Francis Cabrel - Je te vois venir (tu pars) (English translation)

English translation

I see you coming (you’re leaving)

They were late coming as it is
Really late these happy years
Really late these punches in the cupboard
The tree with the arrow in the heart
I see clearly that you’re becoming distant
And that you don’t even dare to say it
Go on, you’re leaving, I see you coming 1
Here it is already, the fall
I need a pick me up
All the same I’m not good on the slopes
This will be my last argument
But the equipment is in place
The little bird is going to pop out
Go on, you’re leaving, I see you coming
It doesn’t even seem like a battlefield
Each one behind their fan
It doesn’t even seem like the end of a story
And yet, I see you coming, you’re leaving
I can see myself clearly close to the station
Waving my straw hat
Because everything is conspiring
Conspiring to twist our railroads apart
When I get back my voice
In this interlaced metalwork 2
I’ll say I can’t get over it, that you’re leaving!
It doesn’t even seem like a battlefield
Each one behind their fan
It doesn’t even seem like the end of a story
And yet, I see you coming, you’re leaving
In these cases you know
Friends don’t make a big deal out of it
At least you’re sure of one thing
That’s that you can count on nobody
Just a hand stretched out
Pointing into the darkness
No, it’s the moon that illuminates
The diving board steps
I’m going to go home, it’s wisest
I’m going to act like I’ve not seen anything
Lower the curtain, tidy up the window display
And everything that be of us seen from the road
Leave me just a last image
For my little boutique of memories
Go on, you’re leaving
I see you coming!
  • 1. This is idiomatic, "Je te vois venir" - I see you coming, I see what you are about to do/say...
  • 2. The rails, the metal shell of the railway station...
Submitted by Gavin on Mon, 14/08/2017 - 14:24
Last edited by Gavin on Thu, 24/08/2017 - 13:15

Je te vois venir (tu pars)

petit élève    Thu, 24/08/2017 - 12:13

Je te vois venir -> What about "I see what you're up to" ?

Allez, tu pars -> "allez" is hard to translate, but here I'd say "come on", "admit it", "spit it out" or something.

Je me vois bien -> "voir" as "picture", "imagine" ?

tout est en train de faire... -> maybe "everything is conspiring... to twist our railroads apart"?

qui n n’a rien vu -> original typo

tout ce qui de nous donnait sur la rue -> that's pretty elaborate French, on the verge of convoluted but rather elegant.
"donner sur la rue" is usually said for frontages or windows facing the street, but here it's about the public aspect of their life ("every trace of our public life" or something).

Gavin    Thu, 24/08/2017 - 13:02

I'm reluctant to change "I see you coming" although I do understand the meaning. I don't want to lose the coming/leaving play on words (reminiscent of "Je suis venu te dire que j m'en vais"). "I see you coming" isn't quite an idiom in English but "I see it coming" certainly is. I think it's understandable to an English reader but I added the note to be on the safe side.

"Go on" works the same in English - a general sense of encouragement - go on/come on. Go on (admit it)

"I see myself" is a typical way of saying "I can imagine myself". like "I see it now" means "I can already imagine it"

Yes, conspiring to twist apart is much better!

Oh yes - Ill fix the French there...

I get the public life meaning but changed it to tie in with his shop metaphor. After all a shop window is what the public can see. Do you not think that works? I rather liked it. :-)
Maybe "seen from the road" is a little clearer?

petit élève    Thu, 24/08/2017 - 13:09

I see. That sounds like acceptable compromises to me Regular smile

Maybe just a little something to convey "de nous" in the frontage metaphor?

Gavin    Thu, 24/08/2017 - 13:34

can be seen *of us*?

That seems a little clearer I think :-)