French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

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Rellique
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French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by Rellique » Mon Jul 04, 2022 11:17 pm

Few years ago, i wondered "are songs really unadaptable/untranslatable correctly" ? Short answer: yes, ... and no !

I mean, today we can translate anything in any language nowadays, but in spite of meanings, rhymes, senses, and if a specific word does not exist, ouch...

And then, i found something interesting on youtube: English adaptation of Japanese anime Opening, and for many of them, the english translation in outstanding! Yes, they change many things and some sentences are totally different or lost, but whathever: we didn't lost THAT many after all, the song still powerfull. And hey, if you want the pure translation, you can find the original opening on youtube and see the litteral subtitles :).

That's why i decided to try the adaptation exercice with English and French Songs.

"Good Griefs, the frenchy made another topic about translation, Whoohooo...". Yeah, sorry about that, i promiss it is not the only trait of my personnality :lol: ...

So here i will post translation in english of french Song, and the translation in french of english songs !

If you have any request, or if you’ve always wanted to know what this damn french song means or if you already have a litteral translation but want to have an adaptation, just ask me ^^.

For each song, i will post it in 3 part: the original text, the litteral translation, and my adaptation. In case of French songs, i will put a youtube video too.
If you found a typo, or if my grammar is not correct, please tell me, i want to improve my english skills too ^^.

I know, the problem about english songs translated in french is that you cannot really enjoy it, unless you speak French. That is why i will try to post more "French to English" than "English to French" ^^.
Last edited by Rellique on Mon Jul 04, 2022 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rellique
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Re: French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by Rellique » Mon Jul 04, 2022 11:26 pm

The first example is Warriors from Imagine Dragons:

Original (ENG):
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)
As a child, you would wait
And watch from far away
But you always knew that you'd be the one
That work while they all play

In youth, you'd lay
awake at night and scheme
Of all the things that you would change
But it was just a dream

(Refrain)
(Here we are, don't turn away now (don't turn away)
We are the warriors that built this town) x2
From dust

The time will come
When you will have to rise
Above the best improve yourself
Your spirit never dies

Farewell, I've gone to take my throne above
But don't weep for me
'Cause this will be
The labor of my love
(Refrain)

Litteral translation (FRENCH)
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)
Quand tu étais enfant, tu attendais
Et regardais de très loin
Mais tu as toujours sur que tu serais celui
Qui travaillerais pendant qu’ils joueraient

Dans la jeunesse, tu te poserais
Debout la nuit à planifier
Toutes ces choses que tu changerais
Mais c’était qu’un rêve

(Refrain)
(Nous voilà, ne te détourne pas maintenant (ne te détourne pas)
Nous sommes les guerriers qui ont construit cette ville) x2
A partir de la poussière

Le temps viendra
Ou tu devras t’élever
Au dessus du reste améliore toi
Ton esprit ne mourra jamais

Adieu, je suis venu chercher mon trône là haut
Ne pleurez pas pour moi
Car ça sera
Le travail de mon amour

(Refrain)
My translation (FRENCH)
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)
Toi enfant, tu attends
Et tu restes distant
Mais au fond de toi, déjà tu savais
Que tu bosserais quand les autres joueraient

Debout la nuit
Éveillé tu réfléchis
A toutes ces choses que tu pourrais changer
Mais tu ne fait que rêver

(Refrain)
(Nous voilà
Ne te détourne pas
Nous sommes les guerriers
Qui battirent cette cité) x2
De rien

Le temps viendra
Ou tu t’élèveras
Au-dessus des autres, améliore-toi
Ton esprit jamais (ne) mourra

Adieu, mon trône est dans l’au-delà
Ne pleurez pas pour moi
Car ça sera
Mon plus grand combat

(Refrain)

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Rellique
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Re: French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by Rellique » Tue Jul 05, 2022 12:20 am

Sans contrefaçon / Without counterfeit, by Mylene Farmer

A little story now, This song is from Mylene Famer, a very famous singer in France. One of her popular song (if not the most popular!) and one of my favourites is "Sans-contrefaçon" (without counterfeit). I let you read and litsen the song, but after that, i will tell you a few things about this song, the context, and the personnal history of the singer :)

- Song (CD) with litteral english lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzvwKM6 ... l=BLWJTWWX
- On stage, (1989 ?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAH4uKYZXDA (one of the first representations ?)
- On stage 2006 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BW4YGC ... l=SimpleHD

Original (FR)
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)
Voix d'enfant: "Dis maman, pourquoi je ne suis pas un garçon ?"

(Refrain)
Puisqu’il faut choisir,
À mots doux je peux le dire,
Sans contrefaçon
Je suis un garçon.
Et pour un empire
Je ne veux me dévêtir,
Puisque sans contrefaçon
Je suis un garçon.

Tout seul dans mon placard
Les yeux cernés de noir,
À l’abri des regards
Je défie le hasard.
Dans ce monde qui n’a ni queue ni tête
Je n’en fais qu’à ma tête.
Un mouchoir au creux du pantalon
Je suis chevalier d’Éon.

(Refrain)

Tour à tour on me chasse
De vos fréquentations.
Je n’admets qu’on menace
Mes résolutions.
Je me fous bien des qu’en-dira-t’on,
Je suis caméléon.
Prenez garde à mes soldats de plomb,
C’est eux qui vous tueront.

(Refrain)
Litteral translation (ENG)
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)
Child voice: Say, mommy, why am i not a boy ?

(Refrain)
Since it is necessary to choose
in sweet words I can say it
without counterfeiting
I'm a boy
And [even] for an empire
I do not want to undress
Since without counterfeiting
I'm a boy

Alone in my closet
Eyes surrounded by black
Out of sight
I defy fate
In this world that has neither head nor tail
I do as i please
A handkerchief in the trouser’s crook
I am the knight of Eon

(Refrain)

Beware of my toy soldiers
One by One, I am ousted
Away from your company
I don’t allow my resolutions to be threatened
I do not care about « What will people say ? »
I'm chameleon
Beware of my toy soldiers
They will kill you

(Refrain)

My translation (ENG)
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)

Child voice: Say, mommy, why am i not a boy ?

(Refrain)
Since I have to choose
And i’ve got nothing to loose
Without counterfeit
I’m a boy, that’s it.
Even for an empire
I won’t be « a crossdresser »
Since without counterfeit
I'm a boy, that’s it

Alone in my closet
Nothing is really set
At the shelter of the glances
I leave it all to chances (freddy mercury !)
In this world without any senses
I do as i please
A sock in my pants, ready to fight
I am the D’Eon Knight !

(Refrain)

One by one, i’m rejected
By all your relations.
Threats won't be accepted
Against my resolutions.
I don’t care about your (rumors and) discussions
I’m a chameleon.
Beware of my tin soldiers,
They will be your killers.

(Refrain)
Edit: it's late, i will talk about the context of this song tomorrow. Good night ^^ !
Edit2: here is the rest of my post, sorry ^^

Thanks to this song, in 1978, Mylene became THE queer icon in France during that period. Even today the song is cult !
About the singer: when she was young, her hair was so short that she was « misgendered » as a boy… But in fact she liked it a lot (to the point that she puts socks in her pants in order to keep the ambiguity as long as possible !)
But many years later, as an adult, she stated during an interview « If you ask me ‘’Do you still want to put a socks in your pants ?’’, I will respond no, it belongs to the past. I [just] expressed this part of me back then. […] ».
I wanted to use « they/them » pronounces at first, but i found that she always use « she » pronouns for herself ^^.

About the song itself: The « d’Eon Knight », it is one of the most real popular and Historical female transgender figure in France History (i will let you the wikipedia page for the introduction 😊 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_d%27%C3%89on).
Last edited by Rellique on Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Deacon
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Re: French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by Deacon » Tue Jul 05, 2022 3:50 am

As I don’t speak French I have no way of really appreciating these translations, but I know that songs from Spanish don’t really always translate well to English. Pop songs (of various genres) in particular have incredibly weak lyrics in any language, but Latin American Spanish songs in particular are grim and make ready use of the extreme rhyming ability of most words ending in O or A.

It doesn’t HAVE to be that way. Carlos Valera had a song Una Palabra that was featured in the Denzel Washington movie Man On Fire that was downright poetic. I think people attribute beauty to songs in other languages—especially Latin based Romance languages—when it’s more a question of novelty. They imagine them to be beautiful because they don’t know what’s being said, but it’s “exotic” and sometimes delivered with melodrama that makes it seem like it would be more profound than it really is.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by BtEO » Tue Jul 05, 2022 10:22 am

Deacon wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 3:50 amPop songs (of various genres) in particular have incredibly weak lyrics in any language
I've made active effort to avoid learning the translations of K-pop songs as it often just decreases my enjoyment.

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Rellique
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Re: French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by Rellique » Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:55 pm

Hello! I edited my previous post about "Without counterfeit" ^^

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Re: French songs translated in english (and vice-versa) !

Post by raptor9k » Wed Jul 06, 2022 1:55 pm

BtEO wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 10:22 am
Deacon wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 3:50 amPop songs (of various genres) in particular have incredibly weak lyrics in any language
I've made active effort to avoid learning the translations of K-pop songs as it often just decreases my enjoyment.
I do this with English songs :lol:. I have enough hearing loss/auditory processing issues that I generally can't put together the lyrics as people are singing them so I've gotten to where I just listen for the sound and ignore the content. If I'm curious or catch enough phrases I'll go read the lyrics and figure it out but there's tons of Metal/Rock/Rap that I listen to and have no clue what they're saying. Pop and Country are easier but the vast majority of the content isn't worth decoding to begin with.

I still love amazing vocals and the overall contribution of voice to the piece, I just rarely get the impact of the lyrics.

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