Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na lyrics and translation: Pappu Can't Dance

Song five of seven from the Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na soundtrack is Pappu Can't Dance, involving several vocalists: Baze, Mohammad Aslam, Tanvi, Anupama Deshpande, Benny Dayal, Tanvi, Darshana, Satish Subramanium. Like the references contained in it and how catchy the tune is!

On the word 'Pappu'
The only English equivalent I can think of is 'cutie pie'. The word is sometimes used along with gappu, as in gappu pappu (chubby pappu), when referring to a sweet male child. Some moms lovingly call their sons 'pappu', which is often used as a nickname within a household.

'Pappu' is also often used to poke fun at a person (male only). The [arguably] offensive part lies in calling a grown man pappu, which implies the weakness of a child or a lack of maturity.

A reference to Salman Khan?
No. As I said in this post, I find it surprising, because Salman can dance. Aamir Khan rubbished this as well, in this video from the music launch.

On the word 'Saala'
The literal translation of the word 'saala' is, as I am sure you must know, 'b@****d'. Of course, it is often used in a friendly context. Remember the song Roobaroo from Rang De Basani (2006)? 'Saala' also means brother-in-law, as in wife's brother, but that is not relevant here.

On the character 'Pappu'
Somewhat looking forward to learning more of this character. Sounds interesting. Is this song at a party sponsored by the alumni group at the college Jai and Aditi (characters for Imran Khan and Genelia D'Souza) attend, since we know he holds a MBA? =)

The Song (here is the trailer)
Here are the lyrics I transcribed, and alongside it my attempted translation. Here are posts related to the film, including lyrics and translations of other songs, trailers, interviews, etc.


Anonymous said...

Is it a good thing to be called Pappu within the household or not?

theBollywoodFan said...

Anonymous: A lot depends on the context of the statement and the person saying it. For instance, if parents said it to a child of sheer love, I don't think it's offensive even if the person receiving it were an adult. Nothing wrong with that, in my humble opinion.

Of course, one could argue about the merits of being at the receiving end of 'pappu' as the youngest of all siblings. I am the youngest in my family (even extended family), and the term still comes up (I'm 26) when my older siblings or cousins want to pick on me =)

The major problem with the term is when people use it to bully others in a rather distasteful sense...I'm sure there are a few examples of villains or bhais (gangsters) using the term for those who were kidnapped and in their custody, for example...just can't think of one right now.

As for Pappu Can't Dance - should be interesting to see its placement and relevance.

Anonymous said...

Also want to thank you for the footnotes---I am learning so much from you this week! :-)

You could have a career in subtitling :-)

theBollywoodFan said...

You are very welcome, Memsaab. Thank you for your kind words :)

I've always wished subtitles were more specific and culturally sensitive. It first occurred to me when I would visit my cousins who grew up in Europe, North America, or Africa. They speak very little Hindi or Urdu, but their efforts to appreciate Hindi cinema were often inhibited because of the quality of the subtitles. Most of them were so turned off, they seldom try to watch any, any more.

I could have just as easily have been in their shoes...still, I'm trying to get them to give the new Bollywood another shot! ;)

Anonymous said...

Adab Pappu-bhai, er I mean Adab theBollywoodFan and thanks for another thoughtful translation! Excellent effort again. You are a true cultural ambassador of translation. I like the story about your cousins and their impressions of the movies and you wanting to help cultivate an appreciation. You may not have reached them yet, but you've reached the blogosphere!

Yaar, I thought saala (which BTW means living room in Spanish) meant 'damn' or 'idiot' until now. I have a little notebook I jot down words I think I have learned in Hindi from the movies, and I had a '?' next to that one. See, your translations are not in vain. The footnotes are much appreciated.

All the best,
your pagli saala dost, Sita-ji

Hey, look at this:

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you very much for your kind words, Sita-ji. That's an interesting take on that word. I guess it's so popular in the Bambayya bhaasha (the [Hindi] language of Bombay) that has its own flavor, that we have several meanings for it. Do agree that most often it is used in a friendly sense.

In Urdu, 'saala' also means 'year-old'. So, a 10 year-old boy would be a 'dus-saala ladka'. Sitting in the 'saala' (the living room, as I learned from you!) as I write this... =) Have fun Sita-ji!

Unknown said...

hey....i cant read the translation..its not clear...how do i get it..

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Nithya: If you click on the image that has text, it should enlarge the image enough to make the translation legible. If that doesn't work, click here.

Thanks for stopping by!