Lost in Translation – Meladze´s Иностранец (Foreigner) Ru>En

13 12 2018

This song literally ached to be translated and posted for so long. i think what Valery Meladze, an ethnic Georgian living and working in Russia, touched upon here, is a huge, enormously huge topic, much deeper than the visible top of the iceberg we usually get to see through our media. The initial struggle of finding oneself in the new social setting, even if the culture be quite comparable, is a peril enough, and one should speak of it again and again. This painful clumsiness of both rudeness and exaggerated politeness alike, I actually still wonder, what is more unnerving. 

What one hardly ever speaks of, and what this song reminds me of, is the next phase of „fitting in“, the sudden outward unmarkedness. The limbo of no longer being recognised as the former one, yet still clinging on to or formally depending on it. The unrecognisable foreigner inside, sitting in a merry round of colleagues who are hardly aware of having an „odd one out“ among them, and they are not particularly insulting (and, should I say, after years and years of hearing jokes about the presumable correlation between my ability to speak Russian ergo to digest alcohol, I really don´t care anymore)… Still this hyphenated-identity, this hybridity as Bhabha would put it… Sometimes, when the winter evenings grow particularly long, this „mother take me home“ appears quite relatable. 

Пробежала полоса, широка, бела,
Разделила небеса с горем пополам,
Заглушила голоса, замела глаза,
Утонула полоса в девичьих слезах.
Я знаю, все будет,
Забудьте, люди, я так больше не могу.
Подари мне первый танец,
Забери меня с собой,
Я повсюду иностранец,
И повсюду я вроде бы свой.
Словно лодка в океане,
Затерялся берег мой.
Я повсюду иностранец,
Забери меня, мама, домой.
Пробежала полоса, зверем залегла,
Расколола небеса на куски стекла,
Предложенья на слова, близких на врагов,
Материк на острова, бога на богов.
Я знаю, все будет,
Забудьте, люди, я так больше не могу.
Подари мне первый танец,
Забери меня с собой,
Я повсюду иностранец,
И повсюду я вроде бы свой.
Словно лодка в океане,
Затерялся берег мой.
Я повсюду иностранец,
Забери меня, мама, домой.
Подари мне первый танец,
Забери меня с собой,
Я повсюду иностранец,
И повсюду я вроде бы свой.
Словно лодка в океане,
Затерялся берег мой.
Я повсюду иностранец,
Забери меня, мама, домой.
A line flashed across, so broad and white,
It cracked the sky apart, somehow or other,
Muffled down the voices, blocked up the view,
And drowned in girls´ tears.
I know, everything will come…
Forget it, people, I can´t stand it anymore!
Give me your first dance,
Take me with you,
I am a foreigner everywhere,
And everywhere as if of “our own kind”.
Like a boat in an ocean,
I lost my coastline,
I am a foreigner everywhere,
Mother, take me home.
A line flashed across, went into ambush as a beast,
It cracked the sky into broken glass,
Sentences into words, the kin into enemies,
A continent into islands, the God into gods.
I know, everything will come…
Forget it, people, I can´t stand it anymore!
Give me your first dance,
Take me with you,
I am a foreigner everywhere,
And everywhere as if of “our own kind”.
Like a boat in an ocean,
I lost my coastline,
I am a foreigner everywhere,
Mother, take me home.
Give me your first dance,
Take me with you,
I am a foreigner everywhere,
And everywhere as if of “our own kind”.
Like a boat in an ocean,
I lost my coastline,
I am a foreigner everywhere,
Mother, take me home.
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