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can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french?
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harpospeaking



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 194
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:50 am    Post subject: can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french? Reply with quote

Here's a tall order --- can someone translate the line from Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis into French?

The line goes . . .

"Bid me discourse. I will enchant thine ear."

If you have a copy of this poem in French, that would be ideal. I love this quote because it appears in the ballroom at Blackpool.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M'offrir le discours. J'enchanterai ton oreille.

perhaps Wink

I can imagine William smiling in delight at your request...language on walls...how I enjoy it..
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french? Reply with quote

Surely it should be - Me demander a discours. J'enchanterai ton oreille. Given that 'Bid me discourse.' means effectively ask me to discourse?

Tho' Madame, I should say that your version sounds lovely to speak.

I once tried To be or not to be...

Etre ou pas etre, c'est le question...
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're both incredibly bold to try to translate poetry in a non-native language. My hat's off to you both!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's Babel fish:
"Offrez-moi discours que j'enchanterai l'oreille de thine."

Oreille de thine--exactly!

Interesting though, do scholars translate old English into medieval French, or try to get the modern meaning to come through? It all depends, surely.


Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
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Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: can someone translate a line from shakespeare into frenc Reply with quote

harpospeaking wrote:
Here's a tall order --- can someone translate the line from Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis into French?

The line goes . . .

"Bid me discourse. I will enchant thine ear."

If you have a copy of this poem in French, that would be ideal. I love this quote because it appears in the ballroom at Blackpool.


<<Je voudrais te voir dans mon lit. Quel chose doit-on dire pour s'arranger?>>

Poor grammar, but the sense is right, non?
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madameshawshank



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Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh Rainey Darlin'....I simply put it through a translation site Smile
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
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Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The famous "to be or not to be" is generally translated as "être ou ne pas être, telle est la question" or "être ou ne pas être, là est la question".

As for the line you quote, Harpo, I would love to give it a humble shot, if you would explain what the first part ("bid me discourse") means -- I am unfamiliar with the construction of the sentence.

But the second part might be translated as "J'enchanterai votre oreille" or "J'enchanterai ton oreille", depending on how close a relationship the two characters have...
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Deste



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask me to speak, with the word "discourse" suggesting something more formal and lengthy than ordinary conversation, involving rhetorical skill.

"Bid" implies "command" as in "I am but at your service and await your word..."

Appended: Poem can be found online and it seems that it is Venus (Roman Aphrodite, goddess of love) who speaks the line to Adonis, a mortal she woes, successfully, though the story ends tragically. She pleads with him not to leave her to go off to hunt. He ignores her and is killed. The subject of the naked goddess begging the youth to stay with her was a popular one for powerful male patrons of artists such as Titian, expressing the desire to think of a woman judged the most beautiful wanting them (the men: princes, kings...) that much.

Thus, the line is appropriate for the recent context in which it was found, though in the ballroom it suggests something as mannered as the language. Dance as courtship. In fact, Shakespeare addresses dance directly in the lines immediately following the ones quoted. Here's the entire stanza:

Quote:
Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen:
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.
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harpospeaking



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hoping someone out there on C&Z has a French translation of Shakespeare's poetry, which should include the early poem "Venus and Adonis." I agree with Deste, bid does mean "give me command to do." A bit formal, Elizabethan English, but I guess that's what makes it fun. Thanks for trying, everyone!

Friends in France, please dig through your Shakespeare books in French from college! Wink
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clotilde
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the explanation Deste! In that case, it might be translated as: "Prie-moi de discourir, j'enchanterai ton oreille." A bit clumsy, but the meaning is there -- and from the situation you describe, Venus would probably say "tu", not "vous", to a mere mortal.

Sorry Harpo, that's all I can offer -- no translation of Shakespeare on my bookshelves! (In passing, I don't think his poetry is studied at college in a French translation -- it is more likely to be studied by English lit majors, who would no doubt use the original version.)
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french? Reply with quote

Quote:
<<Je voudrais te voir dans mon lit. Quel chose doit-on dire pour s'arranger?>>

Deste, now that really cuts to the chase! Tho' I have a feeling the result would be a slap for being cheeky!!! .... sigh!

Quote:
The famous "to be or not to be" is generally translated as "être ou ne pas être, telle est la question" or "être ou ne pas être, là est la question".


Oh thank you Clotilde! It's great to have the true version. I love Shakespeare and I love French, so to have both is wonderful. I did try (possibly rather naively) to translate Cyrano de Bergerac once. It was not so bad to translate (with dictionary and grammar book at my side) but to make it have the rhythm and rhyme is another matter entirely. That was very tough... and I'm not entirely sure that my translation was absolutely accurate. Language is not the problem, meanings are the problem.

Quote:
Thanks for the explanation Deste! In that case, it might be translated as: "Prie-moi de discourir, j'enchanterai ton oreille." A bit clumsy, but the meaning is there -- and from the situation you describe, Venus would probably say "tu", not "vous", to a mere mortal.


Clumsy? I don't think so, it sounds to my English ear, quite beautiful. Also, Venus would definitely have said 'tu'! The Classical gods were a fickle bunch too, so Adonis would have used vous if he knew what was good for him!

Harpospeaking,
I'm aware of the plays and the sonnets. I'm even aware of the Phoenix and the Turtle, but for some reason I haven't even read Venus and Adonis. So thank you, I shall get to it instantly and bid Shakespeare discourse because he always enchants my ear!
[/b]
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin, same here. Never read the poem in full (obviously) and just know it because of relevances I mentioned above. I actually did spend a little time googling French sites for <<Venus et Adonis>> and most simply mentioned the poem's significance in Shakespeare's career: early date; first of three narrative poems; name of the gentleman to whom WS sent the poems, etc. There's an entire site devoted to Shakespeare en francais, but it's really a bibliography of translations. V & A has been translated by Yves B--------- although, why bother to look for the book now? Clotilde's words are quite beautiful.

Now, harpo, out of curiosity, are you planning on embroidering the French lines? Perchance, sending them in a scented letter to a young man you met from Lyons?
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madameshawshank



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Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh this thread is meltingly beautiful...
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject: can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french? Reply with quote

Deste,

Quite, if Clotilde weren't so busy writing her own book, a translation of V & A by her would be lovely. Definitely meltingly beautiful.

I don't know about Harpo, but I used to write love sonnets to my ex-girlfriend and she loved them. I even made a small booklet of them, handwritten in Chancery script, covered with a paper patterned with roses and a skinny ribbon bookmark. It worked! ...and then ... it didn't... sigh!

As I now don't do falling in love any more, I may never write a love sonnet to anyone again. Tho' I did recently write four sonnets on flowers for a friend in Rome. She hasn't emailed, so I don't know if she has them yet. If I can find it, I also wrote a poem in French about a tarte au chocolat. It was a charming tarte and I loved it deeply... and briefly!
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