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Virginia Woolf (French translation)

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French translation

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf se remplit les poches de cailloux
Virginia Woolf marcha seule jusqu'au fleuve
Elle allait bien
 
Sylvia Plath, elle s’allongea par terre
Sylvia Plath ouvrit une dernière porte
Elle allait bien, elle allait bien
Elle était en vrac
 
Parfois on ressent ce qu’on veut pas ressentir
Parfois ça fait mal là où on veut pas avoir mal
 
Sylvia Plath voyait le monde tel qu'il était
Sylvia Plath voyait que ce n’était pas ses oignons
Elle allait bien
 
Virginia Woolf, c'est le genre qu'on peut toujours citer
Virginia Woolf savait que les cailloux ne flottent pas
Elle allait bien, elle allait bien
Elle était en vrac
 
(Parfois on ressent)
En vrac
(Parfois on ressent)
Elle était en vrac
Elle va bien
 
Submitted by Gavin on Thu, 24/05/2018 - 14:35
English

Virginia Woolf

See also
Comments
Klou    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 16:40

Hey Regular smile

I'd add a comma between "Sylvia Plath" and "elle" (same thing with Virginia Woolf in the 5th stanza)
ouvra -> ouvrit
I'd also add " où on veut pas avoir mal"
le monde comme c’est -> "le monde tel qu'il était"
isn't "wasn't no business" a double negative?
d’être cité -> d’être citée
maybe "Parfois on se sent" (or "ressent" again)?
You haven't translated "She was" near the end of the song

Gavin    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 18:58

Salut! Regular smile

Thanks, some silly errors there! You know I typed ouvrit and then must have changed it in a moment of self doubt just before posting it.
Hopefully all fixed now...
Yep, that is indeed a double negative - shoddy English but pretty typical idiomatically.

Parfois on sent - oops! Did I say "Sometimes one smells" Wink smile

Klou    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 20:30

Well, if that helps you feel better I had to check the passé simple of "remplir". I would have rather said "remplisit" but it turns out "remplit" is the correct form Tongue smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 19:59

marcha seule au fleuve -> "marcher à" has a specific meaning, like "marcher à l'ennemi" or "marcher au feu", usually in a military context.
Like "être" for positions, we tend to use generic verbs like "aller" for movement. That's probably why more precise formulations tend to be a bit cumbersome.
Here you could say "marcha seule jusqu'au fleuve". "alla au bord du fleuve" would work too. I'd say "marcha..." is a bit nicer here, it helps picturing the situation (unless you expect her to skip the stones in her pockets).

one final door -> "une dernière porte" sounds nicer to me. "une porte finale" is a bit odd, "la/sa porte finale" would sound more logical, since you can hardly have more than one of those, while "une dernière porte" is like "the last door among many".

messed up -> since you opted for spoken French, what bout "en vrac"? That's a bit stronger than "déboussolé" and quite common casual French.

good for a quote -> I don't know if that means she was a great writer or a minor one. The French sounds like she was a great one, at any rate.

Gavin    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:06

Right thanks!
Yes, she wasn't stopping at the shore, that's for sure! He's talking about their suicides of course.

One final door sounds good in English, I guess the intention was that through her writing she "opened many doors" but the final one was the one through which she exited this world. I trust your judgment on what works best in French.

En vrac sounds good - I just couldn't think of a way to say 'messed up' but I recognise it now.

Good for a quote - 'good for a' generally means 'can be relied upon to provide' like 'I'll ask John, he's usually good for a few quid'. So yeah, she said lots of things that make good quotes but the way of saying it is a deliberate understatement (litotes) - like saying "Mozart? He was good for a tune" if you see what I mean...

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:11

"une dernière porte" seems quite good to me. The door to the next world, basically.

I think this "good for a quote" could be reworked a bit. Here the French means "worthy of being quoted". That's not really the idea, right?
"On peut compter sur elle pour une citation" or something like that, maybe ?

Klou    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:15

"compter sur elle pour une citation" je trouve que ça fait comme si c'était elle qui faisait des citations (d'autres personnes du coup) et qu'on pouvait compter sur elle pour en faire de bonnes, alors que tel que je le comprends c'est plus que ses écrits méritent d'être cités par d'autres du fait de leur bonne qualité

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:18

Oui c'est vrai, c'est pas assez clair. "C'est le genre d'écrivain qu'on peut (toujours) citer" ou qq ch comme ça ? Il y a un côté familier de l'anglais qu'il faudrait arriver à rendre.

Klou    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:18

ah oui, ça rend pas mal dit comme ça !

Gavin    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:19

Yes that's the intention, but ideally delivered in almost inappropriately familiar language Regular smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:25

"c'est le genre qu'on peut toujours citer" might work. There's a slightly derisive undertone to it. Like "you won't risk much by quoting her".

Gavin    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:30

Yeah... that sounds like it could have the right kind of feel. Regular smile

At least I guessed that "bonne pour une citation" was a non-starter. Wink smile

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:43

well that might have worked if "elle est bonne pour une citation" didn't already have another meaning. That would be understood as "she's bound to receive a (military) distinction" Regular smile
"être bon pour" is usually employed when you expect something bad though: "Je suis bon !" is like "I'm done for!". "je suis bon pour la taule" is like "this time I'll end up in the slammer for sure". "Je suis bon pour recommencer" is what you say when you failed something and realize you'll have to start all over again.

Gavin    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:44

Ah ha, ok! So more like 'doomed'or 'fated' to. I thought it might mean she was likely to get charged by the police for something...

petit élève    Thu, 24/05/2018 - 21:47

"citation" is one of these false friends. It's mostly a military distinction, though the same word is used in "citation à comparaître", which is a rough equivalent to your "citation" ("summons" or something, that's a rather technical term).