Script error Script error

Soramimi (Japanese ; lit. "empty ear") "mishearing; feigned deafness" or Soramimi kashi (空耳歌詞; with kashi 歌詞, lit. "song words") "misheard lyrics" is a Japanese term for homophonic translation of song lyrics, that is, interpreting lyrics in one language as similar-sounding lyrics in another language. A bilingual soramimi word play contrasts with a monolingual mondegreen or homophonic transformation.


An example would be the Moldovan band O-Zone's song "Dragostea din tei" (マイヤヒー, named from the words in the opening of the song). The refrain of the original song (in Romanian) is:

Vrei să pleci dar nu mă, nu mă iei...
("You want to leave but you don't want, don't want to take me...")

The soramimi version:

Bei sa, beishu ka, nomanoma-yei!
("Rice, is it, rice wine, drink it drink it yeah!")

In Spanish nu mă, nu mă iei was "translated" as pluma, pluma gay in the parody Marica tú.

Soramimi Hour

Japanese comedian Tamori has had a long-running "Soramimi Hour" segment on his TV program Tamori Club, where he and his co-host watch mini-skits based on soramimi kashi submitted by the audience. The following are examples from "Soramimi Hour": the real lyric, followed by the soramimi text in Japanese, followed by the Japanese text romanized, followed (in parentheses) by the English translation.

From Prince's "Batdance":

  • Don't stop dancing!
  • 農協牛乳!
  • Nokyo Gyunyu!
  • (JA Milk! [a popular brand of milk])

From Metallica's "Enter Sandman":

  • 'Til the sandman he comes...
  • 千代田生命に行こう!
  • Chiyoda Seimei ni ikou!
  • (Let's go to Chiyoda Life Insurance!)

From Sean Paul's "Fire Links Intro":

  • Mayday! [...] Dutty [...] Sean Paul! This one is hot!
  • 目痛い! [...] どっち? [...] シャンプー! リンスは無いさ!
  • Me itai! [...] Docchi? [...] Shanpū! Rinsu wa nai sa!
  • (My eyes hurt! [...] Which one? [...] The shampoo! There isn't any more hair conditioner!)

From Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber":

  • Yo Meth! hold up, hold up, yo Meth! Where my Killer tape at ya?
  • 嫁! ホラホラ 嫁! フマキラー付いてるよ!
  • Yome! Hora hora yome! Fumakirā tsuiteru yo!
  • (Daughter-in-law! Hey hey daughter-in-law! You've got Fumakilla [a Japanese brand of insecticide] stuck to you!)

From Michael Jackson's "Ghosts":

  • Because now it's on me [...] Don't understand it. Ow!
  • びっくりしたオバサンに [...] どんなのしてんだ? 青!
  • Bikkurishita obasan ni [...] Donna no shitenda? Ao!
  • ([I said] to a surprised older woman [...] What kind are you wearing? Blue!)

From Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown":

  • Meaner than a junkyard dog
  • 二度目の東京ドーム
  • Nido me no Tōkyō Dōmu
  • (Tokyo Dome a second time)

From The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand":

  • I want to hold your hand
  • アホな放尿犯
  • Aho na hōnyōhan
  • (Idiotic public urination ["hōnyōhan" is a legal term for the crime])

From Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Benny the Bouncer":

  • He'd slash your granny's face up given half the chance
  • 久しぶり そいつはゲイだ なぁ部長
  • Hisashiburi soitsu wa gei da na buchō
  • (Long time no see; that guy's gay, isn't he, boss?)

From Scorpions' "You Give Me All I Need":

  • You give me all I need
  • 雪見オナニー
  • Yukimi onanī
  • (Watching snow and masturbating)

From Filippa Giordano's "Casta Diva":

  • A noi volgi, a noi volgi (English: Turn to us, turn to us)
  • あの イボ痔 あの イボ痔
  • Ano iboji, ano iboji
  • (Um, I have hemorrhoids; um, I have hemorrhoids)

From the Gipsy Kings' "Bem, Bem, María":

  • No te vayas / vuelve ya / tú no me dejas / tú no me digas (English: Don't go away / come back now / you don't leave me / you don't tell me)
  • あんたがた ほれ見ぃや 車ないか こりゃ まずいよ
  • Antagata, hore miya, kuruma naika. Korya mazuiyo.
  • (Hey guys, look here, the car's gone. Oh, that's bad.)

From Mudhoney's "Here Comes Sickness":

  • There goes sickness! There goes sickness! There goes sickness, in my daddy's car!
  • レンコン好きです! レンコン好きです! レンコン好きです! 今 誰っすか?
  • Renkon suki desu! Renkon suki desu! Renkon suki desu! Ima daressu ka?
  • (I love lotus roots! I love lotus roots! I love lotus roots! Just now, who was that?)

From the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Suck My Kiss":

  • Should have been, could have been, would have been
  • 白便 黒便 和田勉
  • Shiro ben, kuro ben, Wada Ben
  • (White excrement, black excrement, Ben Wada)

Soramimi from other languages

Mike Sutton, a mondegreen director on YouTube with the username "Buffalax", has uploaded several non-English music videos edited to include subtitles of the written English approximation of the video's original language's sound. These include Internet memes such as:

The latter, involving the video for Prabhu Deva Sundaram's song, "Kalluri Vaanil" from the Indian Tamil movie, Pennin Manathai Thottu, has occasionally been referred to as "the web's hottest clip" [1] On the Internet, both the terms "Buffalaxed" and "Benny lava" are now synonymous with mondegreens, "words or phrases misheard in ways that yield new meanings."[2][3]

The Palestinian patriotic song "Blādi, blādi" (بلادي بلادي "Motherland, Motherland") was intentionally "misheard" into Russian (as blyadi, blyadi = "whores, whores") and uploaded to YouTube with Russian subtitles. The resulting video became an instant hit on Russian-language websites and blogs with more than 2 million views, and a number of phrases from the Russian version (especially "No money, long bumblebee") became instant catchphrases. Below is the example of the chorus:

Arabic (transliterated) Russian Russian (transliterated) Russian translated
Ya blādi jawwek hādi.
Mā 'ah'lāki ya blādi.
Tlalek mal'ab lennajmāte.
Fiki beytghanna 'l'hādi.
Blādi blādi ya blādi.
Blādi blādi blādi.
Где бляди живут бляди?
Две мохнатые бляди?
Денег мало длинный шмель,
Ты в кибитку не ходи
Бляди бляди е бляди,
Бляди бляди бляди
Gde blyadi zhivut blyadi,
Dve mohnatyye blyadi,
Deneg malo, dlinnyj shmel'
Ty v kibitku ne hodi
Blyadi blyadi e blyadi,
Blyadi blyadi blyadi
Where do they live, whores
Two furry whores
No money, long bumblebee
Don't you go into a kibitka
Whores, whores, o whores
Whores, whores, whores...

("blādi" in the original is dialect for standard Arabic bilādī بلادي = "my country".)

In another instance, a Russian-language cover of Tic Tic Tac, a popular soca/disco hit by Carrapicho, phonetically rendered the first phrase of the chorus, Bate forte o tambor, as Мальчик хочет в Тамбов (Malchik Hochet v Tambov = "A boy wants to go to Tambov").

  • A number of internet videos exploit soramimi for Carmina Burana, juxtaposing the music with images appropriate to the supposed lyrics, for example showing four cans of tuna for "O Fortuna" [4]

In Mandarin Chinese, there is a joke based on Michael Jackson's "Beat It" which goes:

  • 哪一個偶像最喜歡說“筆勒”?
  • nǎyígè ǒuxiàng zuì xǐhuān shuō "bǐlēi"?
  • Which idol most likes to say "got a pen?" (literal)
  • Which Pop Star always asks for a pen? (translated)
  • Answer: Michael Jackson. "Beat it!" sounds like "got a pen?"

In Israel, soramimi flash clips of the song Ameno Script error known as 'Dori Met' (דורי מת, Dori is dead) is very popular. The clips includes the misheard nonsensical lyrics (the first song is heard as 'Dori is dead, if you shoot him, Nadav Adler, amen to him...', the second as 'Maya she, Maya he, Maya ha, Maya haha! [...] Felix in a bill, sleep, sleep, hey!') and matching visual representations: in the first song, a boy named Dori is killed; on the second, pictures of Maya Buskila are shown with beards or with clown make-up, etc.

See also


  1. "My Loony Bun Is Fine, Benny Lava: The web's hottest clip", The Toronto Sun, April 28, 2008, p. 33.
  2. Script error
  3. Spreekt Johan Cruijff Arabisch? on

External links

ko:몬드그린 zh:幻聽歌詞 zh-yue:唆啦咪咪

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