Hors-Saison by Francis Cabrel

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MelB

Senior Member
United States English
I love the song, Hors-Saison by Francis Cabrel, though have some problem with translating one part (that feels a bit awkward to me).

For the entire song, see:

http://www.paroles.net/chansons/15766.htm

The section I'm struggling with a bit is:

La colère océane est trop près
Les tourments la condamnent
Aux écrans de fumée
Personne ne s'éloigne du quai

If I were translating that, I'd try:

"The angry ocean is too near.
Torments condemn it
to displays of mist [smoke screens]
No one moves away from the jetty [wharf]. "

My first line seems ok.
However,

(1) I don't like my translation, "Torments condemn it," and I'm not sure how to translate "écrans de fumée."

I looked it up in the TLF
http://atilf.atilf.fr/dendien/scripts/tlfiv4/showps.exe?p=combi.htm;java=no;
and seemed to get "smokescreen" for "écran de fumée."

Écran de fumée. Fumée produite pour dissimuler des opérations de troupes, de navires. Comme un croiseur émet un écran de fumées."

But that doesn't quite feel write in translating the section.

(2) And "Personne ne s'éloigne du quai," seems to be "no one moves away from the jetty," but I would think the writer should be saying, "no one moves out on the jetty," because of the angry ocean. Is the use of "du quai," by the writer, correct. It doesn't seem to mean "moves out . . ." but rather seems to just mean, "moves from," which doesn't make that much sense to me.

Anyone care to translate those four lines from the song for me:

"La colère océane est trop près
Les tourments la condamnent
Aux écrans de fumée
Personne ne s'éloigne du quai"
 
  • deeosama

    Member
    france, french
    even in french I don't really understand this lyrics

    "Personne ne s'éloigne du quai" means "nobody is moving away from the quay"

    smoke screen is correct for "écran de fumée"
    "colère océane" means something like "oceanic anger" so I would say "oceanic anger is too close"

    edit :
    Torments doom it (to smokescreens)

    I think it's an allusion to the seafoam.
     

    MelB

    Senior Member
    United States English
    In an otherwise -- to me-- beautiful song (at least the way Cabrel sings it), that's just seems an awkward section. I thought also he (Cabrel) was talking about the sea foam, that is the waves pounding on the shore, and creating this huge surf/foam. Still, the definition given in that TLF is "smokescreen," so Cabrel's use of that phrase, "écran de fumée," doesn't seem quite right. And then, I'm not sure why he has no one moving from the jetty. Maybe, because the people there all entranced/mesmerized watching the pounding waves. That would explain that sentence, I guess. :)
     

    deeosama

    Member
    france, french
    Yes i think it's the right explanation. People are watching the storm.

    I think the lines 2 & 3 make part of an unique sentence.
    Les tourments la condamnent aux écrans de fumée
    Torments doom it to smokescreens

    "aux écrans de fumée" cannot be a sentence by itselfe
     

    MelB

    Senior Member
    United States English
    Maybe I shouldn't have cut out the line before the four lines as that first line of the section may be relevant:

    Dans les brouillards salés
    La colère océane est trop près
    Les tourments la condamnent
    Aux écrans de fumée
    Personne ne s'éloigne du quai

    Notice there's a "salty fog, haze in the first line." Perhaps that's the "écrans de fumée" in the fourth line. I mean, the ocean can create the fog, from all of that moisture, a fog which obscures all, and is kind of a smokescreen, obfuscation, concealing of everything around."

    Also, maybe no one comes back from the quay/jetty, because they've disappered in the fog and haze.
     
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