Leïla Huissoud - Les p’tits doigts glacés (English translation)

Proofreading requested
French

Les p’tits doigts glacés

Tu ressembles ... au ridicule,
(Ne) va pas te vexer mais quand je te vois
J’ai dans la tête cette « con » de formule
Qui me dit de « ne plus dormir sans tes bras »
Tu (ne) ressembles à rien de ce que je donnais
À mes vingt ans, il y avait ma « gratte »
Un lit une place et l’horizon au bout du vent
 
(Il) y avait mes p’tits doigts glacés
Et ça m’allait bien
L’hiver n’a jamais vu l’été
Et je (ne) crois pas qu’il s’en plaint
 
Je (n’) avais pas tes grandes idées
Ni ton baratin
Mon projet était bien ficelé :
C’était la fuite à chaque train
 
J’avais ma gueule de « rien du tout »
Pour dire merde au destin
À l’endroit où le visage est un trou
Je criais le néant de mes intestins
 
Et ça sonnait bien
Qu’est-ce que je foutrais d’un trop-plein
(Il) y en a au-dessus, en-dessous
Et le milieu a le béguin
 
// (Il) y avait mes p’tits doigts glacés
Qui crament entre tes mains
L’hiver qui croise l’été
Ça fait autant de peur que de bien //
 
Tu ressembles ... au ridicule,
(Ne) va pas te vexer mais quand je te vois
J’ai dans la tête cette « con » de formule
Qui me dit de « ne plus dormir sans tes bras »
Tu (ne) ressembles à rien de ce que je donnais
À mes vingt ans, il y avait ma « gratte »
Un lit une place et l’horizon au bout du vent
 
Pour mes p’tits doigts glacés
Moi j’irai chercher des gants
Si l'été venait à se barrer
Je garderai le chaud pour un moment
 
Pour mes p’tits doigts glacés
Moi j’irai choper des gants
(Il) y a toujours une fin à l’été
Mais qu’il prenne son temps
 
Mais qu’il prenne son temps
 
Submitted by Guernes on Sun, 17/09/2017 - 12:41
Last edited by Guernes on Sat, 23/09/2017 - 18:59
Submitter's comments:

Musique et paroles de Leïla Houissoud

Align paragraphs
English translation

Tiny chilled fingers

You look like... ridicule itself,
don't upset yourself, but when I see you,
this bloody stupid sentence pops up in my head,
telling me not to sleep outside1 your arms ever again.
You're not like anything I reckoned I'd get2
in my twenties, I just pictured my old guitar,
a single bed and the horizon gone with the wind3.
 
There were my tiny chilled fingers,
and I was quite happy with that.
Winter has never seen summer,
and I don't think it ever complained.
 
I had none of your lofty ideas
none of your small talk.
I had quite a sound plan though:
running away with every train.
 
I had my lowly nobody's face
to spit in fate's eye.
Through this hole in my face4
I cried out the void of my guts,
 
and that sounded pretty good.
What would I want with more?
There is stuff tangled every which way,
and a little crush in the middle5.
 
There are my tiny chilled fingers
now blazing as your hands clasp them.
Winter crossing paths with summer
brings as much fear as it does good. (x2)
 
You look like... ridicule itself,
don't upset yourself, but when I see you,
this bloody stupid sentence pops up in my head,
telling me not to sleep outside your arms ever again.
You're not like anything I reckoned I'd get
in my twenties, I just pictured my old guitar,
a single bed and the horizon gone with the wind.
 
For my tiny chilled fingers
I'd go and fetch some gloves.
If summer happened to run away,
I'd keep the warmth for a while.
 
For my tiny chilled fingers
I'd go and fetch some gloves.
Summer always comes to an end,
now let it take its time.
 
Now let it take its time.
 
  • 1. lit. "without your arms" but I think "outside" better matches the uncommon turn of phrase
  • 2. that's actually very good French, unusual but quite expressive. My translation sounds rather awkward in comparison
  • 3. lit "at the end of the wind"
  • 4. The French goes "[through] the place where the face is a hole", but that does not sound too great in English
  • 5. that clearly alludes to conflicting and mixed feelings inside her without ever using the word "feeling", which I found pretty hard to render in English
This translation does not claim to be of any particular value.
Glad if you liked it, sorry if you didn't.
You can reuse it as you please.
Glad if it's for knowledge or understanding, sorry if it's just for money or fame.
Submitted by petit élève on Sat, 23/09/2017 - 12:25
Last edited by petit élève on Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:22
Author's comments:

That's pretty hard to translate. No way I can fix this without some native help.

The author of translation requested proofreading.
It means that he/she will be happy to receive corrections, suggestions etc about the translation.
If you are proficient in both languages of the language pair, you are welcome to leave your comments.
Please help to translate "Les p’tits doigts glacés"
Idioms from "Les p’tits doigts glacés"
See also
Comments
Green_Sattva    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 12:52

Please, change the language into English (it is marked as Transliteration now)

petit élève    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 12:56

Oops... That one was easily fixed. The translation itself, on the other hand...

Brat    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 17:29

metter=better Regular smile

Brat    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 17:41
petit élève wrote:

"gratte" (lit "[something you] scratch") is slang for "guitar". I'm not sure "axe" would be a good equivalent here

In English there's another musician slang name for guitar - "belly fiddle", or simply "b-fiddle". Wink smile

petit élève    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 18:38

Mmm yes, but "gratte" has an affectionate nuance to it, I don't know if "axe" or "b-fiddle" would express that.

As for the meter, I'd rather make sure a native can make something out of the translation before I start working on the form.

Brat    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 19:26

"metter"
is a typo Wink smile

petit élève    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 19:28

well yes, but I see neither "metter" nor "meter" anywhere in this song ???

Brat    Sat, 23/09/2017 - 19:37

It is in the footnotes Wink smile

Gavier    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:50

Well firstly, impressive effort! Creating a rhyming version with the same rhythm is a pretty steep challenge. Regular smile

Typo: outside

A few ideas then...

Don't you be upset - I'd probably lose the "you" it's not really necessary.
Or change it to "Don't upset yourself"

Good old guitar is fine - I'd maybe lose the "good" as it doesn't add a lot. I'd be more likely to just say "my old guitar" - the affection for it is kind of implied. Belly fiddle? Ha, well I've heard of it but it's a bit obscure. Maybe the sort of thing a crusty old bluesman might say or a hill-billy. "That boy c'n sure play that belly fiddle good" ;-)

Is 'broad views' quite what your were after? That rather means open, sweeping opinions but I think maybe what you need is more like "lofty ideas", "big ideas" even "grand ideas"

"Quite a sound plan" would sound more natural than "a quite sound plan"

Maybe "Through the place where there's a hole in the face"? Matches the rhyme scheme better but maybe a bit long. Either way I'd use "place" rather than "spot" - brings acne to mind too much.

Overgrowth - more like overabundance or surfeit I would think
Maybe just "What would I do/want with more?"

Perhaps "a little crush in the middle" - it just sounds odd to talk of "some crush".

is as frightful as it is doing good - that's not great...
is as frightful as it is benign/pleasant/delightful - better
or "brings as much fear as it does good" - I prefer that.

petit élève    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:04

Thanks a lot. I'll fix it right away.

Brat    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:22
Gavier wrote:

Belly fiddle? Ha, well I've heard of it but it's a bit obscure. Maybe the sort of thing a crusty old bluesman might say or a hill-billy. "That boy c'n sure play that belly fiddle good" ;-)

Regular smile Unfortunately I don't know any "scratchy" slang words for "guitar". Teeth smile

Gavier    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:27

The only other one I can think of is "box" but it wouldn't be wise to use that when it's a girl singing. Very unfortunate double entendre!
Axe of course but far too "Rock" \m/

I'm quite happy with "old guitar" - suppose one could say "ol' guitar" to make it a bit more slangy.

:-)

Brat    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:14

AFAIK bien can be a noun as well as an adjective/adverb in French. Is it used in this way? If so, maybe it will be commendable to make the English equivalent of the line in the similar way?

Gavier    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:21

Yeah, bien as a noun is - good/good feeling/benefit.
Faire le bien - to do good

Brat    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:24

Since that maybe the pair evil-good would do the service?

petit élève    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:30

Well here the elegance of the sentence comes from using the same verb (faire) to express two different effects (cause fear / do good). I don't think you can replicate that in English, unless Gavin comes up with a verb that can be used in a similar way.

Brat    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:35

Oh, I got it! Maybe lawful-awful? If it is still around...

Brat    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:46

Or, maybe, it scares/cares. Wink smile
At least these words can be either verbs or nouns. Regular smile

Gavier    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:48

Well, I quite like "bring" - otherwise you'd need to go to "causes" or "creates".
But I think bring is nicer. Regular smile
It's quite good actually as it has a bit of a double meaning of its own.
as it does good - it brings the same amount of fear as it does of good
or - it brings fear *while* it is doing good.

petit élève    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:31

I second what Gavin just said.
"du bien" (as if "good" was some quantifiable material) is used with specifc verbs like "penser" (have a good opinion of something), "dire" (express a positive opinion on something) or "faire" (have a positive/pleasant effect).
It works also with the opposite notion of "mal" (evil).

Brat    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:37

Thanx, it was rather comprehendible. Regular smile

Gavier    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 10:47

Un chef-d'œuvre! :-)

petit élève    Mon, 25/09/2017 - 11:40

Online rhyme dictionaries helped a lot.

Edit- oops, wrong song. I don't think I could make this one rhyme, even using all the dictionaries in the world. When I started, I was not even sure I could render it at all, actually.