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Would it be "lass eine glücklich, or "mach eine glücklich? Or some third phrase?

This comes from another of my translations of the popular American song Make Someone Happy.

A more complete translation is:

"Lass eine glücklich.
Lass nur eine glücklich.
Sing nur einem Herz deine Lieber.

Ein Lacheln für dich.
Ein glanzendes Ansicht naher dich.
Ein Maedchen deiner Liebe."

It's a figurative, not literal translation, but one meant to keep the original syllablefication.

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I agree with splattne and would like to suggest "eine Frau" or "ein Mädchen" as another alternative for "eine". The use of "eine" as a standalone word for "some woman" is very unromantic. –  Stefan Walter Jul 13 '11 at 13:57
    
But maybe it isn't that bad here, since "one" is so emphasized in this song. –  Stefan Walter Jul 13 '11 at 14:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The literal translation of "make someone happy" is

Mach jemand(en) glücklich!

or in the lyrics' context keeping the number of syllables maybe

Mach sie doch glücklich!

The usage of the verb lassen is not a correct in this case.

Reading the original English lyrics, I'd change the six lines of your translation to

Mach jemand glücklich,
Mache nur eine einzige glücklich;
Schenke nur einem Herzen deine Lieder.

Ein Lächeln, das dich ermuntert,
Ein Anblick, der dich umstrahlt,
Ein Mädchen, dem (or: eine Frau, der) du alles bedeutest.

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3  
@Tom: "Jemand" is the literal translation of "someone". It is a word with no feminine declination. You can use it for a woman, but it sounds awkward (at least to my ears). –  Stefan Walter Jul 13 '11 at 14:12
    
@splattne: Your translation of the second verse is better than mine EXCEPT for syllables. "One smile that cheers you (5) One face that lights when it nears you (8) One girl you're ever'thing to (7). Also, "Ein Mädchen deiner Liebe (7) is meant to rhyme with, ro at least parallel "Schenk nur einem Hertz deiner Lieder." –  Tom Au Jul 14 '11 at 21:10

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