그게 이상하다는 걸 알았어야 했는데
넌 밤에만 나오잖아
나는 내가 똑똑하다고 생각하곤 했어
하지만 당신은 나를 너무 순진하게 보이게 만들었어요
당신이 나를 부품으로 팔았던 방식
네가 나에게 이빨을 박으면서, 오
블러드서커, 드림 크러셔
빌어먹을 뱀파이어처럼 피가 말라붙어

그리고 내가 얘기한 여자들은 모두 네가 나쁜 소식이라고 말했어
넌 그 사람들을 미쳤다고 했어, 맙소사, 나도 그 사람들을 미쳤다고 말하는 방식이 싫어
당신은 정말 설득력이 있어요
움찔하지 않고 어떻게 거짓말을 합니까?
아, 정말 매혹적이고, 마비되고, 비극적인 작은 스릴이군요.
당신이 어떻게 하는지 알 수가 없고, 신은 내가 절대 그러지 않을 거라는 걸 아시죠?
그녀가 아닌 나에게 갔다
네 또래 여자들은 더 잘 알거든

나는 정말 큰 실수를 저질렀습니다.
하지만 넌 최악의 상황도 괜찮아 보이도록 만들어
그게 이상하다는 걸 알았어야 했는데
넌 밤에만 나오잖아
나는 내가 똑똑하다고 생각하곤 했어
하지만 당신은 나를 너무 순진하게 보이게 만들었어요
당신이 나를 부품으로 팔았던 방식
네가 나에게 이빨을 박으면서, 오
블러드서커, 드림 크러셔
빌어먹을 뱀파이어처럼 피가 말라붙어

(아)
진정한 사랑이라고 했는데 그게 힘들지 않을까요?
넌 누구도 사랑할 수 없어, 그건 너에게 마음이 있다는 뜻일 수도 있으니까
난 당신을 도와주려고 노력했지만, 이제 그럴 수 없다는 걸 알아요
왜냐면 당신이 생각하는 그런 종류의 일이 난 절대 이해하지 못할 일이거든요

나는 정말 큰 실수를 저질렀습니다.
하지만 넌 최악의 상황도 괜찮아 보이도록 만들어
그게 이상하다는 걸 알았어야 했는데
넌 밤에만 나오잖아
나는 내가 똑똑하다고 생각하곤 했어
하지만 당신은 나를 너무 순진하게 보이게 만들었어요
당신이 나를 부품으로 팔았던 방식
네가 나에게 이빨을 박으면서, 오
흡혈귀, 드림 크러셔
빌어먹을 뱀파이어처럼 피가 말라붙어

I wish I could speak (well, sing) Korean to see how this translation would sound!

Before continuing, I want to pause and apologise to our Korean-speaking readers for any profanities. Even after specifically selecting the clean version of this song, Google Translate had other ideas. You’ll understand when you read the English machine translation below…

Vampire

I don’t want to give you the satisfaction of asking how you are doing now.
How is your last name built on people you pretend to care about?
exactly what you wanted
Look at you, cool guy, you did it
Sometimes when I close my eyes I see parties and diamonds
Six months of torture sold to a forbidden paradise
I loved you with all my heart
You have to laugh at stupidity

‘Cause I made a really big mistake
But you make even the worst seem okay
I should have known that was weird
You only come out at night
I used to think I was smart
But you made me look so naive
The way you sold me for parts
When you sink your teeth into me, oh
Bloodsucker, Dream Crusher
My blood dries like a f****** vampire

And every girl I talked to said you were bad news
You called them crazy, oh my god, I hate the way you call them crazy too
you are so persuasive
How do you lie without flinching?
Ah, what a fascinating, numbing, tragic little thrill.
I don’t know how you do it, and God knows I never will.
she went to me not her
Girls your age know better

I made a really big mistake.
But you make even the worst seem okay
I should have known that was weird
You only come out at night
I used to think I was smart
But you made me look so naive
The way you sold me for parts
When you sink your teeth into me, oh
Bloodsucker, Dream Crusher
My blood dries like a f****** vampire

(ah)
You said it was true love, but wouldn’t that be difficult?
You can’t love anyone, that might mean you have a heart
I tried to help you, but now I know I can’t
‘Cause the kind of thing you think I’ll never understand

I made a really big mistake.
But you make even the worst seem okay
I should have known that was weird
You only come out at night
I used to think I was smart
But you made me look so naive
The way you sold me for parts
When you sink your teeth into me, oh
Vampire, Dream Crusher
My blood dries like a f****** vampire


Google Translate has surprised us this time and hasn’t done an awful job. There are, however, some questionable choices, it definitely doesn’t have the same flow does it?

As well as the obvious F-bomb that has managed to make its way into the lyrics, Google Translate has been inconsistent with its translation of the chorus. On the first two occasions, the final phrase starts with “Bloodsucker, Dream Crusher”, which are accurate to the song lyrics. On the final occasion, however, Google Translate decides to mix it up and writes “Vampire, Dream Crusher”. While we were often taught at school to avoid repetition, this is not one of those times to do so, consistency here is key.

In the first verse Google Translate confuses “castle” and “last name“, this changes the meaning of the lyrics and makes the English lyrics confusing – two big “no”s in the translation industry.

The biggest challenge when it comes to translating song lyrics is keeping the right rhythm, the correct number of syllables in each phrase and rhyming when necessary. Google Translate has definitely not been successful in any of these areas this time round.


Do you think Google Translate has been successful in translating any other lyrics? Why not take a look at the other songs from our Google Translate does Song Lyrics series to find out:

Just like with music, many other industries need creativity to produce an impressive final product. Marketing translation is one of them and is an area we specialise in. Our team of translators are creative (clearly something that Google Translate is not) and they apply this to their work. With our range of translation services, we can help with all of your language needs. You won’t need to worry about inaccurate translations and especially accidental profanities slipping in…


Kitty LEaF blog 2021

About the Author

Kitty

Kitty Trewhitt is a translation project manager at LEaF Translations. She oversees each phase of the translation project and keeps in contact with both the client and linguists throughout the process. Besides managing our projects, Kitty also translates and proofreads texts from French and Italian into English, as well as creating LEaF’s monthly newsletter and managing the company social media accounts.