• Belinda Grace

Disney Song Translation – Video Special

Welcome to our interview / pre-recorded webinar on all things Disney song translation!

I'm joined by my friend Anka Ritter. She's a fellow translator and Disney enthusiast who wrote her MA dissertation on Disney song translation.

We went in-depth on examples from classic Disney movie soundtracks to better illustrate the challenges and intricacies of song translation.

You can follow the timestamps below to easily find particular video chapters you're interested in. Of course, we recommend watching the entire video to get a full blast of Disney magic. 😁

Sit back, enjoy and get inspired. 🙌

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch (see below for contact details).



0:14 Introduction: Anka, how we met & topic outline

2:12 Anka’s MA dissertation about Disney song translation (English – German)

6:30 Challenges behind (Disney) song translation

10:20 Distinction between on-screen vs off-screen singers

(illustrated using examples taken from Tarzan & The Lion King)

15:07 Aspect of creativity in song translation (transcreation)

15:53 Peter Low’s Pentathlon Principle as a system to help with song translation

(5 criteria: singability, naturalness, sense, rhythm, rhyme)

19:29 Challenges of translators working with the singers

20:24 Song examples overview:

“Let it go” (Frozen), “Can you feel the love tonight” (The Lion King),

“Son of man” (Tarzan)

21:01 Example 1 – “Let it go” (German: “Lass jetzt los”)

34:17 Example 2 – “Can you feel the love tonight?”

(German: “Kann es wirklich Liebe sein?“)

39:14 Example 3 – “Son of man“ (German: “So ein Mann”)

47:17 Importance of early involvement in localisation

48:32 Other examples of Disney song translation instances:

“Circle of life” – The Lion King, “I see the light” – Tangled;

You’re welcome” – Moana

53:50 Off English to German translation example: “Mother knows best” – Tangled

57:33 Tips & suggestions for anyone interested in song translation


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