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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Possible Mauritian Creole to English Translation For The Mauritius Sega Song "Ti Marmit"

Edited by Azizi Powell

(Revised November 16, 2017 12:25 AM ET)

This pancocojams post showcase the original 2002 video of the Mauritian Sega song "Ti Marmit" (also given as "Ti Marmite"). That video shows children playing a circle game while singing that song.

The Mauritian Creole lyrics to "Ti Marmit" are included in this post along with an "English language" translation from that same website.

Three "English translations" of this song are included in this post: an English translation of this song from a Mauritius online forum; a translation from the results of Google Translates "Haitian Creole to English" feature; and a translation that includes additional Haitian Creole, French words, as well as some translations of Mauritius Creole to English that are found in that first cited translation, and/or that are found elsewhere online. That translation also includes my guesses regarding the English words or phrases based on my familiarity with the English language, and particularly with African American Vernacular English.

I believe that the third "English translation" of "Ti Marmit" that is found in this post is probably the most accurate of these three translations. My notes below demonstrate the process by which I've arrived at that conclusion. However, I am NOT saying that this translation is totally correct. Corrections to this translation are very welcome.

The Addendum to this post provides information about Sega music, information about the Mauritian non-profit organization Abaim and their musical group "Group Abaim, and my description of the performance activity of the version of this singing game that is documented in this video.

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The content of this post is presented for cultural, linguistic, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in this video and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Thanks to the non-profit organization Abaim for their work with Mauritian children and youth.

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: ABAIM : Ti marmit (original 2002)



Thefriendsbe, Published on Jan 1, 2011

ABAIM : Klip Ti marmit (original 2002)

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LYRICS FOR THIS SONG IN MAURITIAN CREOLE

"Ti Marmit"
(composed by Group Abaim)

Ki nou pou zoué la ?

Ti éna ene ti marmit
Enn ti poule noir ti danse ladan
Li apiye ar ros cari
Alala Aurélie ki ti fer sa
Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie conne pik séga
Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie conne pik séga
1 2 3 roulé matante
4 5 6 mathématique
7 8 9 dan mo panier 9 9 9

Met la main la haut
Met la main dan lerein
Met la main la haut
Met la main dan lerein
Américain cass so lerein
Américain cass so lerein

Ti éna ene ti marmit
Enn ti poule noir ti danse ladan
Li apiye ar ros cari
Alala Manuella….Chloé….Christina….

Source: https://www.radiomoris.com/forum/paroles-classees/3323-paroles-de-ti-marmit-de-grup-abaim.html 24/01/2006, Nathalia
Localisation: Studio 2, Radiomoris
Paroles de "Ti marmit" de Grup Abaim
-snip-
The sound file in this page features a different group singing "To Marmit" than Group Abaim.

From Google search (website no longer available)
"Radio Moris is live broadcasting from Mauritius. RadioMoris broadcast various kind of latest Ragga, sega, hip hop, classic, dance, electronic etc. music.".
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TRANSLATING "TI MARMIT" FROM MAURITIAN CREOLE TO STANDARD ENGLISH
Pancocojams Editor's Notes About This Song's English translation:
I don't know any language but English. However, since there doesn't appear to be any Mauritian Creole translations for "Ti Marmit" online as of the publication date for this pancocojams posts, it seems to me that both Haitian Creole and French can be used to "suss" out probable meanings for this song's lyrics.

Translation #1:
Here's an English translation for this song from that same radiomoris.com forum which published the Mauritian Creole lyrics that are given above [Note: Given the description of radiomoris.com as an online site from Mauritius, this translation is from Mauritian Creole to English.


Ti Marmit

Ki can we screw up?

Ti éna ene ti marmit
Enn ti hen black ti dance ladan
Li apiye ar ros cari
Alala Aurélie ki ti fer
Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie conne pik sega
Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie conne pik sega
1 2 3 matted roll
4 5 6 mathematical
7 8 9 dan mo cart 9 9 9

Put your hand up
Put your hand in the len
Put your hand up
Put your hand in the len
American cass so lerein
American cass so lerein

Ti éna ene ti marmit
Enn ti hen black ti dance ladan
Li apiye ar ros cari
Alala Manuella ... .Chloe ... .Christina ...."

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Translation #2
Here's the Google Translates results for the Mauritian Creole to English lyrics:

Ti Marmit

What are we going to do for you?

There is only one small march
The end of the little noisy dunes
She leans to the floor
Alala Aurelie did so
Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie connecting pigeons
Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie connecting pigeons
1 2 3 roulé matante
4 5 6 mathématique
7 8 9 dan mo panier 9 9 9

Join the main la haut
Stay away from home
Join the main la haut
Stay away from home
Américain cass so dress
Américain cass so dress

There is only one small march
The end of the little noisy dunes
She leans to the floor
Alala Manuella ... .Chloé ... .Christina ...."

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Translation #3
Here's my suggestions the English translations for "Ti Marmit" that are made by comparing those two translations and substituting other word translation from Mauritian Creole to English, Haitian Creole to English, or French to English words:

1. There is no French to English translation for "marmit". However, the French to English translation for "marmite" is "cooking pot" and the Haitian Creole to English translation for "marmite" is "saucepan".

Therefore, the song title "Ti Marmite" translates from Haitian Creole to English as "Little saucepan".

Note that the word "marmit" is spelled "marmite" for these results. The word "marmit" is spelled "marmite" in some other YouTube videos of this Sega song. I've added links to three of those videos in the comment section below.

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2. The Haitian Creole translation "What are we going to do for you?" for the second line seems to fit much better than the translation for the line from www.radiomoris.com.

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3. The Haitian Creole to English results for "Ti éna ene ti marmite" (instead of Ti éna ene ti marmit") is "There was only a small saucepan".

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4. I believe that the line means "The little black hen did a little dance in it". Here's how I extrapolated that meaning
a) The word "enn" in the line "Enn ti poule noir ti danse ladan" means "it" (I extrapolated this meaning from the Mauritian Creole to English subtitles given in another Abaim YouTube video entitled "Tang mama tang".
b) the word "ti" means "little" in Haitian Creole [see #1]
c) the words "noir poule" mean "black hen" in French.
d) the "danse" means "dance in French and in Haitian Creole
e) The word "laden" means "in it" in Haitian Creole

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5. The word "pigeons" is clearly a translation of the word "sega". The story about a small black hen dancing in a cooking pot is a witty way of referring to black children dancing the sega.

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6. The lyrics "Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie connecting pigeons" might mean something like "Aurélie, Aurélie, Aurélie (a girl's name) dance sega with us".

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7. The French to English translation for the word "roulé" is roll.

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8. There is no Haitian Creole to English translation for the word "matante". However, the French to English translation for "matante" ("ma tante") and "tante" is "aunt". The Haitian Creole to English translation for "tante" is also "aunt". Therefore, "1 2 3 roulé matante" may mean something like "1 2 3, roll [your hips] like your aunt [does].

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9. "4 5 6 mathématique" may mean something like "4 5 6 count down!"

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10. The Haitian Creole to English translation for the word "dan" is "then".

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11. The Mauritian to English translation for the word "mo" is "I" (from various Mauritian English online pages and from various sub-titled Abaim videos.)

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12. The Haitian Creole to English translation for the word "panier" is "basket".

Therefore, an English translation for "7 8 9 dan mo panier 9 9 9" may be "7 8 9 then I put it in the basket 9 9 9". "Then I put it in the basket". That line probably refers back to the story of the small black hen dancing in the cooking pot. In this song "Then I put it in the basket" is the signal to dance more energetically, similar to the African American Vernacular English phrase "Break it down (now)", meaning to show your best dance moves.

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13. Here's my guess about the English translations for the next to the last verse of this song:
Put your hand up
Put your hand in the air
Put your hand up
Put your hand in the air
As the Americans do
As the Americans do.
-snip-
I used most of the https://www.radiomoris.com/translation for this verse.
"Put your hands up in the air" is a widely used Hip Hop chant. People raise their hands up in the air and wave them to the beat of Hip Hop/R&B songs as a way of showing their appreciation for those songs.

I'm guessing the meaning of the word "kas" (cass; kass) from the Google Translate Haitian Creole to English results for the Mauritian Creole line "mo kas enn kann" [I can do it]. That line was given in the subtitles in the YouTube video of the Abaim song "Tang mama tang"

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14. The Google Translate Haitian Creole to English results for the line "Li apiye ar ros cari" is "She leans to the floor". In the context of this song, that line probably refers to the way some female danced the sega (or danced when they played a circle game with this song.)

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15. "Alala Manuella ... .Chloé ... .Christina ...." - I think that "Alala Manuella" is a female name. "Chloe" and "Christina" are female names. In this "Ti Marmit" singing game, each of these names represent a girl who is part of the group who the person standing in the middle of the circle points to toward the end of the song. The person who is pointed to at the end of the song =on the name "Christina" is the new middle person.

Additions and corrections for this lyrics are very welcome.

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ADDENDUM TO THIS POST

A. INFORMATION ABOUT SEGA MUSIC AND DANCE
From https://mauritiusattractions.com/mauritius-sega-i-106.html
"Sega in Mauritius
The Sega is a dance which originated from the ritual music of Madagascar and the mainland of Africa, and it is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian Way of Life: Joy and Liveliness.

Originally sung by men and women who had been sold as slaves but whose souls had remained sensitive to music, the Sega is nowadays a folksong which has integrated itself within the framework of our folklore.

The Sega is usually sung in Creole (mother tongue of Mauritians). Many singers had thought of also bringing forward the English version of the Sega songs but later resolved not to proceed with it so as to preserve the uniqueness and cultural richness of the local music of Mauritius.

The original instruments are fast disappearing, making way for the more conventional orchestra ensemble. However, all along the coastal fishing villages, the traditional instruments such as the “Ravanne”, “Triangle”, the “Maravanne” and the traditional guitar are still being used.

Sega Music Instruments
The Ravanne, which is a wooden hoop over which has been stretched a piece of goat skin.

The Coco, (Maracas) which represents the percussion section

The “Triangle”, a triangular piece of metal which tinkles when tapped with an iron rod

The traditional guitar which was a single string instrument with an arc attached to an empty "Calebasse”

The “Maravanne” -wooden rectangular box containing sand or seeds.

Ambiance of Sega
Traditionally stimulated and inspired by local rum, the fishing folks gather around a camp fire. Very often they dance without any music at all and are accompanied only by the sound of the” Ravanne”, the tinkling of spoons, the rattling of seeds/sand in a tin, and the clapping of hands of spectators who eventually join in .

The Sega Dance
The dance itself is the rhythmic swaying of the hips to the pulsating rhythm of the Ravanne. The following description will give you a vivid image of the Sega dance:

The man usually stands in the dancing area with hands on the hips waiting for the girl to shuffle towards him, wiggling, hip-balancing and waving a colorful handkerchief invitingly. Then the partners face each other with a waist-and-shoulder grasp and ... the improvisation starts.

Sega Dance Mauritius
It starts with a gentle swaying, to a slow and solemn tune, which gradually rises and you find the dancers swaying with animated movements to keep pace with the ever-increasing tempo."...

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B. INFORMATION ABOUT ABAIM AND GROUP ABAIM
From https://www.blogger.com/profile/04879472809568439259
"Industry Non-Profit
Location Beau Bassin, Mauritius

Introduction Abaim is a non governmental organisation founded in 1982. It proceeds from the setting-up of a support front during a heroic strike of the Blind Persons at the Lois Lagesse Centre in 1982. Abaim is a registered association. The association is based in Beau-Bassin and operates at the ex-Colonel Maingard Government School. Through its Saturday care project and its movement education and keep fit project, it is now fuly integrated to the local community."
-snip-
My Google search for information about this group resulted in this statement from a website that is no longer available: “Since 1988, the music workshop has set up a musical group, the grup Abaim.”.
-snip-
Here's the link to the non-profit organization Abaim's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groupeabaim/

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C. DESCRIPTION OF THE SINGING GAME THAT IS PERFORMED IN THIS VIDEO*
1. Girls and boys form a big circle with one person in the middle.
2. A person stands in the center of the circle and sings while performing a moderate winding type of dance with her hands on her hips.
3. Members of the group hold hands and walk clockwise around the middle person while singing>
4. When they sing the name "Aurélie", the children drop hands and continue to sing while standing in place.
5. When they sing the counting lyrics beginning with "1 2 3 roulé matante ines", the children sway their hips from side to side on the beat. The middle person also performs this same movement.
6. The group points to the middle person
7. The middle person points to the group.
8. On the lyrics "Met la main la haut", the group and the middle person wave both hands in the air and then place their hands back on their hips, doing a winding dance
9. At the end of the song (on the word "Cristina"), the middle person purposely points to someone in the group, i.e. She doesn't close her eyes or spin while pointing. The person pointed to becomes the new "middle person">
10. The former middle person rejoins the group.
11. The new middle person stands in the middle of the circle and the song immediately begins from the beginning. This pattern continues as long as the group wishes to play this game.
-snip-
*Additions and corrections are welcome.

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1 comment:

  1. Here are links to three examples of this Sega song in which the word "marmit" is spelled "marmite":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRp3xAMzAyQ "BMA Kids Singing Ti Marmite - Easter Holiday"

    and

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsvd2HaGb1w "Abaim - Ti Marmite"

    and

    I also found this YouTube video of adults at a Mauritian wedding reception dancing to the song "Ti Marmit": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49eH8wO8axQ "Ti Marmite song- Indian Wedding Mauritius Promix"
    "Ti Marmite song- Indian Wedding Mauritius Promix

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    Also, as a person who is interested in documenting the way children play circle (ring) games, I find it interesting that in the "BMA Kids..." video, Ti Marmite" is a singing game that is performed without a person in the middle.

    ReplyDelete