Leïla Huissoud - La niaise (English translation)


La niaise

Voilà le temps de partir
Sans avoir personne où aller.
Je sais pas quoi construire,
Mais pas d'envie, c'est pas de regrets.
Voilà le temps de vomir
Sur cette amas de gueules en biais
À qui je sais plus quoi sourire,
À qui je sais plus quoi causer.
On en a bien parlé, de l'époque,
Et de ces enfants qui savent plus aimer,
Mais comme faut bien vider les stocks
La logistique fait des bébés.
La niaise voudrait pas virer conne
Ça tient en peu de subtilité.
Il parait qu'à trop croire en l'homme
Y en a quelques-unes qui se font baiser.
Prends tes carnets et puis deviens
Tout ce que t'as jamais supporté
Écris l'angoisse et le chagrin,
Personne ne meurt sans se vider.
On s'est dit, faut partir de rien
Et puis se faire tout seul,
Avec du vide plein les mains.
Tu l'imagines, ma petite gueule ?
Le sourire paumé en chemin
Parce que ça plait plus à personne,
Quand la gosse se change en chien
Et que le chien grogne.
On en bien parlé, de la foi,
Celle qu'on met là où on peut,
Mais quand y a de la place pour une croix,
Y a des chances que ça sonne creux.
Vous me direz : « Il te reste ta guitare,
Ton amour, c'est ta musique ».
Moi je vous dis que c'est mon désespoir :
Une vieille fille alcoolique
Qui demande à me voir tous les soirs,
À m'inspecter les tripes.
Elle prend ce qu'elle veut et elle se marre
À le trainer en public.
Ça devait être de ces chansons
Où le bout d'espoir se pointe à la fin,
Qui vous laisse pas sauter du pont
Sans harnais ni coussin.
Submitted by petit élève on Wed, 13/09/2017 - 19:51
Last edited by petit élève on Sat, 16/09/2017 - 04:33
Align paragraphs
English translation

Silly girl

The time has come to leave,
without anyone to go to.
I don't know what to plan for,
but no desire means no regrets.
The time has come to puke
on this bunch of surly faces,
to whom I no longer know what to smile,
to whom I no longer know what to say.
There has been much talk about the era
and these kids who no longer know how to love,
but since there are stocks to liquidate,
the logistics churns out babies.
The silly girl would rather not turn stupid,
just a small matter of subtlety.
Some say for too much faith in men1
some girls eventually get screwed.
Pick your notebook and become
all that you could never stand.
Write down the angst and the sorrow,
nobody dies without emptying oneself.
We thought we would start from scratch
and be successful on our own,
with hands full of emptiness,
can you picture my pretty face?
Smile lost along the way
because nobody likes it anymore,
as the kid turns into a dog,
and the dog starts growling.
There had indeed been talks about faith,
the one you put where you can,
but when there is room for a cross,
chances are it will sound hollow.
You might say "you still have your guitar,
your love is your music".
Now I tell you, music is my desperation:
a drunkard of a spinster
who demands to see me every night
to assess my guts.
She takes whatever she pleases and has her fun
exposing it in front of the audience.
It should have been one of these songs
where the tiny bit of hope shows up in the end,
that won't let you jump off the bridge
without a harness nor a cushion.
  • 1. "coire en l'homme" generally means "have faith in mankind" but "homme" can also mean "man" as opposite to "woman"
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
Submitted by petit élève on Sat, 16/09/2017 - 05:27
Last edited by petit élève on Mon, 18/09/2017 - 10:09
More translations of "La niaise"
French → English - petit élève
Idioms from "La niaise"
Brat    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:03

subtelty=subtility ?

Brat    Mon, 18/09/2017 - 14:54

BTW, are you aware of the difference between subtility and subtlety? There is a subtlety in the matter, indeed. Wink smile

Brat    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:05

onself=oneself Wink smile

Brat    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:12

an drunkard of a spinster - that's rather embarrassing... Did you mean a drunk spinster?

petit élève    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:44

Mmm... The idea was to match the original derogative tone, but apparently that did not work that well.

You can say "a drunkard of a husband" for instance, but maybe "a drunkard of an old girl" does not work as well.

Brat    Mon, 18/09/2017 - 06:36

Oh, a drunkard is clear enough. I simply did not know how to handle "an": as "a" or "and"... Wink smile

Brat    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:15

but when there is room for a cross,
chances are it will sound hollow
Maybe there is still a chance that it will sound hollow?

petit élève    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:38

Nope. "y a des chances" is like "chances are, ...".
"there is still a chance.." would be rendered with "ça peut quand même.." or "ça a quand même des chances de..."

Brat    Mon, 18/09/2017 - 06:45

Je veux dire, c'est intéressant.
Nevertheless I suppose it is hard enough to make a close translation in English, but since I'm null expert in French... I'd rather wait for some Frenglish Guru to explain this... Regular smile As for me, I have some vision of how to translate this into Russian, as well...

Brat    Tue, 19/09/2017 - 15:40

I'd be pleased to see it too, but firstly I should be fully aware of the meaning of each line... And since I'm a sucker in French... It will take some time and some effort...

Brat    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:30

without a harness nor a cushion.
It'd be better to say without a harness or a cushion.
'Cause nor usually requires neither or any other kind of negation before it, AFAIK.

petit élève    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:36

Mmm... I don't think so. "neither" is often omitted for brievty, as far as I know.
"without x nor y" rather means that you could get x and y (but won't get any), while "without x or y" implies you could get either x or y (but won't get either).

Maybe a native could confirm that?

Brat    Mon, 18/09/2017 - 07:01
petit élève wrote:

Mmm... I don't think so. "neither" is often omitted for brievty, as far as I know.
Maybe a native could confirm that?

I'm neither a native, nor a linguist, but I can confirm this. Sometimes I see the instances of such an isolated use of "nor". But I think it's a kind of vernacular... Does the song have such a vernacular mood in French? I don't know, but if it does, the use of vernaculars in translations will be encouraged.
P.S. Once upon a time in a verse I saw a construction like "He can either suppose, nor know" (I don't remember exactly) - riddled enough; compressed, combined of two sentences in order to match the complicated rhythm of the verse.

petit élève    Mon, 18/09/2017 - 17:58

Absolutely. That's casual French all the way, complete with a few colorful idioms like "amas de gueules en biais" (bunch of grumpy/surly faces).

"either... nor..." sounds a bit strange to me, what with mixing an affirmative and a negative in the same sentence. Or maybe it was "he can neither suppose nor know" ?

Brat    Tue, 19/09/2017 - 12:17

The main thought was the only thing he could do was either suppose, or assume; either reckon, or suspect, but he could not know exactly. Either there pointed to the plethora of possible variants.

azucarinho    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:43

With neither a harness nor a cushion ? [either/or ; neither/nor]

petit élève    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:46

If I had to use "neither", I'd rather say "with neither a x nor a y", but I really think "without x nor y" is rather common in casual English.

Maybe Gavin will enlighten us on that subject?

Tibor    Mon, 18/09/2017 - 15:02

neither a x nor AN y... Actually...

Brat    Tue, 19/09/2017 - 12:05

Some say for too much faith in men some girls eventually get screwed.
If you change screwed into banged for the purpose of rhyming, you'll get a new proverb... Wink smile