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can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french?
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Gingerpale ! I'm french and french is my native language. I have spent a grand total of about 20 days in english speaking countries, 12 in the USA in 1979, and the rest in England, spread over 30 years ! But I fell in love with english when I started studying it in high school. I went as far as getting a degree in college, something like a master's I guess (3 years after high school), my major being american english translation. And I also had excellent teachers on the side, among them George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, and maybe the best for "everyday" english, Stephen King ! I guess I had a knack for picking up the language, it has become almost second nature for me, even if I do still make mistakes. But I read in english, watch movies and TV series in english. It allows me to keep my english from rusting too much ! I also dream in english sometimes. And I have been known to occasionaly swear in english, and speak to myself that way too !
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Eureka !!! Reply with quote

I found it !!......on the website "Bibliothéque numérique de la Bibliothèque nationale de la France":

Dis-moi de parler, j’enchanterai ton oreille ; ordonne, et comme une fée je bondirai sur le gazon, ou qu’une nymphe à la longue chevelure éparse, je danserai sur le sable sans y laisser la trace de mes pas. L’amour est un esprit de feu, il n’a rien de grossier qui l’abaisse vers la terre, mais il est léger et aspire à s’élever.

This is the entire stanza (I think!) I am a translator, most often of French to English, but to try to translate poetry is the hardest !! There is no way I would want to try to translate Shakespearean English into "Shakespearean" French !! By the way, I love the last line !!

Kathy D
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:46 pm    Post subject: To Sneakychocs Reply with quote

Sorry !! I didn't see your post before I sent mine.......you are so intelligent !!!
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harpospeaking



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

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for everyone's help on this. I'm so inspired by this post, I might try and pick up a French transation of Shakespeare's plays while I'm in Paris this fall. I love love love Shakespeare and am so grateful that he wrote in my native tongue, albeit the Elizabethan version of it.

For those of you wondering, I was thinking about putting together a CD or a handmade book of English and French poems and I wanted that quote from Venus and Adonis for the cover. I first saw that quote, oddly enough, in the Japanese movie "Shall We Dance?" when the camera pans on the Blackpool dance foor in England.

I'm delighted to see that I'm not the only one who loves Shakespeare on this board. For all those C&Zers in England, I'm so painfully jealous that you have an opportunity to see Patrick Stewart in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of "The Tempest" in Stratford-upon-Avon. He used to perform his one-man version of "A Christmas Carol" at my university --- UC Santa Barbara, back in the day.

On another Shakespearean note, I just saw a documentary called "Shakespeare Behind Bars" and the inmates of this one maximum security prison in Kentucky performed "The Tempest." The theme of redemption and forgiveness really hit home with these men who had committed horrible crimes. It was really fascinating. The American radio show, "This American Life" did a similar piece on maximum security inmates doing a production of Hamlet. It was riveting. (What's the French equivalent for "riveting"?)

Okay, those are my thoughts on Shakespeare for today. Time to think about food again. Wink
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harpospeaking, I don't think we have an exact translation for riveting. I'd go for something like "nailed to my seat", "cloué à mon siège". In everyday language we would say "scotché", glued with sticky tape ! That's an exception, we usually need a whole sentence for something english can express in one word. Awkward... That's why french translated books are usually longer than the english version ! Too many words in my language !
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:49 pm    Post subject: French/English.....for Charlsy Reply with quote

we usually need a whole sentence for something english can express in one word. Awkward... That's why french translated books are usually longer than the english version ! Too many words in my language !

Actually, there is more vocabulary in English than in French. If you look at both sides of a translating dictionary you will see that the English side has more pages. The reason that French translations of English use more words is that often a word that exists in English does not have a counterpart in French, and so more than one word must be used to express the same idea.....e.g. snowball=boule de neige (these words are very often compound words). The English language, especially in America, has been historically more flexible. I know there are linguistic and cultural explanations, but I forget what they are !! At any rate, it has allowed new vocabulary to be added rather quickly. Another reason is that the grammatical construction of French (not to mention the Académie Française) limit its flexibility . You can't for instance show possession in French by the addition of an 's (my father's car.....la voiture de mon père).

This said, it is business and technical translations that usually end up with the same number of words, and very often legal translations and literary text that need more words in French.

The following quotation can be found at this web address: http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutenglish/mostwords?view=uk

However, it seems quite probable that English has more words than most comparable world languages.

The reason for this is historical. English was originally a Germanic language, related to Dutch and German, and it shares much of its grammar and basic vocabulary with those languages. However, after the Norman Conquest in 1066 it was hugely influenced by Norman French, which became the language of the ruling class for a considerable period, and by Latin, which was the language of scholarship and of the Church. Very large numbers of French and Latin words entered the language. Consequently, English has a much larger vocabulary than either the Germanic languages or the members of the Romance language family to which French belongs.

English is also very ready to accommodate foreign words, and as it has become an international language, it has absorbed vocabulary from a large number of other sources. This does, of course, assume that you ignore 'agglutinative' languages such as Finnish, in which words can be stuck together in long strings of indefinite length, and which therefore have an almost infinite number of 'words'.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand corrected ! I guess I did not express my idea clearly enough. When I said too many words, I was thinking about all the small elements we add in french, and you summed it perfectly with snowball, 1 word in english, 3 in french ! And the precise nature of english, with words for lots of specific ideas, where in french we will need compound words, parts of phrases, to express the same idea, probably adds to the number of words. Anyway, I do love both languages, and to go back to the origin of this post, I think the music of Shakespeare is one of the most beautiful expressions of english. And for all its elizabethan turns, quite comprehensible even today ! Witness Baz Luhrman's great "Romeo+Juliet". And wonderful "Cyrano de Bergerac" of course, standing on the french side of the debate ! So many delightful ways to speak of a great gascon nose !
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:27 am    Post subject: I forgot to mention..... Reply with quote

......that French is such a beautiful language for literature and poetry.....in the way it lends itself to these forms. Especially when it's read aloud. I feel so lucky to be able to appreciate the written word in two different languages. I wish I knew more. France is a much more "literary" country. Never in the US would a 19th century poem be recorded by a popular singer, and be a success. I'm thinking of L'Horloge (Mylène Farmer).

I'm happy that you joined the forums, Charlsy.....there are not that many people from France writing in. And that is interesting since Chocolate & Zucchini is based in France and Clotilde is French. And....your English is perfect (even colloquial !)
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you KathyD. For my "colloquial fluency", go back up a few posts : I owe a lot to Stephen King ! I do confess though, I read others writers. Right now I rereading a four-books series called "Otherland", by Tad Williams, a fantasy story taking place in virtual reality, kind of "The Matrix meets the Lord of the Rings". That guy wrote an absolutely lovely book called "Tailchaser's song", about a cat going after his missing girlfriend, "Watership Down" with cats. I do heartily recommand it for all cat lovers. And I have been known to read much more serious stuff (like Hillary Clinton's memoirs, truly enlightening), non-fiction usually, even if my natural inclination goes towards fiction. Actually I'd say it races downhill towards it !
I assumed you were french like me, am I right or did I get misled by your french location ? Very Happy
One thing wonderful about C&Z forums : isn't it great to be able to discuss the merits of french in english ?!
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KathyD



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Couzon, France 03160

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Charlsy.... Reply with quote

No, not French, I'm American, but splitting my time between France and the US (Salt Lake City, UTAH). I ended up with a Master's Degree (Bac+3, more or less) in French after returning to university after 25 years. During that period, I fell into a job as a personal chef (cooking always my passion), and became a translator. My first visit to France was in 1997, and the rest is history. I quit cooking for a living after 10 years with 3 wonderful clients, and now I do translation by internet for several agencies....so it doesn't matter what side of the Atlantic I'm on.

You're so right, it's great to have 2 languages. And to experience knowing intimately 2 countries gives you a new perspective on both !! It's never too late, either.....I did this all after 50 years old. Unfortunately I don't read too much lately.....it's a reaction to all the reading I was required to do for my degree (I kept falling asleep on the sofa reading Sartre's La Nausée......grrrrrrrrrr !) But as a child and adolescent I used to read half the night !! Now I read light things. Steven King is great...but it's just that I can't read the scary stuff. I did read some of it and he's so good he scared the hell out of me !! I don't want to be scared any more...I'm too old !! One of my favorite writers here is Daniel Pennac....especially his book on reading and children: Comme un roman.

I love cooking, words, new discoveries and all things creative. My granddaughter, who is 12 years old and has spent summers with me in France for the last 4 years, is constantly drawing and has adopted my passion for cooking. We said one day that cooking appeals to all the senses......Sight, smell, even hearing, and at the end you get the sensual satisfaction of tasting......so we have classified it as one of the "fine arts". That's why "Chocolate & Zucchini" is the best place....we can talk about cooking and everything else !!!

By the way......congratulations on riding your bike to work....that is so great !! You notice so much more from a bicycle.....or on foot.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: can someone translate a line from shakespeare into french? Reply with quote

Rainey,

I looove Rimbaud's work! Sure he was also laughable at times, but what soul is faultless as he put it? I think he was a remarkable poet nonetheless... at least he was better at that than his more questionable activities like gun-running!!

KathyD, (Kathy D-light?)

As far as I understand it, Latin came to us Brits from the Romans. Then we got the Saxons, Danes and a cast of thousands before we started empire-building and got words from India, Persia (Shawl) and even Spain. I still like the sentence I heard on the radio a while back, 'English is the Lingua Franca of the world.' said with no trace of irony at all!!

I found that a little knowledge of French and German could be useful when reading Chaucer too. That's where we got genteel/gentil and noblesse from as well as perfect/parfait.

There is a book called 'The Adventure of English' by Melvyn Bragg which is very readable and interesting on the history of the language. I think English's strength lies in it's mongrel attitude. It adapts to other languages and takes in words. I know that je ne sais quoi means I don't know what in English, but we Brits know that it has a nuance of extra meaning in the original French. It's when French was considered a romantic language with cultural nuances that have never quite gone away here.

Charlsy,
I also love Cyrano! Que le fin de l'envoi je touche! For me the Non Merci speech is almost a manifesto for living, an extended way of saying, To thine own self be true, but said so wonderfully!
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harpo: Thanks for piping up Wink to put your request in context. I am impressed that you caught the verse from watching (a very touching) movie!
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: KathyD Reply with quote

Riding my bike was a good way to lose weight, something I badly needed to do ! So, with a little rethinking of my diet, and a lot of miles (I did not just ride to work, I rode on the weekends too), I managed to lose about 40 pounds last year. and keep them off, for good I hope. It's a treat, being able to put on a pair of pants I last wore when I was 20 !
But let me tell you, yesterday I did not enjoy the ride back home : rain is good for the earth, a nightmare on a bike ! Very Happy
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