Many years ago, when I was still a teenager, I decided to translate the lyrics of a song. The only language I knew at the time apart from my mother-tongue English was a smattering of school French. But nonetheless I had enough French to do it. And the song? The most ridiculous thing I could find, which was “Yes we have no bananas, we have no bananas today”. To my none-too-great surprise, the French lyric fitted none too well. So, I wondered would other languages fare any better? German soon followed, the “heute” translation for “today” proving especially awful in terms of its lyrical quality. Wondering further, I started to collect translations from lots of different languages. Of course pretty soon they dried up. The whole project was forgotten, especially when I discovered girls. Much more interesting.
Eventually along came the Internet, and one day when I was bored (it happens a lot) I decided to register a new domain name bananastoday.co.uk and its somewhat less rhyming bananastoday.com and create a web site where I could once again collect translations for the beloved lyric. Of course I never had any visitors, which made the whole thing rather sad. Actually I did get a few. I even received the Klingon translation. I kid ye not. Someone actually bothered not only to translate the song lyric into Klingon, which is enough of a feat by itself… but what truly amazed me is that someone else had even gone to the trouble of creating a Klingon word for “banana”. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but Worf in Star Trek never used the word “banana” in American English, let alone Klingon. Hmmm. I think they could be making it up as they go along.
I actually lost the Klingon translation somewhere along the way before it had a chance to enter the archive. If you were the originator, or indeed if your Klingon is up to the task, perhaps you’d oblige.
Anyway, I digress… as usual. The site still exists and there are still a lot of translations I’ve yet to collect. So if you’re a specialist in one particular language, or indeed several, please take the time and trouble to visit the site and use all your incredible language skills and long years of study to translate just one line from an old music hall song into the languages of your choice. Oh go on. Please. You know you want to. Don’t make me beg now.
You can find the Internationally-Localised Version Of Yes We Have No Bananas at www.bananastoday.co.uk. If you have been, thanks for reading.