ProZ.com translation contests » Propose a source text » English source text proposed by Peter Skipp


In order to determine which proposed source texts are the suitable for use in ProZ.com contests, proposers and participants are encouraged to "highlight" (like contest entry tagging) and discuss proposed source texts. A good contest source text should pose a reasonable challenge to translators, while allowing for "separation". Refer to the "Propose a source text" overview page for all source text proposal guidelines.

Democracy is Coming to the U.S.A. from the album The Future by Leonard Cohen

"Democracy"

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
  • No positive highlights


General notes about this proposed source text

Discussion about this source text as a whole.
Rank by:
+5
These rather dark, yet optimistic, lyrics contain much symbolism that faces anyone attempting a translation with intriguing challenges.
+3
A polemical text with a central paradox: democracy is about to visit what is commonly assumed to be the leading democratic country. There are references to late 80s events linking the USA with China and the Soviet bloc and other then-topical issues.
Pretty difficult to translate and therefore worth a try...
Fascinate context and a little bit difficult to translate... Lets to try


ProZ.com translation contests

ProZ.com translation contests offer a fun way to take a break from your normal routine while testing and honing your skills with fellow translators.


ProZ.com Translation Contests. Patent pending.

Your current localization setting

հայերեն

Select a language

All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Բառերի որոնում
  • Պատվերներ
  • Ֆորումներ
  • Multiple search