bowers of flowers

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by sarah82, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France
    California State song:
    "...where bowers of flowers are blooming in the spring"

    Bowers of flowers = des grappes de fleurs ?

    I have to translate this sentence:
    "California, to paraphrase the state song, is famous for its bowers of flowers blooming in the sun"
    "La Californie, pour paraphraser la chanson de l'état, est célèbre pour ses grappes de fleurs épanouies sous le soleil"

    I'd like to find something nicer phonetically, but i'm quite stuck..Any ideas other than grappes de fleurs? (the translation I found first was tonnelles, but tonnelles in French sounds man-made, whereas I think these bowers of flowers are not)

    Merci beaucoup ! :)
     
  2. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    I think "les charmilles" might be better.
     
  3. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France
    J'aurais dû mentionner charmille dans mon post c'est vrai.
    Je ne l'ai pas retenu parce qu'une charmille, c'est avant tout une haie de charmes (charmes = hornbeams)
     
  4. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    Humm. A bower is not a cluster of flowers like a cluster of grapes (grappe.) It's more like overhanging branches. It can also be a kind of refuge if used poetically. The word comes from the German word for "birdcage."
     
  5. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France
    Ok thanks rsweet, then I had also thought of tonnelles.
    But are bowers man-made or is it natural ? Because in French, une tonnelle is the support on which flowers/plants grow (and overhang)
     
  6. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    I don't know how precise the meaning is, but I've always thought of a bower as something in nature (or a poetic sense of a sheltered place). If you use a support for the vines, I'd call it an arbor.
     
  7. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France
    Ok something in nature.
    Then is it flowers? Or just different kinds of wild green plants growing in nature? (because in this case, I might use charmilles)

    I searched "bowers of flowers" on google images, and the first pictures I get are rather clusters of flowers...
     
  8. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    A bower is definitely more branch like than a cluster. It doesn't have to be flowers; it can just be branches. A "bower of flowers" would be overhanging flowering branches. Does that help?
     
  9. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    I've lived in California all my life and haven't sung our state song since I was very young, so I looked up the lyrics. I don't see any bowers of flowers in the lyrics!
     
  10. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France
    Yes it helps, thanks rsweet. It's still quite hard to translate though...
    overhanging flowering branches...and I guess it goes for any kind of flowering branches? Because the image I have in mind now is a wisteria (glycine in French)

    About the state song, it's not the official one, it's the old one called California Here I come

    Any francophone here to help me out??
     
  11. bobbythefrench Junior Member

    Moi j'aurais voté pour les "tonnelles de fleurs" mais tu les as exclues dès ton premier post...
     
  12. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France

    Alors selon toi "tonnelles de fleurs" c'est quelque chose de naturel ?

    Les tonnelles de fleurs qui s'épanouissent au soleil?
    Les tonnelles de fleurs épanouies au soleil?
     
  13. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    A bower (cognate with the German Bauer, Gebäude...) was originally a country cottage, a bedroom, a boudoir, and finally: "a shady recess, an arbour... usually of lattice-work covered with climbing shrubs and plants" (SOED).

    So tonnelles is fine, as is charmilles perhaps, because some of them aren't actually made of hornbeam. Is any of this relevant to California? I suspect it's more relevant to the author wanting an internal rhyme...
     
  14. sarah82 Senior Member

    Annecy, France
    French-France
    Thanks Keith. Then I'll stick to tonnelles.
    Mais j'aurais aimé quelque chose de plus musical que Les tonnelles de fleurs épanouies au soleil :)
     
  15. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    Since "bower" is used to rhyme with "flower," couldn't you translate it as something like "les abris des branches qui fleurissent au soleil" ?
     

Share This Page