May 28, 2006
Mondegreens in a language other than English
The only lists of examples I have seen of Mondegreens have been in English. Surely songs in other languages can have lyrics that are commonly misheard. But a cursory web search yielded no such lists in any other language. A note of clarification: I define mondegreens in stricter sense than the definition in wikipedia, which I think is too broad. I consider it to be a mondegreen if it is in the original language itself (i.e. not because of a bad translation) and if it occurs in song lyrics (i.e. no speech recognition or closed captioning errors).
Recently I stumbled upon what I consider to be a prime example of a Mondegreen in a Korean song. In the song "Little Baby" by 노 브레인 (No Brain) from the album "안녕, Mary Poppins" (Hello, Mary Poppins) is a line that I always hear as:
I love only squid
I mean, come on, who doesn't ... love squid, I mean. But the original lyrics are:
오직 너만을 사랑해
ojik noe-man-eul sarang-hae
I love only you
The Mondeviridity is enhanced quite spectularly by the assimilation of the kieuk in 오직 ojik in the context of the following nieun in 너 noe making it sound like ojing which makes it a perfect match.
The only thing consipiring against it is that 사랑 love in Korean seems to have a strong selectional preference for +human, the verb usually used to express the proposition of loving squid happens to be 좋다 to like. But for me, the love of devouring squid knows no such bounds. I think I need to get me some 오징어 볶음 ojing-oe bokk-eum right away.
PS: the romanization is my illiterate effort at following the official Revised Romanization.
Update 5/30/2006: Balaji has a post about Mondegreens in Tamil songs.Posted by anoop at May 28, 2006 11:37 PM