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Author Topic: Sumahama Mistake  (Read 3530 times)
SurferDownUnder
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« on: May 17, 2015, 04:53:54 AM »

So does anyone know why they didn't get accurate Japanese for the spoken-Japanese part of Sumahama? Did they think they could just have a whack with the Japanese that Mike knew? It confuses me Tongue
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2015, 07:15:24 AM »

OK, so what's wrong with it? Sounds OK to me - but I know nothing about the language!  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2015, 07:21:55 AM »

The mistake was twofold-wrong lead singer and putting it on an album.  Shocked Shocked Shocked
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 09:07:17 AM »

Um, I thought it was accurate? Where'd you get the info it's not? If I recall, on Surfer moon site there is even translation.
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2015, 09:17:38 AM »

It's accurate, just pronounced really poorly.
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2015, 10:34:15 AM »

 the mistake was releasing it,,,,lol, but as far as the lyrics what can one expect from someone who has a Californian accent? The same with Elvis when he was singing spanish and italian songs and his southern drawl still came through... LOL
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2015, 10:49:23 AM »

People mispronounce "karaoke," "sudoku," and "karate" all of the time :D. I've heard people do worse Japanese "accents" before, lol.
Even though I'm Japanese, however, I can't offer much insight to the song since I never (fluently) learned the language :/....
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 10:50:19 AM by undercover-m » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2015, 12:35:10 PM »

OK, so what's wrong with it? Sounds OK to me - but I know nothing about the language!  Smiley

Some of you here may recall the name Susumu Ogata, a Japanese mega fan. Pretty much as soon as it was released he pointed out that the Japanese doesn't make complete sense, and I'm thinking he'd know.

The odd thing is, I'm sure I read somewhere that said section was the work of Sumako Kelly, Mike's sig. oth. at the time.
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2015, 03:25:59 PM »

OK, so what's wrong with it? Sounds OK to me - but I know nothing about the language!  Smiley

Some of you here may recall the name Susumu Ogata, a Japanese mega fan. Pretty much as soon as it was released he pointed out that the Japanese doesn't make complete sense, and I'm thinking he'd know.

The odd thing is, I'm sure I read somewhere that said section was the work of Sumako Kelly, Mike's sig. oth. at the time.

Ahh! Lieutenant Susumu Ogata is one wild and crazy guy!!  Wonder whatever happened to him... ( guess I could ask BLH if he's heard from him recently) 

perhaps  your recall of the odd reading  is similar to this? 

Not specifically checked it out, but that's likely one of those BB factoids that "everyone knows" but, on closer inspection, has no apparent source.
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Nicko1234
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2015, 03:52:21 PM »

You can read an 11 page fan article about Sumahama here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=634039246673968&set=a.634015046676388.1073741828.100002036942309&type=1&theater

It essentially says that the wrong lyrics were originally printed in the Japanese release (not uncommon for any album released in Japan) and that different lyrics were printed for the single release. And that people misheard hinen no (meaning tragic) for kirei no (which is incorrect Japanse) along with a few other mistakes.
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2015, 04:13:06 PM »

I'm not a native Japanese speaker or anything close to it, but to my ear the problem with the Japanese lyrics is that they don't sound particularly idiomatic.  For example, the line:

Sugita ai o sagashi ni iku

If you're just looking up words in an English-Japanese dictionary, you'll find that "Sugita" means "passed," ai means "love," "o" is the grammatical particle marking an indirect object, "sagashi" means "to look for," "ni" is the grammatical particle marking an indirect object or direction, and "iku" means "to go."  So the line is meant to mean something like "Go looking for your past love."

The problem is, in English we use "love" to mean both the abstract feeling and people/things that we have that feeling for.  This is not so in Japanese, where you would have to use a word like "koibito."  Also, the word "sugita," even though it's the past tense of a verb meaning "pass," it's not used for things in the past, but rather in the sense of passing something by or passing through something.  The right phrase idiomatically would be "mukashi no" ("of the past").  In general, it sounds like the person who wrote the lyrics had to look up a number of words in a dictionary and wasn't aware how they were commonly used.
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2015, 04:18:38 PM »

You can read an 11 page fan article about Sumahama here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=634039246673968&set=a.634015046676388.1073741828.100002036942309&type=1&theater

It essentially says that the wrong lyrics were originally printed in the Japanese release (not uncommon for any album released in Japan) and that different lyrics were printed for the single release. And that people misheard hinen no (meaning tragic) for kirei no (which is incorrect Japanse) along with a few other mistakes.

To my ear, it definitely sounds like Mike is singing "kirei no" and not "hinen no."  Admittedly, that's a rather minor grammatical mistake about adjective conjugation and most people would probably still understand the meaning.
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2015, 04:48:02 PM »

OK, so what's wrong with it? Sounds OK to me - but I know nothing about the language!  Smiley

Some of you here may recall the name Susumu Ogata, a Japanese mega fan. Pretty much as soon as it was released he pointed out that the Japanese doesn't make complete sense, and I'm thinking he'd know.

The odd thing is, I'm sure I read somewhere that said section was the work of Sumako Kelly, Mike's sig. oth. at the time.

yeah, I remember that name. late '70's and early 80's. when I bought larry froebe's collection, larry threw in tons of stuff from susumu. they traded records. susumu even had records pressed up of beach boy songs that he did. I think he even played all the instruments. put beach boy stickers on everything he mailed out. he sure was into the group and the music that's for sure.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 04:49:20 PM by Steve Mayo » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2015, 05:17:04 PM »

OK, so what's wrong with it? Sounds OK to me - but I know nothing about the language!  Smiley

Some of you here may recall the name Susumu Ogata, a Japanese mega fan. Pretty much as soon as it was released he pointed out that the Japanese doesn't make complete sense, and I'm thinking he'd know.

The odd thing is, I'm sure I read somewhere that said section was the work of Sumako Kelly, Mike's sig. oth. at the time.

yeah, I remember that name. late '70's and early 80's. when I bought larry froebe's collection, larry threw in tons of stuff from susumu. they traded records. susumu even had records pressed up of beach boy songs that he did. I think he even played all the instruments. put beach boy stickers on everything he mailed out. he sure was into the group and the music that's for sure.

here's the front and back of Susumu's 2011 newsletter; ( you can see him with Al !! )   

     

   
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Nicko1234
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2015, 04:15:57 AM »

Firstly, I should say that the Facebook piece makes it clear that the lyrics that came with the original Japanese album and single were completely wrong. They were obviously written purely from listening to the song and nobody bothered to check if they were correct.


To my ear, it definitely sounds like Mike is singing "kirei no" and not "hinen no."  Admittedly, that's a rather minor grammatical mistake about adjective conjugation and most people would probably still understand the meaning.

Apologies. That should have said `hiren no`. Blame it on the small Facebook font and my ropey Japanese. I have now asked a Japanese friend about the lyrics...

Throughout the song Mike`s pronunciation and intonation are mediocre (for obvious reasons) but it seems probable that he was trying to sing hiren and wrongly elongated the e. I can`t imagine how he would have known this word in 1979 otherwise.

Also, the live version sounds even more like hiren.

I'm not a native Japanese speaker or anything close to it, but to my ear the problem with the Japanese lyrics is that they don't sound particularly idiomatic.  For example, the line:

Sugita ai o sagashi ni iku


If you're just looking up words in an English-Japanese dictionary, you'll find that "Sugita" means "passed," ai means "love," "o" is the grammatical particle marking an indirect object, "sagashi" means "to look for," "ni" is the grammatical particle marking an indirect object or direction, and "iku" means "to go."  So the line is meant to mean something like "Go looking for your past love."

The problem is, in English we use "love" to mean both the abstract feeling and people/things that we have that feeling for.  This is not so in Japanese, where you would have to use a word like "koibito."  Also, the word "sugita," even though it's the past tense of a verb meaning "pass," it's not used for things in the past, but rather in the sense of passing something by or passing through something.  The right phrase idiomatically would be "mukashi no" ("of the past").  In general, it sounds like the person who wrote the lyrics had to look up a number of words in a dictionary and wasn't aware how they were commonly used.

This lyric is also incorrect as mentioned in the Facebook piece. If you listen to the song again then you will hear that Mike does not sing the word `iku` at all (in either the studio or live versions). This is still printed in Japanese versions of the album though!

The correct verse is:

Itsu, itsu mama. Sumahama ni
Itsu mata iku no
Sugita ai o sagashi ni
Umi no kanata, Sumahama

Sorry but you are incorrect with your criticism of the Japanese. My friend confirms that this verse`s lyrics are perfect Japanese. `Mukashi no koibito` would have a different meaning and would be less poetic and romantic.

The last verse has the `ki no ha` lyric which means a tree`s leaves. But `ko no ha` would have been more correct as this means the leaves that are about to fall.

For those who haven`t looked, Yoshikuni Nakagami is the fan who posted this info. He shows the record sleeve that Mike corrected the lyrics on and says that he was the person to give Mike the Japanese coat that he wears during the encore of the excellent C50 show that is up on Youtube in perfect quality.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 06:48:23 AM by Nicko1234 » Logged
joshferrell
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2015, 02:27:38 PM »

Mike Love should do a cover of this song on his next solo cd..... anyone want to tell us what is being said in THIS song?Huh


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VILgSsesD0
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2015, 03:48:05 PM »

The mistake was twofold-wrong lead singer and putting it on an album.  Shocked Shocked Shocked

Pretty much the REAL bottom line.  "Whennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...."....you can't speak the language be it Japanese...German...or English for that matter...get HELP.

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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2015, 03:54:49 PM »

Such a cheesy song and album on the whole!
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2015, 04:43:14 PM »

Mike Love should do a cover of this song on his next solo cd..... anyone want to tell us what is being said in THIS song?Huh


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VILgSsesD0

What Mike really needs to cover is "I'm Turning Japanese"!
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joshferrell
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2015, 04:53:19 PM »

Mike Love should do a cover of this song on his next solo cd..... anyone want to tell us what is being said in THIS song?Huh


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VILgSsesD0

What Mike really needs to cover is "I'm Turning Japanese"!
I really think so
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2015, 05:48:01 PM »

Mike Love should do a cover of this song on his next solo cd..... anyone want to tell us what is being said in THIS song?Huh


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VILgSsesD0

What Mike really needs to cover is "I'm Turning Japanese"!

 LOL LOL, yes,  it's in a dialect appropriately dubbed Japandental Mahanese.
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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2018, 09:01:21 PM »

Sorry for bumping up old thread, but I happened to find this thread on google search, and I thought I'd post what I posted on the song-by-song discussion thread on PSF :

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here are the translation for the Japanese part of the song Sumahama:

須磨浜
Sumahama
Sumahama
(As confirmed in in an interview with a Japanese music magazine in 2013, Mike apparently sing about the beach of Suma(Sumahama), which is located in Hyogo prefecture, yet some Japanese listeners mistakenly take it that Mike sings simply about sunahama(the beach of sand))

そこは恋する人たちが
Soko wa koi suru hito tachi ga
It's where people in love

手に手を取って歩いた
Te ni te wo totte aruita
Walked hand in hand

きれいの(悲恋の)白い浜
Kirei* no siroi hama
Beautiful white beach (White Beach of sad love affair)
(*He can be heard here as kirei, which means beautiful, but doesn't connect with "no" which comes after it. He possibly wanted to sing Hiren, which means sad love affair)


いついつママ
Itsu itsu mama*
When, when, mama
(*The word "mama" is very inappropriate, given he sings a song about old Japan. Admittedly, "mama" is generally used in Japan today, but the word was imported from the us supposedly around Meiji period(1867-1912). So, in old Japan, which I think means Edo period(1603-1867), "mama" is never used. I'd suggest Mike that he use "ka-san", which also means mother, instead.) *1


須磨浜にいつまた行くの?
Sumahama ni itsu mata iku no?
When will we go to Sumahama again?

過ぎた愛を探しに行く
Sugita* ai wo sagasi ni iku *2
Searching for the past love
(*He couldn't sing properly here)

海の彼方、須磨浜
Umi no kanata, Sumahama
Far away in the sea, Sumahama

---------------------------------------------

須磨浜
Sumahama
Sumahama

秋に木の葉が散るように
Aki ni ko no ha ga chiru you ni*
Just like leaves falling in the autumn
(*He got it wrong here, too. He mis-pronounced two words- Aki(autumn) as Saki (before), and ko-no-ha(leaves) as ki-no-ha.)

寂しく悲しい恋の歌
Sabisiku kanasii koi no uta
The lonely, sad song of love


須磨浜の海から
Sumahama no umi kara
From the sea of Sumahama

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

*1 When I posted this there, a poster pointed out that "old japan" may just refer to Japan as a country with long history, not Japan a century ago. Even if she's right, I think it's pretty inappropriate, as the word "mama" is not usually associated with what Japanese think of as, say, good old Japan. It's a term of westernized Japan. It's in no way a bad or embarrassing word, but it doesn't fit this particular context of the song, as shown on the postcard on L.A. cover.

*2 The same poster told me, according to what Mike said to a Japanese fan, that this verse is actually "Sugita ai o sagashi ni", which means pretty much the same as what I dictated above.


FYI, There are additional Japanese lyrics sung by Mike in concerts in Japan back in 1979. I'll probably translate and post them as well in the near future.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 09:01:50 PM by Watamushi(Polly Poller) » Logged
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