01 January 2010

An English Translation of the Filipino Patriotic Song My Country

This is a literal English translation of the lyrics of the Filipino patriotic song My Country written originally in Filipino by Jose Corazon de Jesus. All Filipinos who grew and studied in the Philippine know this song by heart. Those who want to study the Filipino language should take this song to heart so that they will appreciate the fervor of Philippine nationalism. Singing this song in Filipino will likewise afford a good pronunciation drill.

But if you just want to know what the meaning of the song in English, here is how I would translate its lyrics in English.

My Country

This my country the Philippines
Land of gold and flowers
Love is in her own good fortune
She offered her beauty and allure.
And for she is pretty and beautiful
The foreigners they got attracted
My country, you have been enslaved
You have been thrown to despair.

Even the birds they have freedom to fly
Imprison them and they cry
How much more my country so pretty
Who will not want to be set free!
The Philippines, my beloved
My nest of tears and sorrow
It is my goal
To see you utmost free!

Indeed it is difficult to capture the feelings evoked by the lyrics in Filipino in a radically different language. At most, the concepts and ideas when translated to another language remain as only approximations of the original thoughts. There cannot really be a perfect translation since the literary work could not be appreciated well without the context laid down in the unique culture where the original language flourishes.

Read my other article on an English translation of a revolutionary Filipino poem at: http://hinagapnikaure.blogspot.com/2010/01/english-translation-of-revolutionary.html.