Tag Archives: translation

Mpfula Ya Na (Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni) – Translation

Mpfula Ya Na
Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons (or pumpkins?), mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Ximumu xi fikile
[Summer has come]
Hi kunene hi tsakile
[Indeed we are glad]
Mihandzu ni swiharhi
[Fruit and animals]
Va kokwana va rimile
[The elders have ploughed]
Ximumu hi xo lexi
[This is summer]
Xi fikile ma xi vona ke?
[It has arrived, do you see now?]
Xi hi tisela ti mpfulo
[It brings us rains]
Mi ta twa swihlangi swi ku:
[You will hear little children saying…]:

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons, mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Ke eo pula e tlile
[Here is the rain, it has come] *(seSotho)
E tlisitse mahlohonolo
[It has surely brought blessings/good fortunes] *(seSotho)
Helang! Bonang!
[Hey everyone! Look!] *(seSotho)
Lethabo naheng kaofela
[Joy through all the land] *(seSotho)
Swihlangi swa phokotela
[Little children are clapping]
Swi tlanga mpfuleni manano
[They are playing in the rain (manano?)]
Van’wana va ta biwa
[Children will be scolded]
Kambe u ta twa va ku
[But you will still hear them saying…]

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons, mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Marhanga, swifaki, timanga
[Watermelons, corn, penuts]
Na makwakwa hi ta dya mhane
[And makwakwa fruit**, we will eat (mhane??)]
Hi ta xurha kuvava makhwirhi
[We will be so full our tummies will ache]
Hi nyanyuka hi hlekelela
[We will laugh and be merry]
Tekani swikomu mirhwala (mirwala?)
[Take your ploughs, (let’s carry them?)]
A hi yeni masin’wini
[Let’s go to the fields]
Hi ya rima hi tlhela hi byala
[We are farming, we (thlela??) and we plant]
Swi ta mila swi tsakiso
[It will yield a pleasing harvest]

Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho (‘pitter-patter’)]
Hi ta dya marhanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat watermelons, mtho-tho-tho]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya timanga mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat peanuts, pitter-patter]
Mpfula ya na mtho-tho-tho
[Rain is falling, mtho-tho-tho]
Hi ta dya swifaki mtho-tho-tho
[We will eat corn, mtho-tho-tho]

Ximumu xi fikile
[Summer has come]
Hi kunene hi tsakile
[Indeed we are glad]
Mihandzu ni swiharhi
[Fruit and animals]
Va kokwana va rimile
[The elders have ploughed]
Ximumu hi xo lexi
[This is summer]
Xi fikile ma xi vona ke?
[It has arrived, do you see now?]
Xi hi tisela ti mpfulo
[It brings us rains]
U ta twa swihlangi swi ku:
[You will hear little children saying…]:

Mpfula ya na, mpfula ya na
[Rain is falling, rain is falling]

Note: The chorus of the song is derived from a traditional tsonga nursery rhyme that would be sung by young children to celebrate the coming of the rainy season.

**Makwakwa fruit: strychnos spinosa or ‘natal orange’.

Lyrics provided by Tribute ‘Birdie’ Mboweni (thank you, hakhensa).

Translation by Zanokuhle Mabuza.

Online dictionaries:
xiTsonga dicionary
seSotho dictionary

Follow Birdie on social media:
Facebook – @TJMboweni
Twitter – @birdieworldwide

Advertisements

Translation: Nkalakatha (Mandoza)

Full Grammar
[Translation]

Nkalakatha…
[‘Tough Guy’/’Top Dog’/’Main man’/’Big Boss’/’Bosso’]

Nganitshela ngathi onombono
[I told y’all I said whoever has an opinion]
Akagqumele isigubhini sikaMandoza
[Must jump into Mandoza’s ring (‘drum’)]
Angitshele yini inkinga yakhe
[And tell me what his/her problem is]
Sbonisane nje ngamadoda
[So we can settle it (show each other) like men]

Nganitshela ngathi onombono
[I told y’all I said whoever has an opinion]
Akagqumele isigubhini sikaMandoza
[Must jump into Mandoza’s ring (‘drum’)]
Angitshele yini inkinga yakhe
[And tell me what his/her problem is]
Sbonisane nje ngama-buddy
[So we can settle it like buddies]

Nkalakatha…
(Ak’na niks buddy, ngith’ uz’bheke)
[(There’s nothing buddy, I’m saying look at/after yourself)]
(Ak’na niks jo, ngith’ uz’jonge)
[(There’s nothing jo, I’m saying look at/after yourself)]

Sowdlal’ ez’kaJanawari
[Now you’re playing January’s things]
Ngithi (gqum’?) udube
[I’m saying (jump?) and just give it up]

Nkalakatha…
(Ak’na niks buddy, ngith’ uz’bheke)
[(There’s nothing buddy, I’m saying look at/after yourself)]
(Ak’na niks jo, ngith’ uz’jonge)
[(There’s nothing jo, I’m saying look at/after yourself)]

Ch… Ch… Charlie

Woza siyophola
[Come let’s go chill out]
Please yehlisa ulaka!
[Please calm down]

Awu we nkalakatha… Charlie

Woza syophola
[Come let’s go chill out]
Please yehlisa ulaka!
[Please calm down]

Awu we nkalakatha

Nkalakatha…
(Ak’na niks buddy, ngith’ uz’bheke)
[(There’s nothing buddy, I’m saying look at/after yourself)]
(Ak’na niks jo, ngith’ uz’jonge)
[(There’s nothing jo, I’m saying look at/after yourself)]

Nganitshela ngathi onombono
[I told y’all I said whoever has an opinion]
Akagqumele isigubhini sikaMandoza
[Must jump into Mandoza’s ring (‘drum’)]
Angitshele yini inkinga yakhe
[And tell me what his/her problem is]
Sbonisane nje ngamadoda
[So we can settle it (show each other) like men]

Nganitshela ngathi onombono
[I told y’all I said whoever has an opinion]
Akagqumele isigubhini sikaMandoza
[Must jump into Mandoza’s ring (‘drum’)]
Angitshele yini inkinga yakhe
[And tell me what his/her problem is]
Sbonisane nje ngama-buddy
[So we can settle it like buddies]

Nkalakatha…

Links:
Nkalakatha Meaning
The Kwaito Story: Aryna Kaganof Interviews Mandoza
Mandoza remakes Nkalakatha, adds Afrikaans lyrics

Lyrics & Translation: ukuThula (Busi Mhlongo)

ukuThula
Busi Mhlongo

(…Kumnand’ uk’hlala ngok’thula)

Bantu bakith’ kumnand’ uk’hlala ngok’thul’ ezweni

Uma s’ngawuyeka lomona s’ngahlala ngok’zwana
(Uma s’ngawuyek’ umona…)

Nom’ ungang’bulala ngek’ uwathol’ amandl’ ami

Full grammar
[Translation]

(…Kumnandi ukuhlala ngokuthula)
[(…It’s nice to live in peace)]

Bantu bakithi kumnandi ukuhlala ngokuthula ezweni
[My people (“people of our land”) it’s nice to live in peace in our nation]

Uma singawuyeka lomona singahlala ngokuzwana
[If we can let go of this jealousy we would live in harmony]
(Uma singawuyeka umona…)
[If we can let go of jealousy…)

Noma ungangibulala ngeke uwathole amandle ami
[Though you may kill me, you will never gain my strength]

Lyrics & Translation: We Baba Omncane (Busi Mhlongo)

We Baba Omncane
Busi Mhlongo

We bab’omncane
Wang’xosha kabuhlung’
Kodwa yini na?

Um’ ungafun’ uk’hloniph’ abazali bakho
Ngek’ uz’ ulunge mntanam’

Full grammar
[Translation]

We baba omncane
[Oh uncle*]
Wangixosha kabuhlungu
[You chased me away so sorely]
Kodwa yini na?
[What’s the matter? (lit.: but what is it?)]

Uma ungafuni ukuhlonipha abazali bakho
[If you don’t want to respect your parents]
Ngeke uze ulunge mntanami
[You’ll never ever be alright, my child]

*Uncles & aunts in Zulu:

Bab’omkhlulu = Father’s older brother (“big father”)
Bab’omncane = Father’s younger brother (“small father”)
Babekazi = Father’s sister (“female father”)

Mamkhulu = Mother’s older sister (“big mother”)
Mamncane = Mother’s younger sister (“small mother”)
Malume = Mother’s brother

Lyrics & Translation: Yaphel’ iMali Yami (Busi Mhlongo)

Yaphel’ iMali Yami
Busi Mhlongo

Eyok’gcina lencwadi
Uz’ ung’khonzele
Hamba; hamb’ ung’khonzele Phepha
Uz’ ung’khonzele

Yaphel’ imali yami ng’bhalela wena soka lam’
Awung’phenduli ngani?
Laphel’ iphepha lami ng’bhalela wena soka lam’
Awung’phenduli ngani?

Yahamb’ imali yami ng’bhalela wena soka lam’
Angiyibon’ impendulo
Lahamb’ iphepha lami ng’bhalela wena soka lam’
Angiyibon’ impendulo

Full grammar
[Translation]

Eyokugcina lencwadi
[This is the final letter]
Uze ungikhonzele
[Just send’ these regards/greetings]
Hamba; hamba ungikhonzele Phepha
[Go; go send these regards for me, Paper]
Uze ungikhonzele
[Just send these regards]

Yaphela imali yami ngibhalela wena soka lami
[My money is finished (from) writing to you my lover]
Awungiphenduli ngani?
[Why won’t you reply to me?]
Laphela iphepha lami ngibhalela wena soka lami
[My paper is finished (from) writing to you my lover]
Awungiphenduli ngani?
[Why won’t you reply to me?]

Yahamba imali yami ngibhalela wena soka lami
[My money is gone (from) writing to you my dear]
Angiyiboni impendulo
[I don’t see any reply]
Lahamba iphepha lami ngibhalela wena soka lami
[My paper is gone (from) writing to you my dear]
Angiyiboni impendulo
[I don’t see any reply]

 

Two Songs about Money: Mali (Zahara) & Mali (Lira)

Mali (Zahara)
[Xhosa]

We mali
[Oh money]
We zuka notiki
[Oh cent and penny]
Undènza ntoni na
[What are you doing to me?]
Sibulalana ngenxa yakho
[We’re killing each other for your sake]

[x2]

Mali mali, bangi yezono
[Money money, cause of sin]
Sesibulalana ngenxa yakho
[We’re killing each other now for your sake]
Mali mali, bangi yezono
[Money money, cause of sin]
Sesibulalana ngenxa yakho
[We’re killing each other now for your sake]

Ndixakene neliphupho lam
[I’ve even put aside my dream]
We mali, we mali
[Oh money, oh money]
Ndahlukene nezihlobo zam
[I’ve parted ways with my friends]
We mali, we mali
[Oh money, oh money]

Abapolotiki nasecaweni
[Politicians and (people) at church]
Bacabana ngawe, we mali
[Are fighting over you, oh money]
Nakum uzamile mali
[You even tried with me, money]
Awuphumelelanga we mali
[(But) you didn’t succeed, oh money] 

Mali mali, bangi yezono
[Money money, cause of sin]
Sesibulalana ngenxa yakho
[We’re killing each other now for your sake]
Mali mali mali
[Money money money]
Sesibulalana ngenxa yakho
[We’re killing each other now for your sake]

We mali
[Oh money]
We zuka notiki
[Oh cent and penny]
Undènza ntoni na
[What are you doing to me?]
Sibulalana ngenxa yakho
[We’re killing each other for your sake]

 

Mali (Lira)
[Zulu/Nguni]

We mali, ngicela ungizwe kahle
[Oh money, please hear me well]
Yeyi mali, min’ angikwesabi
[Hey money, I’m not afraid of you]
Mine nawe, kudinga sakh’ ub’hlobo
[Me and you, we need to build a relationship]
iKhaya lami, makube ngelakho
[My home, may it (also) be yours]

We mali, masingaswelani
[Oh money, let’s not lack/miss each other]
Lapho ngikhona, nawe woba lapho
[Where I am, you too will be there]
We mali, maw’ ngagcini lapho
[Oh money, please don’t end there]
Ngicel’ uthinte umphakathi wami
[Please touch/reach my community]

Ngicel’ usiphathe kahle
[Please treat us well]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]
Ngicela uhlale wande
[Please keep increasing]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]

Ngicel’ usisize sakhe
[Please help us build]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]
Ngicela uhlale wande
[Please keep increasing]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]

We yeyi mali, nom’ ungaba y’phepha
[Oh hey money, whether you be paper]
Nom’ ungaba inombol’ ebhangi
[Or be you a number at the bank]
Nom’ ungaba yona isiliva
[Or be you even silver]
Woza phela ‘masango avuliwe
[Come already, the gates are open!]

We mali, masingakwesweli
[Oh money, let us not lack you]
Lapho sikhona, nawe woba lapho
[Where we are, you too will be there]
We mali, maw’ ngagcini lapho
[Oh money, please don’t end there]
Fikelela nasezizukulweni
[Extend even to (my) grandchildren]

Ngicel’ usisize sakhe
[Please help us build]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]
Ngicela uhlale wande
[Please keep increasing]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]

Ngicel’ usisize sakhe
[Please help us build]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]
Ngicela uhlale wande
[Please keep increasing]
Ngicel’ usibusise
[Please bless us]

Money is energy
If we fear it we repel it
Be like love towards it
Know that it’s abundant
Allow it to flow in
And flow out of your hands
Share it, save it
Use it, and grow it…


A small note on money:

‘For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.’ – 1 Timothy 6:10

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matthew 6:24

Pata Pata (Miriam Makeba)

Pata Pata
(Miriam Makeba)

Saguquka sathi ‘bheka’
Nants’ iPata Pata
Saguquka sathi ‘bheka’
Nants’ iPata Pata

Yiyo mama, yiyo mama
Nants’ iPata Pata
Yiyo mama, yiyo mama
Nants’ iPata Pata

Pata Pata is the name of the dance
We do down Johannesburg where
And everybody starts to move
As soon as Pata Pata starts to play

Saguquka sathi ‘bheka’
Nants’ iPata Pata
Saguquka sathi ‘bheka’
Nants’ iPata Pata

Yiyo mama, yiyo mama
Nants’ iPata Pata
Yiyo mama, yiyo mama
Nants’ iPata Pata

Every Friday and Saturday Night
It’s Pata Pata time!
The dance keeps going all night long
Til’ the morning sun begins to shine!

[English Meaning]:

So we grooved and said ‘check it out!’
(This is the Pata Pata…)

That’s it, lady
(This is the Pata Pata…)

[Some Literal translations]:

Pata Pata – Hold/carry (in this sense, to hold or touch suggestively)
Saguquka – We turned around/changed (in this sense, to groove)
Sathi – We said
Bheka – Look
Yiyo – That’s the one/that’s it
Nantsi This is (it)/Here (it) is

Unabantu Bakho (Methodist Hymn)

Unabantu Bakho

[A Methodist Hymn adopted as an anthem by my maternal family]

[isiZulu]

Unabantu bakho, Nkosi, ngezikhati zonke.
Ubangcina, ubancede eendaweni zonke.

Mabewela imifula, ubanabo wena.
Mabeshiswa ngemililo, ubanabo wena.

Lapho beshushiswa khona, boqiniswa nguwe
Nasezilwaneni, Nkosi, bagciniwe nguwe.

Bakhangela kuwe, Nkosi, labo bantu bakho.
Bayabonga, bakuthembe, labo bantu bakho.

[isiXhosa]

Unabantu bakho Thixo, ngamaxesha onke.
Ubagcina, ubancede endaweni zonke.

Bakuwela imilambo, ubanabo wena
Bakutshiswa ngemililo, ubanabo wena.

Apho batshutshiswa khona, bomelezwa nguwe
Nasemarhamncweni Thixo, bagciniwe nguwe

Bakangela kuwe Nkosi, aabo bantu bakho
Babulela bakuthembe, aabo bantu bakho.

[English Translation]

You are with your people, God, at every moment.
You keep them, You help them through all things [places].

When they cross rivers, You are with them
When they are tested [burnt] by fires, You are with them.

Where they are persecuted, they will be strengthened by you
Even in the midst of danger [beasts], they have been kept by you

They look to you, Lord – these, your people.
They give thanks and trust you – these, your people.