Wes – Alane (also with Afrikaans mondegreens)

I’m surprised (and not) to find that this was at the top of some European charts, though I only “discovered” this song and video today, thanks to my boyfriend showing me a version subtitled with Afrikaans mondegreens. I’ll show the mondegreens later, but the result is something akin to a DENPA song, of Japanese fame. (For the uninitiated, a “denpa song” is a song where rhyme and melody take precedence over coherent lyrics. Even in Japanese itself, the lyrics are incoherent/non-sense to a native speaker.)

All I have to say is, if you’ve seen the Afrikaans mondegreens BEFORE the actual lyrics, it will change the way you view the song – so I’ll put them in the end of the post instead.

Here are the lyrics in Duala, the original language:

(Has vééé héeee – he hi yé yé yé)

Sô ndèri nsang hé
Mi ni ya sô ndé hè hè
Bika misang hé hé gani mitou
Mi kwa mi tchô a ndoû mi kwa hô yè

Sô ndèri nsang hé
Minimi ya sô bèbi sô ndè
Bika misang hé hé gani mitou
Mi kwa mi tchô a ndoû mi kwa hô yè

※ Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè
Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè

* Wé ya senga wé
(Has vééé héeee)
Wana wé ndé lambo
(Hé he hémentourék)

Sô ndèri nsang hé
Hiiin yaka yèin
Mi ni ya sô ndè hè hè
Bika misang hé gani mitou
Mi kwa mi tchô a ndoû mi kwa hô yè

※ Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè
Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè

* Wé ya senga wé
(Has vééé héeee)
Wana wé ndé lambo
(Hé he hémentourék)

^ Nè ma kwa ni kaso
Nè ma kwa sè kwa
Nè ma ka ni kaso
Nè ma kwanè ka

^ Nè ma kwa ni kaso
Nè ma kwa sè kwa
Nè ma ka ni kaso
Nè ma kwanè ka

※ Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè
Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè

※ Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè
Alanè mba yi woumaa wè
Ho tou sôndé ho maa yè

(Repeat * x 5)

(Repeat ^ x 2 simultaneously with *.)

According to “deepforest.co”, “Alane” is a song of “exuberant love, along with those petty material conflicts in our lives from which we must distance ourselves, those paltrinesses of earthly life, while the need we have to approach other people is the best way to bring down barriers.

And here are the Afrikaans mondegreens. The song almost sounds like muffled Afrikaans if you look at these lyrics while looking at the song:

Slaan daardie slang
Minnie is so naar
Die kam is alweer na die muur toe
My pie, my chop, handoek my paie

Slaan daardie slang
Mini-me eet sommer die Sondag,
Die kam is alweer na die muur toe
My pie, my chop, handoek my paie

Hallo my maatjie hoe gaan dit,
Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?
Hallo my maatjie hoe gaan dit,
Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?

Ons bly in Zimbabwe
Magtig maar jy kan mors!

Slaan daardie slang
Minnie is so naar
Die kam is alweer na die muur toe
My pie, my chop, handoek my paie

Hallo my maatjie hoe gaan dit,
Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?
Hallo my maatjie hoe gaan dit,
Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?

Ons bly in Zimbabwe
Magtig maar jy kan mors!

Nenna tel my tas op
Nenna bak ‘n sak twak
Nenna tel my tas op
Man ek praat nou kak

Nenna tel my tas op
Nenna bak ‘n sak twak
Nenna tel my tas op
Man ek praat nou kak

Hallo my maatjie hoe gaan dit,
Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?
Hallo my maatjie hoe gaan dit,
Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?

(Ons bly in Zimbabwe
Magtig maar jy kan mors!) x5

(Nenna tel my tas op
Nenna bak ‘n sak twak
Nenna tel my tas op
Man ek praat nou kak) x2

For those who don’t do Afrikaans, here’s a rough translation (many thanks to my boyfriend for the first parts; I had to do the one for “Ons bly in Zimbabwe” onward, though. Pardon my own translations; my Afrikaans is quite basic:

Hit that snake
Minnie is so nauseous
The comb is to the wall again
My pie, my Chop, my towel, my roads

Hit that snake
Mini-me is eating the Sunday
The comb is to the wall again
My pie, my Chop, my towel, my roads

Hello, my friend, how goes it?
We want to drive along. (Want a lift) What are you doing?
Hello, my friend, how goes it?
We want to drive along. (Want a lift) What are you doing?

We live in Zimbabwe
Dammit, but you can waste

Nenna picks up my bag
Nenna bakes a bag of tobacco
Nenna picks up my bag
Man, I’m talking shit

Nenna picks up my bag
Nenna bakes a bag of tobacco
Nenna picks up my bag
Man, I’m talking shit

Hello, my friend, how goes it?
We want to drive along. (Want a lift) What are you doing?
Hello, my friend, how goes it?
We want to drive along. (Want a lift) What are you doing?

We live in Zimbabwe
Dammit, but you can waste

Nenna, pick up my bag
Nenna, bake a bag of rubbish
Nenna, pick up my bag
Man, I’m talking shit (2x)

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Wes – Alane (also with Afrikaans mondegreens)

  1. lol, thanks for this, I think this is more of a literal translation, that they mean is different. Also I think when when he says Minnie is so naar, it could also mean thin/skinny, I’d have to double check this. I’ll try get my Afrikaans speaking sister-in-law to translate it to how they meant it and not the literal sense. But thanks for this anyhoo, you obviously put some time in to it.

  2. Ons will saam ry wat maak jy?This could actually be better translated to… We want to come with, what are you up to?
    But I don’t think the guy was actually trying to make sensible lyrics, probably just putting Afrikaans words to what they sounded like.
    But still, I hope this isn’t discouraging you, good job, thanks.

    • Alles goed; thank you very much for your comments!
      I appreciate them a lot, especially as I’ve learned a little more of the less literal meanings of some of the words.
      Even after learning a little more Afrikaans, I’m convinced that the “Afrikaans lyrics” are simply mondegreens — never intended to make logical sense.

      “Man ek praat nou kak” never fails to make me smile, though. 🙂

      Thanks for the note on “ons will saam ry, wat maak jy?”, too.

  3. yes its a strange song but I like it and I also thought they were singing in afrikaans and know the afrikaans words. Its a powerful song.

  4. Hi! I’m a native Afrikaans speaker, so I hope you don’t mind if I tweak your translation a bit? “Nenna tel my tas op” means “Nenna picks up my bag”, and “Nenna bak ‘n sak twak” literally means “Nenna bakes a bag of tobacco”. If you watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYJ1L5YPPQc you’ll see a remade video with the Afrikaans words as well as new visuals. I think it’s hilarious!

    • My apologies for the very delayed reply to this!
      I appreciate the correction a lot; thank you very much for taking the time to point that out. I admit I’m not yet very well-versed with Afrikaans vocabulary and grammatical nuances.

  5. As an Afrikaner I can definitely vouch for the comments that the Afrikaans lyrics are just nonsensical sound alikes. When they say: man, nou praat ek kak. They literally mean it. Man, nou I’m talking crap.

    I’d still very much like to find out where the song originated and what the lyrics mean. It’s so hauntingly beautiful!

    • Thank you for your comment! As I learned a little more Afrikaans, I realised that the song could sound like oddly muffled Afrikaans. 🙂

      I love the song and still listen to it from time to time.

      I’m still looking for what the song means; it’s marked with “explicit” tags on some streaming services for some reason. Alane is sung in Douala (a language in Cameroon) if I’m not mistaken. I can’t find a translation for the lyrics, except for a German one (caveat: the person posting it warns that they can’t verify its accuracy.)

  6. As a South African, after watching the Afrikaans version, I can’t help but ROFL. Your translations are good, although as many of you suggest it wasn’t intended to make sense. I must admit that the Afrikaans lyrics takes the song away from sensual (as originally intended) and more towards happiness and fun, which in my opinion does correlate with the tempo and tune of the song. No disrespect to the artist. Great song with either lyrics.

    P.S. After so many years I only found out the original name of this song recently.

    • Thank you for your comment! That was the same way I felt when I watched the version with Afrikaans mondegreens (which I saw before the original,) despite my confusion over some lines. I did receive help from my then-boyfriend and took some of the suggestions left by the previous commenters.

      The German translation did seem to indicate some sensuality to the original Doala lyrics,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s