Frozen: En Français

23 Jan
Two versions of artwork for Disney's "La Reine des Neiges" ("Frozen").

Two versions of artwork for Disney’s “La Reine des Neiges” (“Frozen”).

Are you sick of reading about “Frozen” on my blog? Well…sorry…I’m about to write some more.

Tonight I started listening to some of the foreign language recordings of the film’s soundtrack and I was struck by how beautiful the lyrics are in other languages. Foreign language translation of song lyrics is very difficult – you’re restricted by rhythms and rhymes in addition to the gargantuan task of trying to convey the original intent of the original lyricist. That’s a tough job – especially when you’re dealing with an English to [fill in the blank with any Asian language] translation. My friend Koji translates musicals for a living and he works very hard at it. It’s nearly impossible to do a literal translation, meaning word-for-word, so sometimes you have to get a little poetic to make it work. Sometimes it works to the detriment of the piece. Whoever Disney got to do the French translations for “Frozen” (or as it’s titled in French, “La Reine des Neiges” [“The Snow Queen”]) is an absolute wordsmith. Their casting department also did a great job finding vocal matches for Kristen Bell (Anna) and Idina Menzel (Elsa). The French singers are Emmylou Homs (Anna) and Anaïs Delva (Elsa).

I have found that most of the translations for the songs are pretty close to literal, but I have noticed that a lot of artistic liberties have been taken with “Let It Go,” including changing the title of the song. In Spanish it’s “Libre Soy,” which means, “I’m Free.” In French it’s “Libérée, Délivrée,” which means, “Liberated, Delivered.” I think the French lyrics are beautiful. I’ve included them below with an English translation so you can see what they’ve done to the song. It’s pretty beautiful.

ELSA:
L’hiver s’installe doucement dans la nuit
La neige est reine à son tour
Un royaume de solitude
Ma place est là pour toujours

Le vent qui hurle en moi ne pense plus à demain
Il est bien trop fort
J’ai lutté, en vain
Cache tes pouvoirs, n’en parle pas
Fais attention, le secret survivra
Pas d’états d’âme, pas de tourments
De sentiments

Libérée, délivrée
Je ne mentirai plus jamais
Libérée, délivrée
C’est décidé, je m’en vais
J’ai laissé mon enfance en été
Perdue dans l’hiver
le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté

Quand on prend de la hauteur
Tout semble insignifiant
La tristesse, l’angoisse et la peur
M’ont quittée depuis longtemps

Je veux voir ce que je peux faire
De cette magie pleine de mystères
Le bien, le mal, je dis tant pis
Tant pis

Libérée, délivrée
Les étoiles me tendent les bras
Libérée, délivrée
Non, je ne pleure pas
Me voilà, oui
Je suis là

Perdue dans l’hiver

Mon pouvoir vient du ciel
Et envahit l’espace
Mon âme s’exprime
En dessinant et sculptant dans la glace
Et mes pensées sont des fleurs de cristal gelées
Je ne reviendrai pas
Le passé est passé

Libérée, délivrée,
Désormais plus rien ne m’arrête
Libérée, délivrée
Plus de princesse parfaite
Je suis là
Comme je l’ai rêvé
Perdue dans l’hiver

Le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté
________________________________

Winter is slowly moving into the night
The snow reigns in turn
A kingdom of loneliness
My place is here forever.

The wind howls in me. I won’t think about tomorrow.
It is far too strong,
I struggled in vain
“Hide your powers , do not talk
Be careful, the secret will survive
Not emotional , no torment,
no feelings.”

Liberated! Delivered!
I will not ever lie again!
Liberated! Delivered!
It’s decided , I ‘m going.
I left my childhood in summer.
Lost in Winter,
cold for me is the price of freedom.

When we’re up high
Everything seems insignificant.
Sadness, anxiety and fear
I have long since left.

I want to see what I can do
This magic full of mysteries
The good, the bad , I say too bad
Let it be!

Liberated! Delivered!
The stars tend my arms.
Liberated! Delivered!
No, I do not cry.
Here I am, yes!
I’m here!
Lost in Winter

My power comes from heaven
And invades the space
My soul speaks
Drawing and sculpting in ice
And my thoughts are frozen crystal flowers.
I will not go back.
The past is past.

Liberated! Delivered!
Now nothing can stop me
Liberated! Delivered!
More than a perfect princess,
I’m here
As I’ve dreamed,
Lost in Winter.

Cold for me is the price of freedom.

Here’s the sequence in French as sung by Anaïs Delva. Amusez-vous!

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Frozen: En Français”

  1. abcahen21 February 1, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    I just saw the French version of Frozen, and I agree that the translations and voices are fantastic!

    However, I wanted to offer some alternate interpretations of your translation back to English:

    The wind howls in me. I won’t think about tomorrow.
    The wind that howls in me no longer thinks of tomorrow

    Hide your powers , do not talk
    Hide your powers, don’t speak of them

    Not emotional , no torment,
    No qualms, no torments

    The stars tend my arms.
    The stars hold out their arms to me

    More than a perfect princess,
    No longer a perfect princess

  2. abcahen21 February 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    I just saw Frozen in French, and I agree that the translations and the voices are beautiful!

    However, I wanted to offer alternate interpretations of some of the lines:

    The wind howls in me. I won’t think about tomorrow.
    The wind that howls in me no longer thinks of tomorrow

    Hide your powers , do not talk
    Hide your powers, don’t speak of them

    Not emotional , no torment,
    No qualms, no torments

    The stars tend my arms.
    The stars hold out their arms to me

    More than a perfect princess,
    No longer a perfect princess

    • jasonhbratton76 February 3, 2014 at 2:22 am #

      Thank you for that! I appreciate and like your translations much better than the ones I came up with – they make more sense. Especially “The wind that howls in me no longer thinks of tomorrow.” Merci beaucoup!

  3. melik90 July 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    I agree that the translated lyrics are great and I appreciate the hard work it must be to translate song lyrics into any other languages for that matter, but there’s one point I don’t understand in the translation, namely “Le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté” which is in my understanding the complete opposite that “The cold never bothered me anyway” in the English version. For me, the French version suggests that the cold is like an annoying side effect or price to pay for freedom. I guess I’m reading too much into it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: