with breasts of alabaster

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Keith Bradford

Senior Member
English (Midlands UK)
I'm amusing myself translating Jake Thackray's song It was only a Gipsy into French, and wondering about the phrase "breasts of alabaster" which I'm sure means "smooth and translucently pale". Do I use seins d'/en/comme l'/blancs comme l'...

ORIGINAL: My wife is white and beautiful, with breasts of alabaster.
MY TRY: Ma femme est jeune et belle, elle a des seins blancs comme l'albâtre. (Problem - too wordy?)

The rhythm is important of course, but there's no need for a rhyme.

Many thanks!

Full text at https://www.jakethackray.com/archive/songs/the-lyrics-and-guitar-tabs/item/it-was-only-a-gypsy.html
 
  • Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Pas de manière absolue, cela dépend du contexte. Il y a des contextes où l'on préfère écrire "poitrine" plutôt que "sein".
    Mais j'ai regardé maintenant le texte de la chanson, que je ne connaissais pas, et je crois que "seins", qui revient régulièrement, fait effectivement mieux l'affaire.
    Je traduirais aussi "white" par "blanche", tout simplement.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Thanks to you all. I'd chosen "jeune et belle" to avoid repeating "blanc". I'll now reinstate it following Jetset's advice: "Ma femme est blanche et belle, aux seins d'albâtre".

    Now for the "big blue hero"...
     

    mehoul

    Senior Member
    french
    L'expression classique est "sein d'albâtre", au singulier même si les seins vont généralement par deux.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Thanks for the suggestions, but I'll stick with seins, for two reasons: (a) this is a policeman talking, so not deeply into classical allusions and (b) later in the song he finds a sprig of flowers "between her breasts", so I'll need a plural.
     
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