When I was 18 I took a gap year before university and spent 6 months teaching in Manado, capital of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province. I revisited Manado last year after 15 years and for old times sake taught a couple of classes at STIBA, the foreign languages college where I taught as a teenager.
In one of the classes we translated “So dari dulu” (“So long ago”), a traditional song from the local area. A melancholy ballad about unrequited love, it’s the best-known local song and very popular. So we translated the lyrics into English and then sang the song in both Bahasa Manado (the local language) and English – click play on the Audioboo embedded above to listen to the result, it was great fun to do…
So dari dulu – So long ago, a traditional song from Manado in North Sulawesi, Indonesia
So dari dulu, So dari dulu,
Kita so bilang,
Cuman ngana, cuman ngana
Yang kita sayang.
So long ago, so long ago,
I am telling you,
There’s only you, there’s only you,
That I love.
Manyasal skalli, manyasal skalli,
Ngana putar bale,
Ngana sayang, ngana sayang,
Pa orang laeng.
It’s so painful, it’s so painful
You lied to me,
You were in love, you were in love
With someone else.
So nyanda guna, so nyanda guna
Ngana mo manyasal sayang.
Kita pe hati, so sakit, so sakit,
So sakit skalli.
It is hopeless, it is hopeless
You will regret my love,
How you broke my heart, so painful, so painful,
Such terrible pain.
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