Nana Mouskouri - Roses blanches de Corfou (English translation)

English translation

White Roses of Corfu

White Roses of Corfu,
white roses, white roses,
every night I think of you,
white roses of Corfu.
 
Why does the boat have to go
while the sun is still rising in the blue sky?
While our love is still young,
why must we say goodbye so soon?
 
White Roses of Corfu,
white roses, white roses,
every night I think of you,
white roses of Corfu.
 
Your perfume is so sweet.
When the dawn just rises,
but I'm far away from you,
white Roses of Corfu.
 
I think of you.
I think of you.
I think of you.
 
Submitted by Joyce Su on Sat, 19/05/2018 - 19:07
Added in reply to request by Rezz
Last edited by Joyce Su on Wed, 30/05/2018 - 00:49
Author's comments:

Thank you for @Gavin and @petit élève to make this song more beautiful.

French

Roses blanches de Corfou

Comments
petit élève    Mon, 28/05/2018 - 04:10

why does the moment of saying goodbye be coming -> I'd say "why is it already time to say goodbye?".
I suppose "Why does come time to say goodbye?" would be gramatically ok, but I don't think that sounds very usual.
@Gavin could be of help here.

Joyce Su    Mon, 28/05/2018 - 04:49

I did that way, because the original lyrics mentioned "the time". It sounds too complicated.
How about "Why do we have to say goodbye?"

petit élève    Mon, 28/05/2018 - 06:33

That would probably sound more natural, maybe a bit less dramatic than the original though.
Hopefully Gavin will give us a native insight, to see if we can salvage this "time" Regular smile

Gavin    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 08:01

That's a tough one to match the poetry and meaning of the original. I guess my best attempt would be:

Why must the time to say goodbye come?

It is a little unusual - in practice one would be more likely to say "Why must we say goodbye so soon?" but that is taking a rather liberal approach. Regular smile

petit élève    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 08:06

Thanks guv'. Funny how hard a sentence that looks so simple in French is to get right.

Gavin    Wed, 30/05/2018 - 07:46

That il faut/subjunctive structure is always hard to do justice to in English. The French is rather compact and elegant. Regular smile

Joyce Su    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 13:38

Thank you. I appreciate all of your comments. I'm a student in French and English class. Thank you professors!
Another question: le temps des fiançailles -> the time of the engagement. Did I translate it properly?

Gavin    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 13:19

Yes, the engagement time or the time of the engagement. Unfortunately there isn't really an English equivalent. However it seems to mean "the happy times at the beginning" so I would be tempted to say "honeymoon period" even if it's not a literal translation. Just a possibility to consider. Regular smile

Joyce Su    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 13:47

Than you. "le temps des fiançailles"-- It's not only hard to find English equivalent, but also in Chinese. How about "the time we're in love". Is it translated properly?

petit élève    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 15:00

I would suggest "the time before wedding". That's basically what fiançailles are.

Gavin    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 15:02

Yes, one could say

Why must we say goodbye
Before we are even wed?

Gavin    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 15:54

I think if I was to take a liberal approach I would rephrase the verse like this:

Why does the boat have to go
while the sun is still rising in the blue sky?
While our love is still young,
why must we say goodbye so soon?

something like that anyway Regular smile

Joyce Su    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 15:52

How beautiful it is! This is heart part of this song, I like to take it. Thank you Gavin!

Natur Provence    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 15:07

Das ist eine französische Version des auf deutsch gesungenen Titels "Weiße Rosen aus Athen"- welches ist das Original?

petit élève    Tue, 29/05/2018 - 15:18

Now seriously, it seems the German version is from 1961 and the French from 1962. I didn't find a common Greek ancestor, but then again praying to Google in Greek is not my forte.