Bonne nuit, ma reine; soyez sage.

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Kevlar93, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Kevlar93 New Member


    I am an English speaker and do not speak French.

    That phrase is from a book "The Awakening". It has footnotes with translations of the French phrases in the book but I was wondering about this translation.

    "Goodnight, my Queen; be good."

    I was wonder about the 'be good'. I read a book about the difficulty with translations and they said that it would be translated as "Be wise".

    The book was set in Louisiana; It is Cajun French.

    How would you translate it?
  2. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia

    French is just full to the brim with words such as sage, with double meanings depending on context, placement within the sentence (e.g. before/after the noun in the case of adjectives, etc.).

    Basically, sage usually means wise, but in reference to behaviour, it indeed translates as "good", as indicated in the footnote.
  3. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello Kevlar 93, and welcome to the forum. :)

    Given this context, it seems to me that "be good" is correct in this sentence.

    It is true that « sage » can also mean "wise", but in my opinion, the context would be different. I have a hard time associating "be wise" with "good night".

    You can search for « sage » in the dictionary look-up, on top of the page.this page

    Edit : Boy ! Am I ever slow. I had not seen cropje's answer.
  4. Kevlar93 New Member

    thank you that makes more sense now.

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