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Translation of Next Time by Soan

October 5, 2010

Here is a translation of the cracking opening track from Soan’s debut album Tant Pis which was released at the end of November last year. The album passed me by until a couple of months ago, otherwise it would have certainly been a contender for my list of the top ten albums of 2009. The […]

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Translation of Arrêter La Clope by Renaud

March 23, 2010

Thirty one years on from the release of his first album, in 1975, Renaud released his fourteenth album Rouge Sang. The classic style of half singing and half talking in French songs is something that has never tickled me, but Renaud produces albums that are consistently full of great tunes and interesting lyrics. Arrêter la […]

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Translation of Banlieue Rouge by Renaud

July 10, 2009

I always have a good workout when I translate one of Renaud’s songs – they are usually long and full of slang and imagery.

Les Banlieues Rouges “Red Suburbs” is a belt of communist-dominated suburbs which surround Paris that arose during the interwar years and reached its apogee under the Fourth Republic (Source).

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Translation of Miss Maggie by Renaud

May 1, 2009

This is one of the most famous French songs for people in the UK. Renaud sings the praises of all women except Margaret Thatcher of whom he thinks rather less. Renaud did record an English version of the song which is included here as a YouTube video beneath the original – it will take you a while to adjust to his accent to understand it! Naturally, his English version it’s not a direct translation because things need to be changed in order to get it to fit and rhyme where necessary.

The translation here is a more direct translation of the French – we are not slaves to poetry or cadence.

As in the previous Renaud translation, there is plenty of French slang (argot) here.

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Translation of Le Père Noel Noir by Renaud

April 11, 2009

This is a song by Renaud (Renaud Séchan), a very popular, often controversial French singer. This song Le Père Noel Noir (The Black Father Christmas) gives a description of Father Christmas as seen through the detached eyes of someone who sees him going about his business.

This translation has been the most interesting so far – a bucket load of slang expressions, colloquialisms and interesting verbs. There’s a lot of good stuff we can learn here.

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