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If someone knows English and Portuguese, I'd like help with a translation of the lyrics of the song Creep by Radiohead. The translations we have here translate creep to Portuguese as verme, esquisito or esquisitão, however, verme in Portuguese has a direct meaning as "worm" in English and esquisito means "weird"; esquisitão is only the augmentative of "weird".

According to the sense of the lyrics, the girl rejects the singer and escapes from him because she is superior to him; she is too good for him and thus cannot have a relationship with him or give him attention. I guess in this scenario the best translation to Portuguese is nojento which means "disgusting". Am I correct?

A contextual portion of the lyrics is

You're so ****in' special
I wish I was special
But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?

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I don't know Portuguese, but I think you're on the right track with esquisito; "creep" could be a "person who is very weird", though it usually has slightly negative implications (weird in a "bad" way). –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Nov 30 '12 at 16:03
    
Ok! Thank you so very much for the help! :) –  Alexander Silva Araújo Nov 30 '12 at 19:37
    
Trying to translate poetry from one language to another is usually a flop. –  GEdgar Dec 1 '12 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

Calling someone a creep is a post-war slang variant of he gives me the creeps (unsettles me, makes me squirm, etc.). Deriving from make one's flesh creep (with the "goose-pimples" of fear).

Originally (and still most commonly today), it's used by young women talking about "strange" young men they wouldn't feel comfortable being alone with. Usually, but not always, because they feel vaguely threatened. Sometimes it's just because the young man is socially inept, and in consequence the woman feels awkward/embarrassed.

English has lots of slang terms with much the same meaning - for example, dork, dweeb, prat, goober, goofball, jerk. Social ineptitude is the main common factor.

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Thank you a lot for the help! Very enlightening! –  Alexander Silva Araújo Nov 30 '12 at 19:45

No. Not really. I think a translation for "freak" would be most befitting of the tone of the song.

freak (noun) 1. any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly; aberration. 2. a person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviation from nature; monster.

The song is about a guy who feels inferior to a girl because of his looks, tastes, desires. He refers to her as an angel and implies that he is far from an angel, that he doesn't deserve her. "What the hell am I doing here?" He feels like an aberration around her and in her world.

Perhaps we could assume that he is hideous as he contrasts with her, who is angelic, but it's a leap to use the word disgusting. He is simply an outsider in her world, and feels beneath her.

Etymonline, gives a few possible origins for freak, including:

1560s, "sudden turn of mind," of unknown origin, perhaps related to O.E. frician "to dance" (not recorded in Middle English, but the word may have survived in dialect) [OED, Barnhart], or perhaps from M.E. frek "bold, quickly," from O.E. frec "greedy, gluttonous" (cf. Ger. frech "bold, impudent"). Sense of "capricious notion" (1560s) and "unusual thing, fancy" (1784) preceded that of "strange or abnormal individual" (first in freak of nature, 1847; cf. L. lusus naturæ, used in English from 1660s). The sense in health freak, ecology freak, etc. is attested from 1908 (originally Kodak freak, a camera buff). Freak show attested from 1887. The verb meaning "change, distort" goes back to 1911. Earlier, "to streak or fleck randomly" (1630s).

The Middle English "frek" and German "frech" seem closest in meaning to the English, but my skills do not suffice to tie that to anything Portuguese.

Google Translate provides "aberração" as the top translation of freak, but that, I'm guessing, is closer to "aberration." "Aborto" looks like it has the meaning of "monster", which could work.

For what it's worth, I have Portuguese-speaking friends who use the English word. Spanish and Catalan people do as well, although in Spanish a "friki" is more of a "nerd" than a "freak".

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Thankful for the considerations and comments, but I think is good to observe that the original word is 'creep –  Alexander Silva Araújo Nov 30 '12 at 18:53
    
...continuing...(the system have interrupted me, I don't no why)... and not "freak", are you making an adaptation or parallel? –  Alexander Silva Araújo Nov 30 '12 at 18:59
    
Parallel. If there is no translation for creep. –  tylerharms Nov 30 '12 at 19:02
    
Ah, ok! So you guess the author or the guy in the "story" of the song, in the vision of the girl causes fear (because in another verse the lyrics says: "She's running out the door She's running She run, run, run, run Run") but doesn't reach to cause disgust, is it? Thank you very very much for the help! :)) –  Alexander Silva Araújo Nov 30 '12 at 19:27
    
Yes. The song is from his perspective, and he is calling himself a creep in a fit of self loathing. If he is disgusting, it is only part of why he is a creep. He is simply weird, different, and beneath her. I recommend freak on the grounds that it is close in meaning to creep, has the same implied meaning of "unsavoury outcast" as creep, and has crossed into other languages already: "friki". –  tylerharms Dec 1 '12 at 11:38

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