Céline Dion / Je Sais pas

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Retired Moderator
Inscrit·e le: 20.03.2011
Pending moderation

Please tell me.
0:39 (Line5) Je sais prendre un coup, le rendre aussi
0:47 (Line6) River des clous, ca j'ai appris
1:02 (Line8) Et pour qu'on m'abime, faut qu'je tombe
1. Does [prendre un coup] mean [to be beaten] ?
2. Does [le rendre] mean [I have my revenge on him] ?
3. Does [River des clous] mean [to beat him with the nails] ?
4. Does [Et pour qu'on m'abime, faut qu'je tombe] mean [And if they want to defeat me, They need to knock me down]



I propose myself to help you:

To start with,

1) I can be kicked

Beaten is uncorrect because it means a long and repetitive action
For instance: Most women who are beaten don't make a complaint

2) Le rendre (coup):
This is the idea (to have a revenge on him)
I propose you to translate it by "to return blow for blow", which is more precise.

(I can be kicked and return blow for blow)

3) to beat him wit the nails is uncorrect. Your translation is a literal translation. In the present case, this is a methaphorical expresion.
"river des coups" means "to beat black and blue"

(I learned how to beat black and blue)

4) pour qu'on m'abîme means "for them to cause me injuries OR wondings" or simply to hurt me,
they first have to knock me down.

(For them to cause me injuries / wondings OR for them to hurt me, they first have to knock me down)

I know that french is a difficult language. I hope my help will be useful.

Inscrit·e le: 30.04.2011

For line 5 I would suggest something along the lines of "I know how to take a hit/blow and I can give one back, too" - or less literally, "I know how to fight back, too"

Retired Moderator
Inscrit·e le: 20.03.2011

Hello Mr.DRIS78

I want to thank your teaching. I did not know them.
1) Well, "be beaten" seems to have been continued and passive.
[un coup] may be a striking. Usually it may be done by a fist.
Is it performed by a foot ?
2) I understand.
3) I understand. I could not imagine [black and blue of the skin] at all.
4) I understand.
Thank you


You're welcome.
A striking means in french "une frappe" which is a blow or a hit. It's not mandatorily done with the foot. To kick appears like a hit with the foot but in an extended way, it means a blow or a hit too.
There are many possibilities of translation.


Marmaine's translation: "I know how to take a hit and fight back too" is very good.
You can as well translate it by counterattack "I know how to take a hit and counterattack" "To counterattack" means in french "riposter".

Thank you Marmaine for your precious contribution.


Hello everybody,

I just wanted to come back to the translation of "river des clous".
As I said, this expresion could not be translated literaly. After further investigation, I found the original meaning of this expression:

"L'expression river des clous qui date du XVeme siècle est basée sur l'image de la personne qu'on cloue sur place et qu'on immobilise complètement au point qu'elle ne peut rien faire" tout comme le clou une fois viré ou fixé. C'est en fait l'expression courante "clouer au sol" Puis elle s'est étendue à la parole.
Elle est synonyme donc de "clouer le bec".

So "river des clous, ça j'ai appris" could be translated by

I learned how to pin people to the ground.

Céline Dion was victim of media harassing. She learned how to protect herself and fight against her enemies.

I hope all this work will interest every translator willing to translate as faithfully as possible the lyrics of many songs.

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