Hey y’all. It’s been a while since I updated this blog, seeing as the class I originally started it for is over, but this is important enough that I’ve decided to make a new post about it.
In recent weeks, you may have seen a translation of Smash Mouth’s “All Star” into Aramaic and back going around online. Such notables as Facebook’s own God have shared it, but many people have been doubting its authenticity. This is really pissing me off, since I made it.
Those familiar with this site may be aware that two obsessions of mine are,
So yeah, I did this myself. Because who else would have. I just wish I had watermarked it first.
Now you may have noticed (as some others did when questioning my translation’s legitimacy) that ‘durr, Google Translate doesn’t have an Aramaic setting, hurr durr, FAKE NEWS.’ That’s why I didn’t use it. I worked on this translation the old-fashioned way – for four damn hours with Jastrow’s Aramaic dictionary in one hand and Frank’s Judeo-Aramaic grammar book in the other.
I have included some proof in images below. On the left is the original text I uploaded, and on the right is my original Facebook post, in a linguistics group of which I am a member. Note that it was posted on August 5th, which is a time substantially prior to when it got big. I also recorded my translation, as you can hear at this link.
So please, if you see anybody who reposts my translation, link this post below and let them know that it’s real and I feel bad that people doubt it.
Oh, and also, this is absolutely not how Jesus would have sang it, no matter what Facebook’s God says. Aramaic is dramatically different depending on place and time, and the 4th-century Babylonian Judeo-Aramaic I used was about as different to Jesus’ 1st-century Galilean Aramaic as modern-day Italian and Spanish are from each other. Thanks.
In text form:
הַהִיא דְּאֲמַר לִי דְּעָלְמָא קָאָזֵיל לְאוֹנוֹדִי,
דְּאֲנָא לָא חַרְבָּא חֲרִיפָא בְּאַכְלְבָא.
הֲוָות דָּמְיָא לִי כְּאִילוּ טַפְּשְׁתָא,
בְּאֶצְבּעָתַהּ דִּידַהּ וּבְאַליוֹנַהּ דִּידַהּ
בְּטוּפְסָא דְּגַּמָּא עַל אַפּוּתַהּ דּידַהּ.
הָא, שְׁנַיָא שָׁרַן לְמֵיתֵי, וְלָא נָיְיחִי מִימֵּיתֵי.
מַאֲכִיל לִכְלָלַיָא, וּנְפָלִי עַל אַרְעָא וּרְהָטִי.
לָאו הֲוָא נִיחָא אִלָּא לְמֶיחֱוֵי בְּדִיל תַּחְמוּדָא,
מוֹחָךְ דִּידָךְ מִתְחַכֵּים, בְּרָם לִיבָּךְ דִּידָךְ מִּיטַּפֵּשׁ.
סַגְיָא לְמֶעֱבַד, סַגְיָא לְמֶחֱזֵי,
בְּגִין כֵּן, לָא קַשְׁיָא אִם אָזְלִינָן יָת שְׁקָקֵי אֲחוֹרָא!
לָא תֵּידַע אִילוּלֵי דְּתֵיזִיל.
לָא תִּדְנָח אִילוּלֵי דְּתַבְּהֵיק.
הָא אִידְּנָא! כֻּלָךְ בָּר כּוֹכְבָא!
שְׁרִי גְּבוּרְתָךְ! זִיל! חוּךְ!
הָא אִידְּנָא! אַנְתְּ רָב זַמָּרָא!
שְׁרִי שִׁירָתָךְ! אִשְׁתָּלֵּם!
כָּל דְּבָּרְקִי דַּהֲבָּא!
זִיקִין לְחוּדְהוֹן תָּבְרִי יָת טוּפְסָא!