Rien qu'à m'énerver

mellow-yellow

Senior Member
English - USA
In Serge Gainsbourg's song Couleur Café, he sings the following stanza:

Si tu fais comme le café
Rien qu’à m’énerver
Rien qu’à m’exciter
Ce soir la nuit sera blanche

How would you improve my translation?

If you are anything like coffee
Completely unnerving me
Totally exciting me
Tonight will be a sleepless one

Thanks!
 
  • Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    It is a childish expression : "il fait rien qu'à m'énerver!" = he does nothing but pissing me off

    but here it is in the sense of "exciting me".


    so perhaps

    If you are anything like coffee
    Nothing but unnerving me
    Nothing but exciting me
    Tonight will be a sleepless one
     

    mellow-yellow

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Michelvar, I see what you mean, but unfortunately, those two lines doesn't make sense together (separately yes) in English

    If you are anything like coffee
    Nothing but unnerving me - What is nothing? The coffee? What happened to you? Tu ne cesses pas de m'énerver?

    Other thoughts?
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    You are right, it's a poor translation.

    But now you're the native, if you understand the explanation I gave, I'm sure you can find proper words to say it.

    perhaps

    If you are anything like coffee
    Only unnerving me
    Only exciting me
    Tonight will be a sleepless one
     
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