"Ground control to Major Tom...". It's a very pressing matter, in that it relates to my own amusement. I hope I have met Stack Exchange's quality question guideline rules. Thank you.

  • The answer to this question is very much up to taste. How to translate a line in a song is a bit too subjective a matter to have a satisfactory answer. – yasmine-chanel Aug 7 '17 at 4:45

"Ground control" is (sur)tera direktejo and "(military) major" is majoro, and in both, the j is pronounced like the y in yes. However, it is better if the name Major Tom is pronounced as in English.

So the translation is Direktej' al Major Tom. ("dee-reck-tay al Major Tom")

If you want it entirely in Esperanto, use Direktej' al la Major'. The stress is normally on the second-last syllable of a word, but it doesn't move if the ending -o is dropped: major'.

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Bazo al Majoro Tom

Terbazo al Major' Tom

Comparable - in a wide sence - with "base camp."

If you merge "zo-al" you get an interesting sound, just as "ground control" has interesting r-s. You could elide the final o in Majoro: Major' Tom.

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  • 1
    Oni devus fuŝi la akcenton por kanti la duan version, ĉu ne? – Neil Roberts Jul 11 '17 at 9:28

The most poetic way to translate a poem is to translate the whole poem. When you look at it this ways, the possibilities open up a bit. For example, since the first two lines are identical, you could take two lines to get the idea out.

Vokas vin la ter-staci'

Ni vokas nun al la Major'

My understanding is that Major Tom is not a real person so there's no reason you couldn't change the name to get it to work out.

Ter-staci' al la major'

Ni vokas al Majoro Tom

You could really call him anything you want.

I'm personally partial to Ter-Staci' - which is what I came up with after reading a few national language translations of the song.

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