Ivan U7n - Step-Friend (French translation)

English

Step-Friend

In the darkness of the night,
getting ready for a fight,
I am feeling all alone –
no one listens to my plight!
 
I have some hard steps to take –
which one’s better for my sake?
I need help and your advice,
but you seem to be on break!
 
And you rush past me towards the end,
always curious what’s o’er a bend.
Your ignoring all that’s left behind
hurts me much, and yet I’m still your friend!
 
In the twilight of the dawn,
having nothing to hold on,
I believe in all my dreams,
but yet feeling like a pawn!
 
I have some hard steps to take –
which one’s better for my sake?
I need help and your advice,
are you real and not a fake?
 
Yet you rush past me towards the end,
always curious what’s o’er a bend.
Your ignoring all that we’ve gone through
hurts me much, although I’m still your friend!
 
In the brightness of the day,
looking brave towards my way,
I have faith not all is lost
and my troubles are child’s play!
 
I have some hard steps to take –
which one’s better for my sake?
I need help and your advice,
finally you are awake!
 
Now you rush to me despite the bends
never to forget the vow of friends.
We will overcome all thrown at us
if our friendship’s strong and never ends!
 
Submitted by Ivan U7n on Wed, 30/08/2017 - 17:27
Last edited by Ivan U7n on Fri, 24/11/2017 - 07:34
Submitter's comments:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
 
These lyrics were written as a birthday present for a daughter of my friend, but they don’t have any associated music.

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French translation

Un ami comme il faut

Dans les ténèbres de la nuit
Je me prépare à un combat.
Je me sens bien seule, sans personne
qui veuille entendre ma détresse.
 
J'en ai pourtant des choix à faire.
Lequel sera meilleur pour moi ?
J'ai besoin d'aide et de conseil
mais tu as l'air d'être en vacances !
 
Et tu fonces droit au but, toujours curieux
de découvrir le prochain tournant.
Tu oublies tout ce que tu abandonnes,
ça fait mal, mais je reste ton amie !
 
Dans la pénombre du matin,
sans rien à quoi me raccrocher,
je crois toujours à tous mes rêves
mais je me sens manipulée !
 
J'en ai pourtant des choix à faire.
Lequel sera meilleur pour moi ?
J'ai besoin d'aide et de conseil
mais es-tu seulement réel ?
 
Et tu fonces droit au but, toujours curieux
de découvrir le prochain tournant.
Tu oublies tout ce qu'on a traversé,
ça fait mal, mais je reste ton amie.
 
Dans la pleine lumière du jour,
l'air courageuse, je vais de l'avant,
je crois que tout n'est pas perdu
et mes soucis, des jeux d'enfant !
 
J'en ai pourtant des choix à faire.
Lequel sera meilleur pour moi ?
J'ai besoin d'aide et de conseil
et tu te réveilles enfin !
 
Et tu accours malgré les embûches,
pour tenir le serment des amis.
Nous vaincrons tous les pièges du destin
si notre amitié vraie dure toujours.
 
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 Wed, 22/11/2017 - 09:22
Added in reply to request by Ivan U7n
Author's comments:

I did my best to keep the rhythm and stay close to the English.
Let me know if you want a rhyming version.

Idioms from "Step-Friend"
See also
Comments
Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 10:00

I'll need at first to know how to read French to see any rhythm and rhyming. Teeth smile It'll be just a little surprise for the coming holidays, thus do rhyming if you wish, but I don't insist in anyway.
The only thing I don't understand is how from the single word step-friend (like step-mother, step-daughter, etc.) you've made 5. Tongue smile

petit élève    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 10:13

I adapted the title, with something a little ambiguous: it can mean "a friend as one should be" or "a well-behaved friend".
A "step" is rendered as "beau" in French, but "bel ami" would not really convey this meaning. Besides, it's already the tile of a famous novel.
I could also use "ami par alliance", that would mean "allied friend" or "friend through family ties" but that would be my second best choice.

Also I made the narrator feminine, I suppose that's appropriate for your gift?

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 10:51

Now, that you mentioned it, I had no idea how I'd say the title in Russian, because the whole "poem" was thought through entirely in English. But the title was colored by some negative association Russian (or at least I) has with the step-mother/step-daughter relationship from the Cinderella story.
Your interpretation (the first meaning) is rather good, because after thinking on it I'd put the title as "недодруг" in Russian, thus rendering it like "semifriend" in English meaning "not so good of a friend". I know that both words are inexistent, but I think you've got the idea.

Yes, as the surprise is intended for the female (and describes a little her and her BFF), it being feminine is excellent. I totally forgot about this aspect because the English is genderless.

Brat    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 15:01
Ivan U7n wrote:

Now, that you mentioned it, I had no idea how I'd say the title in Russian

Maybe, "тварищ"? Wink smile

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 15:15

If not some negativity I've tried to embed into it, it'll be the perfect variant! Wink smile
My intent was more line Vysotskiy's "и не друг, и не враг, а так". Teeth smile

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 11:23

Also I've noticed that the last lines of the stanzas beginning with "I have lots hard steps to take" are identical in your translation, while differ in mine. This is one of those texts where there are no two fully identical stanzas. Wink smile

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 11:11

And now I've updated the source. I surely hope the text is final. The change is in the 3rd stanza: You ignoring all what we’ve gone through → You ignoring all what’s left behind. This line somehow got duplicated from another stanza.

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 10:52

I suppose the question is (Ivan) - What does "Step friend" mean to you?
My first instinct would be a stand in - someone who has had to take the place of another friend. Is that the intention?

/edit - ah you've rather answered that now! Regular smile

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 13:55

Yep! It looks great. I'd have given you 5 stars, but I can't.

Now, I know GT/YT is a rather silly tool to rely upon, but the end of the first stanza given by them sounds "I feel good alone, without anyone / who wants to hear my distress". Is this misunderstanding or a GT/YT quirk? Regular smile

And I may sound clingy, but what's your overall impression of the original? Because this is the first ever thing written by me entirely from scratch in English, I'd like to have some feedback. Tongue smile

petit élève    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 14:39

That's just GT/YT acting up. "je me sens bien seule" means "I feel really/so lonesome" Regular smile

I'd say the English sounds slightly unusual, but quite ok for poetry.
I suppose @Gavier would be a better judge of that.

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 14:40

Happy to give a few comments on the English as long as that won't upset your muse!
Don't worry - it's very good in the main Regular smile

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 14:57

In fact it really is mostly fine. Some of the word order is a little unusual but that's quite acceptable for poetry. I like it and the meaning is very clear. Regular smile

These are the only lines that jarred with me a bit. With my additions or changes in capitals:

I have lots OF hard steps to take
Which ONES are better for my sake (each time these 2 lines occur)

You ignoring all THAT’S left behind
You ignoring all THAT we’ve gone through

(that/what is an error even native speakers make but it does sound quite bad - I'd say this change was essential)

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:06

Damn, I was sure of that/what in these lines. However sometimes it's hard to choose the correct one, because Russian has one word that can mean that/what/which/who/etc. Thus, even if I was writing (and thinking) in English, my thoughts were with Russian "accent". Wink smile

Adding these single-syllable words unfortunately breaks the rhythm. There's also "looking brave towards..." that I think should be "looking bravely towards...", but alas it again breaks the rhythm. What about:
I have some hard steps to take –
which one's better for my sake?
It changes the meaning a little, but not very much and seems grammatically correct.

The word order isn't my best suite, because my "accented" English is influenced by the almost free word order in Russian. I will at least change "X Y me you rush" to "X you rush Y me".

And if you see any unnecessary commas, let me know too, because I tend to put them a lot thanks again to my "accented" English as Russian uses them a lot more than English does.

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:35

Well like I say even native speakers get what/that wrong but it really doesn't sound too good so best to correct it.

Yes, it's tricky not spoiling the rhythm and in a song/poem you can certainly take some liberties...Overdo it too much though and it can sound a little Yoda-speak (as Pierre is fond of pointing out) Wink smile
"never to forget what for are friends." is rather pushing the limit but I see the necessity of getting "friends" to the end of the line. Really should of course be "what friends are for"

lots OF - that's essential I'm afraid. But it reads ok to my ear
Which ONES are better - well, without the ONES it's a bit ambiguous but you could get away without it.

However:
I have some hard steps to take –
which one's better for my sake?
- Yes, this is fine. Nice solution Regular smile

"Yet past me you rush towards the end" - well that is a bit unusual but not out of place in a poem. I wouldn't worry about that one too much

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:54

I hope everything's all right now and there'll be no more changes so Pierre can tweak his translation for the last time.
I also have a rather strong sense of rhythm (or at least I think so) and my poem is in trochee that by itself is rare for English. And to my ears these additions were like a sore thumb.

PS. I've done Yoda-speak once myself while making a singable translation and never noticed it, because I just copied the word order of an original that resulted in "does not matter where to / us will lead the chosen path" that sounded to me "natural". Teeth smile

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:56

Excellent, it reads really well now! Regular smile

The only thing I noticed was:
"hurt me much, although I’m still your friend"
- That's past tense, is that intentional? If so no problem but I noticed Pièrre has gone with present. Present tense would be "Hurts me much"

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:01

My intention was the present, but the subjects of these sentences are "you" from the lines above.

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:30

Ah I see what you mean. Even so, the subject is "you doing x" which is treated as third person singular so still "hurts".

Think of it as "you ignoring all... (that) hurts me"

Brat    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:38

If I may, I think, the author means "you, ignoring..., hurt..."

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:50

I mean "you (by) ignoring.... hurt...". However if it's possible in English, I'd better use "your ignoring... hurts..." making the point on the action itself and not on a person.

Gavier    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 19:10

Yes, that makes it much clearer! Regular smile

Brat    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:35
Gavier wrote:

"never to forget what for are friends." is rather pushing the limit but I see the necessity of getting "friends" to the end of the line. Really should of course be "what friends are for"

It could be changed into "never to forget the point of friends" without breaking the meaning, and the rhythm, of course, if the author wanna do so...

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 19:02

I've found an even better variant with a stronger message "never to forget the vow of friends". Thanks for pushing me in this direction. Wink smile

Ivan U7n    Wed, 22/11/2017 - 19:30

@petit élève, I hope our friends here finished nitpicking the original, so now you can finally update your translation. Teeth smile