Si je n'avais qu'un seul regard à poser sur le monde, ce serait sur Istanbul

veryshy

Senior Member
Morocco/ Arabic
Hello Everybody,

A verse of the French poet Lamartine expressing his love of Istanbul, that I've been trying to translate into English but I'am not sure about my attempt.
It says;

Si je n'avais qu'un seul regard à poser sue le monde, ce serait sur Istanbul.

I translated it this way;

If I had only one look to put on the world, it would be on Istanbul.

Thanks in advanve for your contribution.
 
  • veryshy

    Senior Member
    Morocco/ Arabic
    Thank you so much;

    Well, I tried sight and glance.

    I think a glance is a short look or a quick look and sight in French is" la vue" ou " la vision.So both in this context don't sound like" un regard"

    I am very grateful.
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    I would skip the "would be" sur la 2e partie de la phrase. It would be Istambul
    Doesn't that rather depend on what the first part of the sentence is? In terms of the original translation attempt, what you say would make sense, but that tentativel translation suggestion doesn't really work, so we need to agree the alternative before getting into the details of the latter part of the sentence.
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    I think a glance is a short look or a quick look and sight in French is" la vue" ou " la vision.So both in this context don't sound like" un regard"
    "Fix my gaze on", as suggested in the link I gave previously, sounds like a possibility, but I don't know enough about the original French to propose this with any authority.
     

    veryshy

    Senior Member
    Morocco/ Arabic
    Well Smallseb, but then the sentence will be;
    If I had only one place to put a look on, it would be Istanbul!

    Is that what you meant?
     

    smallseb

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    I do agree with the sigh part, because in french and in this context, regard means that there is just one look. Like if you had one image to see in your entire life, what would it be. Lamartine says it would be Istambul.
    In this thread, the look is made at someone, like staring at.
    In this one the look, the sight is more subjective and, you have to take that part of the view, the way he looks at the city.

    So I can't come up with the best translation.

    Glance would be more subjective, as you said
    I think a glance is a short look or a quick look
    .
    Here, Lamartine shows how much he loves the city and the way he looks at it.

    *Then, but I'm not truly content of my translation, I would say "If I had only one gaze to put on the world, It would be (on) Istambul"
     

    veryshy

    Senior Member
    Morocco/ Arabic
    Bonjour Smallseb;

    That was really a very good translation. I agree, it's right! The link was very helpful too. Je vous remercie infiniment.
     

    jeddie

    New Member
    Switzerland French
    A less word to word translation could maybe better preserve the whole meaning:

    If I had only one direction in the world to look at, it would be to Istanbul.
     

    denkmaler

    Senior Member
    English, French
    Hey, people! this is supposed to be poetry, which is the last place to be literal. The term "regard" in French is used much more frequently and with greater variety than that of "gaze," which plagues English translations of, among other things, deconstructivist literature.

    My suggestion: "If I had only one eye to see the world, it would be for Istanbul."
     
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