In a previous article I talked about "Hazeem Al-Raad," the arabic adaptation of the space war anime "Ginga Sengoku Gunryuuden Rai." The article was less about the anime itself, and more about the fond memories I had with it.
One thing I touched upon is the opening. I love it. I still think it's one of the best Arabic anime openings ever! Almost 2 decades later... So, today's article is dedicated to this opening, explaining its lyrics & their significance to my English speaking audience.
If you watched the video above, you'll notice how many times the word "هزيم" (Hazeem) is being said in the opening. Hazeem is the name of the protagonist, but the word has a deeper meaning in the context of the song:
In Arabic, the word هزيم is taken from the root "هزم" which means "to beat/defeat/win-a-battle" so as native Arabic speaker, I always thought that the protagonist name means "The Defeater" or "One who constantly beats their enemy."
It turns out that the word هزيم is the name for the Thunder sound in Arabic. It's the sound that accompanies lightning! The arabic word for voice is the same one for sound, so a better translation of "" (Hazeem Al-Raad) would be *"Voice of Thunder." That's the protagonist name in the arabic version. Considering this the lyrics become more meaningful...
أبرقي أرعدي أبطالاً وعدوك أنبل وعد
(O Sky,) cast your lightning and thunder upon heroes who promised you the (most) noble promise.
جاؤوك بصوت الحق الهادر كهزيم الرعد
They came for you, with a roaring voice of rightfulness. (Just) like the voice of thunder.
بسيوف أقوى من نار عرفت كيف الرد
With swords stronger than a fire (that) knew how to retaliate.
ماهنت ولن تهني، بل من أجلك ثار اشتد: هزيم الرعد
You didn't and will never weaken. For you it/he raged, escalated: The Voice of Thunder
ماعاش الظالم يسبيك وفينا نفس بعد
The transgressors will never abuse you, as long as we still can breath
بحنيني بدمي أفديك وروحي تنبت مجد: هزيم الرعد
With my longing and blood I'll save/redeem you. My soul will birth a glory: Voice of Thunder
The translations above are mine, the lyrics were hard to translate though. Most of the words are used differently or never used at all in modern Arabic language. (i.g. The word يسبيك means "abuse you," you'll never hear this word used this way from a modern Arabic speaker.)
Every time "Voice of Thunder" mentioned in my translation of the lyrics above, Arabic listeners will replace it with the protagonist in their mind. Because of that, when I first watched as child, I thought the opening is just glorifying the hero. That's brilliant use of lyrics!
Something I want to mention is that Arabic language is so specific so to translate one word, two or three English words must be provided in the translation. This is less noticeable in every day Arabic. Opening lyrics are meant to be mysterious and have as much meaning in as less words as possible. In unscripted Arabic speech, we use less specific words and it may take more words than in English to send the same message. Fun comparison, right?
What are your thoughts?
I'm interested in seeing non-Arabs perspective on this opening, as well as fellow Arabs opinion on my translation. I didn't look up other translations for this opening as a source. (The only source I used is Google Translate to double-check.)
Hope you learned something and/or enjoyed this article, for now, I look forward to seeing you in another article! Thanks for reading!
- This article is crossposted here on Hive & on Read.cash.