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I decided that the only way I could really get across the beauty of Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” would be by translating the lyrics myself. I learned a lot.
Sometimes I put silly place-holder words and phrases into translated texts, so that I can immediately know the literal meaning in English without having to recheck in the dictionary. I go over the text a few times, revising it until the word or phrase sounds natural and acceptable, so normally the place-holders are replaced. There are times when I grow attached to them, though!