Can you translate these lyrics French ->English?
September 20, 2013 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone translate the French lyrics of Grenadine's "Sainte-Flavie" into English for me? Google Translate results are typically incomprehensible. Lyrics inside. Thanks!

Quand je mets mes cartes sur table tu tires une chaise et ne dis rien
Et quand tu me cours après c’est jamais pour aller bien loin
Mais quand je vois pour oublier que je ne vaux plus rien ici
Ton visage assombri par l’ennui quand tu regardes vers elle

On s’expose
Et on s’expose
À autre chose

Et je prends comme exemple cette fois ou tu étais si loin
Le cœur prêt à prendre le bord peu importe le chemin
Et le ciel peut attendre si tu remets tout à demain
Car le doigt dans l’œil c’est dur de se prendre en main
Le temps est-il une cassure qu’il faut à tout prix réparer
De peur de se faire mal ou de désuétude planifiée
Je suis pas un porte panier et t’es pas fait pour tenir une pelle
Mais lorsque tu baisses les yeux, c’est le néant qui t’interpelle

Et on s’expose
Et on s’expose
À autre chose


Quand je pense à cette histoire arrivée à un bon ami
Faut croire que nul n’est à l’abri de genre de tromperies
Crois-moi, je ne l’oublierai jamais
Même si on sait qu’on ne le fait pas exprès

Quand on s’expose
Quand on s’expose
Quand on s’expose
L’un à l’autre
posted by HotToddy to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here's my translation. I'm not a native or fluent French speaker, so I may have misunderstood some things (especially if there were idioms that I don't recognize as such). For the most part I tried for a direct translation rather than an idiomatic one.

When I put my cards on the table you pull up a chair and say nothing
And when you run after me it's never to go very far
But when I see that to forget that I'm worth nothing here anymore
Your face darkened by worry when you look toward her

We're exposed
And we're exposed
To something other

And I take for example that time when you were so far away
My heart ready to fly away, any which way
And the sky can wait if you put it all off until tomorrow
Because the finger in the eye is hard to take in hand
Time is a break that must be repaired at all costs
Out of fear of being hurt, or of planned obsolescence
I am not a shopping basket, and you're not made for holding a spade
But when you lower your eyes, it's the void that calls to you

And we're exposed
And we're exposed
To something other

When I think of what happened to a good friend of mine
It makes me believe no one is safe from such deceits
Believe me, I'll never forget it
Even though we know it wasn't intentional

When we're exposed
When we're exposed
When we're exposed
To each other

posted by mbrubeck at 5:29 PM on September 20, 2013


I am not a translator, but here is how I would translate this song ---

When I put the cards on the table you pull up a chair and say nothing
And when you chase me it's never to go very far
But when I see to forget that I am not worth much here
That your face is darkened by boredom as you look at her

We expose ourselves
And we expose ourselves
to other things

And I take as an example that time when you were far
My heart ready to take off, no matter what's ahead
And heaven can wait if you put off everything to tomorrow
Because having a finger in the eye, it's hard to take charge
Time is a breakage that one must repair at all costs
Out of fear of getting hurt, or by planned obsolescence
I am not a holder of baskets and you are not built to hold a shovel
But when you lower your eyes, it's nothingness that is calling you

And we expose ourselves
And we expose ourselves
to something else

When I think about the story that happened to a good friend
One has to believe that no one is safe from this kind of deception
Believe me, I will never forget
Even when we know that it was not done intentionally

When we expose ourselves
When we expose ourselves
When we expose ourselves
to one another
posted by seawallrunner at 5:30 PM on September 20, 2013


And what does this basket/shovel business mean? (Thanks so much for the work of translating this! I keep hearing this song on Espace Musique all the time in the car and really like it but have no idea what the heck she's saying.)
posted by HotToddy at 5:59 PM on September 20, 2013


I have no idea. I had never come across the word porte-panier before, but I gathered from sources like this google.fr image search that it could refer to a variety of types of carrying basket or basket-holding cart.

After more searching, I have found that faire le porte-panier in Canadian French means "to tattle" and so the line could mean, "I am not a tattletale and you're not made to hold a shovel." (Why a shovel? Maybe tenir une pelle is another obscure idiom that I couldn't find a translation for. Or maybe just because it rhymes.)
posted by mbrubeck at 6:13 PM on September 20, 2013


I am a native Canadian French speaker so I will try to help out with the idioms to complete mbrubeck's and seawallrunner's excellent translations.

I will skip the lines that are mostly literal. Some expressions also have the same signification such as "je mets mes cartes sur table/I put my cards on the table" both mean to say what you really think.

"Et quand tu me cours après / And when you chase me"
This is pursuing in a romantic manner, if it was not clear.

"Le cœur prêt à prendre le bord peu importe le chemin"
In this case "prendre le bord" would mean something closer to "fall to the wayside", and would give:
"Your heart ready to fall to the wayside of any road"

"se mettre le doigt dans l’œil" means to make a mistake and to embarrass yourself.
She is saying it is hard to get a hold of yourself when you are embarrassed by your mistakes.
There is not a English expression I know of that is directly equivalent. One clumsy translation I came up with is:
Because an embarrassing mistake makes it hard to get a hold of yourself.

"Le temps est-il une cassure qu’il faut à tout prix réparer"
This is a questions asking: Is time is a wound we must heal at any cost?

"Je suis pas un porte panier et t’es pas fait pour tenir une pelle"
As stated by mbrubeck, "un porte panier" is indeed a tattletale. I have to say I am not exactly sure what the "You are not made to hold a shovel" line refers to. It could be the image of a road crew making repairs and always having a couple of guys holding shovels by the hole, seemingly doing nothing. Could indicate the guy in the song is not made for a cushy, boring job?

"Même si on sait qu’on ne le fait pas exprès"
For me, this would closer to:
Even though we know that we don't mean to

So starting with seawallrunner's translation and adding my tweaks, we would get:

When I put the cards on the table you pull up a chair and say nothing
And when you chase me it's never to go very far
But when I see to forget that I am not worth much here
That your face is darkened by boredom as you look at her

We expose ourselves
And we expose ourselves
to other things

And I take as an example that time when you were far
Your heart ready to fall to the wayside of any road*
And heaven can wait if you put off everything to tomorrow
Because having a finger in the eye, it's hard to take charge
Is time is a wound we must heal at any cost?*
Out of fear of getting hurt, or by planned obsolescence
I am not a tattletale and you are not made to hold a shovel*
But when you lower your eyes, it's nothingness that is calling you

And we expose ourselves
And we expose ourselves
to something else

When I think about the story that happened to a good friend
One has to believe that no one is safe from this kind of deception
Believe me, I will never forget
Even though we know that we don't mean to*

When we expose ourselves
When we expose ourselves
When we expose ourselves
to one another

posted by TinTitan at 8:19 PM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!
posted by HotToddy at 10:51 AM on September 21, 2013


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