Senior Member
French - France

Je viens d'écouter un morceau de musique dont le titre est battez-vous. Ce sont des chanteuses qui disent à leurs soupirants de se battre pour elles.
Je me demande comment traduire ce titre en anglais, comment traduire l'impératif à la deuxième personne du pluriel. Je n'ai trouvé que go fight ! Mais si je veux m'adresser à deux personnes, comment préciser?
  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    It depends on the situation. If, say, there are two guys who are about to start fighting over a woman, in order to encourage them, she might say, "Have at it!" I'm not sure she'd say, "Fight!", although that's not impossible.

    Or, if it's two or more guys ready to start fighting with a group of other lads in order to defend their women, the women might say, "Let them have it!" or "Go get them!"

    In these situations, as I'm saying, it's clear that a fight is about to start. And in the context of the song by Brigitte, I'd say it's clear enough what the woman wants:

    Faites-vous la guerre pour me faire la cour
    Maintenant battez-vous
    Soyez gangsters, soyez voyous
    Maintenant battez-vous

    I don't really think "Fight!" is the best way of saying this in English. I think I'd translate a bit freely, something like this:

    Would you make war to make me yours?
    Then have at it now, lads!
    Would you be gangsters or highwaymen?
    Then have at it now, lads!

    And so I think I'd call the song, "Have at it, Lads!" I think "Fight!" would be unclear. But there would be other ways of going about it, and someone else might take a different approach.


    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    This sounds like a rather nasty game identified by Eric Berne in his book "Games people play" (a game is here defined as a habitual pattern of transactional behaviour - not always fun).

    He calls it Let's you and him fight, which happens to fit the rhythm of that line.
    You're right, Keith. If you look at the lyrics of the song, it's not very nice and doesn't reflect well on the women singing it. But then, maybe it's just for fun, so I shouldn't be an old stick in the mud.

    However, "Let's you and him fight" wouldn't work, because the girls are trying to get the guys to fight. They're not going to get into it themselves.
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