Poll: Vote for the best translation of “Yes, we can!” in 7 languages.

In honor of the historic event occurring in the world today, Lexiophiles has come up with the best translations of Barack Obama’s exciting slogan, “Yes we can.” We created a poll in seven different languages, so that you can vote for the one you think is the best, & you are welcomed to leave comments contributing additional translations if you’d like.

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Letizia and Ryann said:

Io penso che “si può fare” sia la versione migliore. La frase risulta efficacia, breve e diretta. L’ultima è vero che esprime il sentimento d’unione del popolo americano ed è anche vero che è la frase ideologicamente più vicina a quello che “yes we can” significa ma in italiano non risulata d’effetto come invece uno slogan deve essere.

I think that “si può fare” is the best version. The phrase is efficient, concise, and direct. The last one is also valid, as it expresses the unity of the American people and is also more ideologically similar to the English version, however, it does not read as a slogan should in Italian.

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Corentin said:

Le slogan anglais est d’une concision et d’une force exceptionnelle: je sens avoir lamentablement échoué à trouver un équivalent français… Il aurait fallu évoquer plusieurs éléments: l’unité du peuple américain, un ton optimiste et une forte conviction dans les succès futurs. Vous jugerez du résultat. Un aspect plus ludique était d’en faire un exercice de style à la Queneau : quel slogan adopter pour s’adresser à un public ultra-stéréotypé ? Il en reste sûrement plein d’autres, je vous laisse la parole dans les commentaires ! A vous les studios !

The English catchphrase has exceptional conciseness & strength: I feel that I failed miserably at finding its French counterpart. The following elements should be evoked: the unity of the US nation, an optimistic tone of voice and the faith in the future successes. Did I find the right motto? You tell me. Then, I tried to replicate the famous Exercises in Style of Raymond Queneau, known by every French schoolchild: one same story told with different registers. Feel free to add more in the comments! Back to you in the studios ! —————————————————————————-

Asia said:

W dzisiejszych czasach dominacja angielskiego jest tak wszechobecna, że niektóre słowa, a nawet całe zwroty wchodzą do naszego języka codziennego nieprzetłumaczone. Tak stało się ze słynnym hasłem z kampanii Obamy. My postanowiliśmy jednak poszukać zgrabnego polskiego odpowiednika, starając się jednocześnie zachować porywający i motywujący styl oryginału. Wydaje nam się, że pierwsze, najprostsze i najbardziej dosłowne tłumaczenie dobrze spełnia te wymagania, choć wymaga pewnego kontekstu (możemy zmienić świat, wygrać wybory, sprawić, że wszystkim będzie żyło się lepiej, możemy wszystko! W trakcie kampanii wyborczej taki kontekst jest przeważnie dobrze znany). Ale może macie jakieś uwagi co do trafności zaproponowanych tłumaczeń, a może własne pomysły na przełożenie tego hasła na polski? Czekamy na komentarze!

Nowadays the English is so ubiquetous that some words or even whole phrases enter our daily language untranslated. This happened with the famous slogan from Obama’s campaign. However, we decided to look for a nice Polish equivalent anyway, trying to retain the inspiring and motivational spirit of the original. It seems to us that the first suggested translation, although the simplest and the most literal, still best fits this description. It needs certain context, though (we can change the world, win the election, provide everyone with better living conditions, we can do anything! During electoral campaign this context is usually well-known). But maybe you have some remarks regarding the relevance of the translations suggested below? Maybe you have some brilliant ideas of your own on how to translate this slogan into Polish? We are waiting for your comments! —————————————————————————-

Vitória said:

Então, o Barack Obama venceu as eleições. O slogan de sua campanha ficou famoso pelo mundo inteiro: “Yes, we can”. Não importa que idioma você fala nem se você entende realmente o que a frase significa: o sentimento contido nela contagiou o coração da população dos quatro cantos do mundo. “Sim, nós podemos”. Mas de discursos tocantes e lágrimas escorrendo pelas faces estamos já quase cheios. Então quem sabe adicionar um pouco de humor ao futuro dos Estados Unidos? Acima estão os exemplos de como seria a tradução de “Yes, we can” por diversos personagens brasileiros. Vote no seu favorito! Caso algum deles não esteja muito claro para você, dê uma olhada nos vídeos abaixo:

Lula: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBYoCSvFhy8

Galvão Bueno: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1pDISxx7Ko

Sanduiche-iche: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmn-dbBpglU

Seu Creysson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARmQXmGnAks

So, Barack Obama got elected. His campaign´s motto is now famous all around the world: “Yes, we can”. It doesn’t matter which language you speak or if you really understand what the sentence means: the feeling that it evokes has touched the hearts of all kinds of people. But I guess we´ve had enough of emotional speeches and tearful moments. So what about adding some humor to the future of the United States? Above are some examples of how the translation of “Yes, we can” would be pronounced by different Brazilians. Vote on your favorite! Just for the record: The right translation would be “Sim, nós podemos” and the options above are just funny for Brazilians or people that have already lived there… If you want to at least try to understand, take a look at the video with an example of who the person is:
Lula: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBYoCSvFhy8
Galvão Bueno: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1pDISxx7Ko
Sanduiche-iche: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmn-dbBpglU
Seu Creysson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARmQXmGnAks

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Maribel said:

Como todos sabemos, muy pronto será la posición del nuevo presidente electo de los Estados Unidos, Barak Obama. A partir de ese momento el lema “Yes, we can“ entrará en acción y se espera que logre varios cambios, que principalmente impulsen la primera economía mundial. Debido a la extensa población latina en este país, el lema se tradujo desde el inicio de la campaña por “Sí se puede”. Obviamente, la traducción no es literal, si no que conserva el verdadero sentido de unión y de confianza que se quiere transmitir. Algunas personas lo han traducido como “Sí podemos”.¿Cuál crees que es la mejor?

The Omaba slogan “Yes we can” was translated into Spanish as “Sí se puede”. I think this slogan tries to connect the Americans and to make themselves believe in their country again. Some other people translated it as “Si podemos”. I don’t think there is a very big difference in the meaning; however, the option “Sí se puede” sounds more natural in the Spanish language, since it tends to go with the impersonal. What do you think?

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Yang He said:

就在奥巴马出生的前一年——1960年,北卡罗来纳州还不允许黑人与白人同用一间餐馆。 2008年11月4日,这里的选民却将总统选票投给了一个黑人。在马丁路德金发表那篇世界上最著名的演讲40年之后,美国人终于将种族主义踩在脚下。此 时,他们可以大声地和他们的新总统一起欢呼:“Yes, we can!”。 任何对这句英文口号的中文翻译都没法像它的原版一样显得有力。我勉强地选择“我们会实现”为最好的翻译。“实现”的意思是 “to realize”。如同一个黑人当选总统这件激动人心的事实一样,美国人“实现”了这种改变,“实现”了马丁路德金——那个黑人运动的先驱者——将近半个 世纪的梦想。

Even in the year 1960 — one year before Barack Obama was born, African Americans were still not allowed to sit in the same restaurant with white people in North Carolina. But on Jan, 4th, 2009, people there voted for a black president. — 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech, American people finally put racism underfoot. At this moment, they can shout loudly together with their new president: “Yes, we can!” Any literal Chinese translation can not be as powerful as its original English expression. I pick “我们终将实现!”(wǒ men zhōng jiāng shí xiàn ) as the best translation. “实现” means “to realize” in Chinese. As Obama became the president of United States after an exciting and historic election, the American people “realized” change; they “realized” that dream of Martin Luther King— a dream that lasted almost half a century.

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Jonas said:

Im Deutschen würde die beste Übersetzung für „Yes, we can!“ wohl “Ja, wir schaffen es!“ sein. Es ist kurz und eingängig – genauso wie das englische Original. Man könnte ebenso sagen „Ja, wir können es!“, aber dann würde jeder fragen, was man genau kann. Das würde die Sache verkomplizieren. „Schaffen“ heißt schließlich „erreichen“ und „vollbringen“ und passt daher sehr gut in den Kontext. Oder hat jemand eine andere Idee?

In German the best translation for “Yes, we can!” would be “Ja, wir schaffen es!”. It is short and catchy as well as the English counterpart. You could also say “Ja, wir können es!”, but then everybody would ask what exactly you can do – which would complicate the whole thing. “Schaffen” means “to achieve”, “to accomplish” or “to create” something and thus suits the context perfectly. Or does anybody have another idea? —————————————————————————-

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