Google Translate does Song Lyrics: Round #1 – Perfect

Here at LEaF, we have pretty high standards when it comes to translations and it is probably fair to say that we give Google Translate a hard press at times (check out our blog on machine translation here). Yes, it is true, we are not the biggest fans of the automated translation tool that churns out translations devoid of nuance, accuracy and soul. But it does have its uses:

Welcome to Google Translate does Song Lyrics!

Here’s how it works:

1) Take the lyrics to a song, put them in Google Translate, choose your target language and let the machine do its finest. It can be any target language you like; from Amharic to Zulu. Yes, really.

2) Then, and here comes the clever bit, copy the text, load up Google Translate in a new tab, paste the text and translate it back into English.

3) Enjoy the results.

image 1 LEaF Translations

What better place to start than with a song that lies very close to our hearts here at LEaF:

Perfect by Fairground Attraction

Here is that same song in German, courtesy of Google Translate:

Perfekt

Ich will nicht halbherzige Liebesbeziehungen
Ich brauche jemanden, der sich wirklich interessiert
Das Leben ist zu kurz, um dumme Spiele zu spielen
Ich habe mir versprochen, dass ich das nicht wieder tun werde

Es muss perfekt sein, es muss sich lohnen, ja
Zu viele Leute nehmen die zweite Basis
Nun, ich werde nichts weniger nehmen
Es muss sein, ja, perfekt

Junge Herzen sind dumm, sie machen solche Fehler
Sie sind viel zu eifrig, um ihre Liebe weg zu geben
Nun, ich war zu oft dumm gewesen
Jetzt bin ich entschlossen, ich werde es richtig machen

Es muss perfekt sein, es muss sich lohnen, ja
Zu viele Leute nehmen am zweitbesten
Aber ich werde nichts weniger nehmen
Es muss sein, ja, perfekt

Junge Herzen sind dumm, sie machen solche Fehler
Sie sind viel zu eifrig, um ihre Liebe weg zu geben
Nun, ich war zu oft dumm gewesen
Jetzt bin ich entschlossen, ich werde es richtig machen

Es muss perfekt sein, es muss sich lohnen, ja
Zu viele Leute nehmen am zweitbesten
Aber ich werde nichts weniger nehmen
Es muss sein, ja, perfekt
Es muss sein, ja, es lohnt sich
Es muss perfekt sein

And here is Google Translate’s English version of the Fairground Attraction classic:

Perfect

I do not want half-hearted love
I need someone who is really interested
Life is too short to play stupid games
I promised I would not do it again

It must be perfect, it must be worth it, yes
Too many people take the second base
Well, I will take nothing less
It must be, yes, perfect

Young hearts are stupid, they make such mistakes
They are way too eager to give away their love
Well, I was too stupid
Now I’m determined I’ll do it right

It must be perfect, it must be worth it, yes
Too many people take second
But I will take nothing less
It must be, yes, perfect

Young hearts are stupid, they make such mistakes
They are way too eager to give away their love
Well, I was too stupid
Now I’m determined I’ll do it right

It must be perfect, it must be worth it, yes
Too many people take second
But I will take nothing less
It must be, yes, perfect
It must be, yes, it is worth it
It must be perfect

Not a bad effort, Google Translate, although I’m not sure we would call it perfect! Check out our other Google Translate Does Song Lyric attempts, or find out more about our real focus here at LEaF – expert website translations.

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About the Author

Lucy LEaF blog 2021

Lucy

Lucy Pembayun, founder of the translation company LEaF Translations and a Qualified Member of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (MITI), is a German to English translator with over 14 years’ experience. Her true passion lies in helping great, ethical businesses reach new international customers with excellent quality translations. Lucy specialises in German to English translations, including certified translations, websites, articles, sales brochures and other marketing materials.

Lucy graduated with an MA(Hons) in German from Edinburgh University before being awarded a DAAD scholarship to study for a post-graduate Masters in Germany. She has lived in Bamberg, Fulda and Berlin, and now resides in York, UK, with her husband, two children and fox red lab.

Contact Lucy directly now.