Kent - Je suis un kilomètre (traducción al Inglés)


Je suis un kilomètre

[Dominique A]
Je suis un kilomètre et je suis un quartier
Autour de mon nombril,
Oriental de Belleville.
Cuir doré du Sentier,
Cadavre exquis au Père Lachaise,
Remord vivant en Gare de Lyon,
Saint-Martin, champion d'aviron,
Saint-Denis, marchandeur de baise.
[Dominique A]
Je suis dix kilomètres et je quitte la ville
Sur son périphérique
En bretelles concentriques,
Arène automobile,
Banlieues grisâtres au sang mêlé,
Petits pavillons à lucarnes,
[Dominique A]
Maisons repues en bord de Marne,
Aéroport dans la foulée.
Je suis cent kilomètres et je suis la province
Verte sous la carlingue,
Indifférente au zinc.
[Dominique A]
Souligné d'un trait mince,
Paysage encore épargné
Où l'industrie fait ses besoins
Entre des prés et des sapins
Et voit l'avenir en fumée.
[Dominique A]
Je suis mille kilomètres et je suis étranger
À ce que je traverse,
Un objet de commerce
En devises ciblées.
Je n'entends plus de gens qui causent.
[Dominique A]
J'entends des sons qui s'harmonisent.
J'entends des rumeurs imprécises.
[Dominique A & Kent]
Je tends à m'éloigner des choses.
Publicado por gamgin el Sáb, 14/10/2017 - 12:59
Editado por última vez por Joutsenpoika el Dom, 15/10/2017 - 22:13
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traducción al Inglés

I am one kilometer

[Dominique A]
I am one kilometer and I am a neighbourhood
around my Oriental navel
of Belleville1
Golden leather of the Sentier2
Exquisite corpses3 in the Père Lachaise4
More zombies5 in the Gare de Lyon6
Saint Martin, rowing champion7
Saint Denis, shagging haggler8
I am ten kilometers and I am leaving town
on its ring boulevard
like concentric slip roads
An automotive arena
mixed-blood9 bleak suburbs
small detached houses with their skylights10
Replete houses along the Marne11
two steps to the airport12
I am one hundred kilometers, and I am the provinces
green under the cabin
indifferent to the plane13
underlined by a thin trail,
a still spared landcape,
where the Industry moves its bowels.
Between meadows and firs,
now see the future (go) up in smoke14
I am one thousand kilometers and I am alien
to the landcapes I cross,
an object of commerce
in targeted currencies
I no longer hear people talking
I hear harmonizing sounds
I hear indistinct rumors
[D.A & K]
I tend to drift away from things.
  • 1. A neighbourhood in northeastern Paris, where many immigrants from places like China, North Africa and Central Europe settled in various eras. That's also where I happen to live :).
  • 2. north of Paris center, with many tailor workshops and gold changers
  • 3. don't know if this parlour game is known to every English speaker, but the idea is to have each player write a bit of sentence, fold the sheet to hide it and pass it on. After a while the sheet is unfolded and the resulting story/poem read aloud
  • 4. most famous cemetery in Paris, where Jim Morrisson is buried, along with a few other minor celebs like Molières, Rousseau, Voltaire...
  • 5. lit "living remorse" but that sounds like "re-morts vivants", something like "again living deads"
  • 6. one of the four main train stations in Paris, serving the southeast.
  • 7. alludes to the eponymous canal running through northern Paris, though I never saw anyone actually rowing on it :).
  • 8. the St Denis street is famous for its numerous hookers
  • 9. for those who spent the last 10 years between Mars and Jupiter, the French suburbs are places of social relegation, where immigrants and proles tend to be gathered by destitution, unemployment, casual racism, etc.
  • 10. up until the 70's most suburbs consisted of small houses like that, progressively replaced by community flats
  • 11. a river running close to Paris. Famous for the "guinguettes", open-air restaurant and dance halls where the impressionist painters gathered in the 19th century. A rather wealthy neighbourhood nowadays
  • 12. The famous Charles de Gaulle international airport, not exactly in line with the Marne, rather more to the north
  • 13. "zinc" is slang for "plane", like "crate" or "kite"
  • 14. "en fumée" (up in smoke) sounds like "enfumé" (smoky), implying something like "pollution is destroying our future"
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.
Publicado por petit élève el Dom, 15/10/2017 - 22:12
Added in reply to request by gamgin
Editado por última vez por petit élève el Mar, 17/10/2017 - 19:08
Comentarios del autor:

The allusions are obvious to a native, but I suppose the song would be meaningless without context. Hopefully some lyrics remain under that flood of footnotes.

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See also
Gavin    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 10:17

That's quite a piece of work! And you're vastly more qualified than me to interpret it so mainly a learning exercise for me.
Nonetheless I can offer the following...

I am living town - think you meant "leaving"

Replete houses - replete is rarely used used in normal register. I can only image use it in a slightly comic way to indicate fullness - Another slice of foie gras? No I couldn't I'm replete!
"Packed houses" fits well if we're talking busy bars and restaurants. "Overcrowded" if we're talking about living spaces.
/edit - unless that is exactly what is intended?

followed by the airport - why not say "Two steps to the airport" or "a quick step to the airport"? To keep the sense of "foulée" I mean.

Anyway, I enjoyed that!

petit élève    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 19:00

This one is pretty good. An original idea well developped.

"living town"... I wonder what a shrink would make of that?

replete -> ridiculously rich, fat houses Regular smile

Two steps to the airport -> yep, that's better

Gavin    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 19:59

Right, I take back what I said about replete - it's perfect! Regular smile

petit élève    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 20:03

"replet"is also slightly comical in French. Picture a bourgeois with an expensive beer gut Regular smile

Brat    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 15:50
petit élève schrieb:

most famous cemetery in Paris, where Jim Morrisson is bur[r]ied, along with a few other minor celebs like Molières, Rousseau, Voltaire...

Yeah, those ancient buddies are not worth enough of being mentioned, especially in comparison with Jimmie The Awesome; you'd better delete their names in order to save the server storage space, it may be needed for Britney Spears instead. Embarrassed smile

petit élève schrieb:

up until the 70's most suburbs consisted on small houses like that, progressively replaced by community flats

I insist ON writing "consist OF"... Wink smile

petit élève    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 19:07

I don't think they'll manage to get Britney, she will most probably end up in the Panthéon.

Gavin    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 20:15

That's only right...unless Taylor Swift get in first!

petit élève    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 20:20

Rousseau and Voltaire were buried next to another to take advantage of eternity to settle their arguments.
I wonder if Britney and Taylor could stay the same kind of distance.

Gavin    Mar, 17/10/2017 - 20:59

"Look what you made me do"
"Oops I did it again"
"Shake it off - you belong with me"
"You're toxic"
"Haters gotta hate"

Powerful words...

Brat    Mié, 18/10/2017 - 06:30
petit élève wrote:

I don't think they'll manage to get Britney, she will most probably end up in the Panthéon.

Only if she wants this... She may prefer to stay immortal, either... Wink smile