Jamala: Crimean Tatar in translation


Image: Euromaidan Press

Eurovision 2016, almost everyone is singing in English (even the French!!!) and a Crimean Tatar wins, singing the chorus in a language that isn’t even available on Google Translate. Because she sings with passion about her people, who were forcibly evacuated under Stalin.

Here’s the  wiwibloggs translation of the chorus of Jamala’s 1944:

I could not spend my youth there

Because you took away my land

I could not spend my youth there

Because you took away my land

I couldn’t have my homeland

Jamala’s new EP, including 1944, is downloadable from her website, where she tells the story:

“For several weeks they loaded the Crimean people into freight trains, like wild animals, with no food or water. Those who couldn’t survive were thrown out and left lying on the ground. My great-grandmother also lost her daughter. But the song 1944 applies to all people that had their own horrible tragedies in the past…

We should never forget about this tragedy of our people, we should remind our children about it so that they are able to prevent things like that in the future… When we create the future, we should remember our roots… If you really respect … your own culture and history, you learn how to respect other cultures. That’s the way for us to make this world better.”

You can hear Jamala singing in English, Ukrainian, Russian and Crimean Tatar on SoundCloud. In Crimean Tatar she sounds AMAZING. Meni ğamdan azat eyle is my favourite so far. Apparently inspired by Sergej Paradžanov’s  1968 film The Colour of Pomegranates, it is on her album Чому? (Why?) I’m having a lot of fun on LyricsTranslate seeing if transliterations of Tatar in Cyrillic script or Turkish translation can be made to make any sense in English… Proper translations would be wonderful, and hopefully will come with the international attention from her Eurovision win.

Thank you to Euromaidan Press, which specialises in English translation of Ukrainian news, for the image.

Translator, editor, writer, reader

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Posted in history, international, language, music

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