About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green.

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by pour_pousser_la_Méshémée, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. pour_pousser_la_Méshémée Senior Member

    Newfoundland, Canada
    Canada, English
    Bonjour, mes gazeurs. Je veux traduire cette phrase de "Fern Hill" par Dylan Thomas.

    Je crois que "about" veut dire "en provenance de."

    En provenance de la maison chantant et aussi heureux que le gazon en était vert ?
     
  2. lolecki Member

    Charlotte, NC
    English United States
    It's usually "from"...
     
  3. pour_pousser_la_Méshémée Senior Member

    Newfoundland, Canada
    Canada, English
    What's usually "from"?
     
  4. lolecki Member

    Charlotte, NC
    English United States
    "en provenance de" is usually "from", or "coming from" (d'origine).

    maybe it's "autour de" because in this context "about" is the same as "around"
     
  5. pour_pousser_la_Méshémée Senior Member

    Newfoundland, Canada
    Canada, English
    Thank you, but it's the second part of the sentence that confuses me more. "Happy as the grass was green" means that the speaker is happy to the exact same extent that the grass is green ... I didn't happen to translate that correctly up there, did I? I don't think so.
     
  6. lolecki Member

    Charlotte, NC
    English United States
    You have exactly the right idea for that. I couldn't have translated it better :)
     
  7. lolecki Member

    Charlotte, NC
    English United States
    Make sure you get your agreement for maison chantante.
     
  8. Canard

    Canard Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    English, USA
    That "en" makes me hesitate, and I'm tempted to do without it. I'd also replace "gazon" with "herbe" since it's talking about the grass and not specifically the lawn/yard, in addition to the first bit according to my own interpretation:

    Dans la maison en cadence et aussi heureux que l'herbe n'était verte.

    The last part is definitely tricky though... I'm not at all confident on my suggestion ;)
     
  9. lolecki Member

    Charlotte, NC
    English United States
    It sounds good to me. I struggle with the "freedoms" of poetry interpretation/translation. That's the thing for me, is that I first have to make sense of it, then put it into French.

    Where are our French friends? That's what we need. :)
     
  10. pour_pousser_la_Méshémée Senior Member

    Newfoundland, Canada
    Canada, English
    Thank you. :) But, you see, I don't think "dans" would be correct, since it means "inside," and the poem is set outdoors.

    The whole thing is here, if it helps: http://www.bigeye.com/fernhill.htm

    Autour la maison chantante et aussi heureux que l'herbe n'était verte. --- this is what sounds the best to me, but it needs to be confirmed by a francophone.
     
  11. Canard

    Canard Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    English, USA
    Ah. "about" there seems to describe his position, but the impression I get from the poem is that it is a fixed position (under the boughs, near the house), so I suggest "Près de la maison".

    What's your interpretation? :) Poetry is always so tricky to translate!
     
  12. PepinMalin

    PepinMalin Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France), English (USA), Arabic (Lebanon)
    Are you sure it means that the speaker is happy to the same extent that the grass is green? Doesn't it mean that he is happy because the grass is green?
     
  13. Canard

    Canard Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    English, USA
    PepinMalin: I don't think so. Given the rest of the poem, which is reminiscent of e.e. cummings's style, the clearest interpretation to me is that he was happy to the same extent that the grass was green. It serves to accentuate both of those facts, rather than presenting one as the cause.
     
  14. PepinMalin

    PepinMalin Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France), English (USA), Arabic (Lebanon)
    I see, Canard. Then "Près de la maison chantante (or mélodieuse) et aussi heureux que l'herbe n'était verte" (that you suggested) sounds good to me.

    (By the way, Méshémée, in the translation that you suggested with "autour", the correct form would be "autour de la maison".)
     
  15. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    English/French/Slovak
    The n' doesn't sound right to me. I would prefer "aussi heureux que l'herbe était verte".
     

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