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StephenT [userpic]

Never expected that...

4th July 2011 (17:23)
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Did you know there was a French version of 'Once More With Feeling'? Well, the French people on my flist presumably did, but I didn't until I discovered it just now.

Okay, I know that 'Buffy' was broadcast in multiple countries, and while in some places it was subtitled, at least in France they actually dubbed it into French, with new voice actors and everything. But I never knew that they even went to the trouble of writing new versions of all the songs in OMWF in French, and getting the French actors to sing them...
That's above and beyond the call of duty. I'm not sure whether to be impressed or appalled.

Hear for yourself -

Click here

Lyrics below the cut, with my own literal translation so you can see how it's different from the original.



Moi j'ai une théorie,  I've got a theory
c'est peut-être un démon It's perhaps a demon
Il danse, le démon,  He dances, the demon.
non c'est pas ça,  No, it's not that
je crois qu'on s'égare I believe we're going astray.
   
Moi j'ai une théorie, I've got a theory
c'est un petit enfant It's a small child
Rêvant de chansons qui nous enferme Dreaming of songs which imprison us
dans ce mauvais cauchemar. In this evil nightmare.
   
Toute cette théorie paraît maladroite All this theory seems clumsy.
Que signifient ces mélodies bizarres What is the meaning of these bizarre songs
qui nous épatent? which startle us?
   
Des sorcières peut-être, Perhaps witches
ce sont des sorcières. There are some witches.
Mais non c'est ridicule, No, that's ridiculous
les sorcières on les persécute Witches were persecuted
Et mille pardons, And sorry a thousand times
et j'aime la Terre, And I love the Earth
et vive les femmes and long live women
Et je ferais mieux d'me taire And I'd better shut up.
   
Moi j'ai une théorie, I've got a theory
des lapins malins Evil rabbits.
   
Moi j'ai une... I've got a…
   
Ils sont plus hostiles que They're more hostile than
tout le monde le suppose Everybody supposes
Avec leurs petites papattes With their cute little paws
Et leurs gros nez tout roses And their big noses all pink
C'est quoi ce besoin des carottes What's this need of carrots
Et cette envie d'y voir si clair And this liking to see here so clearly
C'est pour quoi faire? It's to do what?
Lapins, lapins, Rabbits, rabbits,
je crois que c'est les lapins !! I believe it's rabbits!
   
C'est peut-être bien des nains Perhaps rather it's midgets.
   
Toute cette théorie paraît maladroite All this theory seems clumsy.
Mais l'affaire semble très sérieuse, But the business seems very serious
il faut bien qu'on en débate It really must be debated.
   
Moi j'ai une théorie, c'est pas important I've got a theory, it's not important.
Ensemble nous sommes vraiment les meilleurs Together we are really the best
Rien ni personne ne peut nous faire peur Nothing and nobody can make us afraid
L'Apocalypse, c'est plus un mystère The Apocalypse is no longer a mystery
Les mêmes fausses pistes, faut pas s'en faire The same false tracks, no need to worry.
   
Faut être plongé au coeur de l'action It's necessary to be plunged into the heart of the action
Pour pouvoir trouver une solution To be able to find a solution
Il faut que ça casse, ou bien que ça passe It must break, or else it must pass
La mort est là Death is here
   
Je suis morte deux fois I died twice.
   
Ensemble nous sommes vraiment les meilleurs Together we are really the best
Rien ni personne ne peut nous faire peur Nothing and nobody can make us afraid
Ensemble on n'a pas peur Together we're not afraid
   
Y'a quand-même les lapins  Even so, there are rabbits.


.

 

Comments

Posted by: Anne-Elisa (etrangere)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:29 (UTC)
lol

INDEED.

and it was AWFUL

For bonus wtf, due to some of the dubbers being incapable of singing, they were replaced for the episode by another voice actor, who was familiar for being one of the dubber in Friends. Which was really weird in term of cognitive dissonance.

well points for trying I guess. I would have been more sympathetic if S6 hadn't coincided with the moment when subtitled episodes stopped being broadcasted as well as the dubbed ones. Thus spurting me to start downloading instead.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:35 (UTC)

I did wonder if they'd have to bring in outside singers. It was a huge deal for the original cast to be expected to sing; Alyson point-blank refused and Sarah was going to say no as well until she had last-minute second thoughts. Not to mention that Joss deliberately wrote the songs around their personal strengths and weaknesses as singers.

So personally, I'm amazed at the idea that they'd even attempt it with a bunch of random French voice actors and dubbers, expecting them to be able to perform a musical.

I've been listening to all the songs; some of them are really terrible (the actress playing Tara, for instance) but I quite like some of the others. And for me as a non-francophone it has at least the benefit of sounding all exotic and foreign, which it presumably doesn't for you. :)

Posted by: Denita (menomegirl)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:34 (UTC)

Wow. That's just plain wrong.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:38 (UTC)

I think it's cute. :)

Posted by: Fenchurch (fenchurche)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:38 (UTC)
Sunnydale

You know, that's actually not bad... definitely fun (and a bit funky) to hear a different version like that. Now I'm curious about the other songs...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:43 (UTC)

This site has MP3s of all of the songs:

http://buffy.en.musique.free.fr/musique.htm

Posted by: Fenchurch (fenchurche)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 16:48 (UTC)

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 17:11 (UTC)

That dubbed episode was a horror. I can't stand French-dubbed episodes of Buffy but that one was the worst. It hurt. I remember telling some friends that OMWF was great but they didn't understand me because they have seen the dubbed episode only.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 17:17 (UTC)

Going by your reaction and etrangere's above, I think it's definitely a case of "Things in a foreign language always sound more impressive that they really are".

Honestly, when I first saw this I wondered if it was a fan project of some kind, to translate and record the songs themselves. I still can't really believe the TV company went to all that trouble, and persuaded the actors to cooperate as well!

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 17:25 (UTC)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 18:30 (UTC)

I thought it was nice to listen to, but I'm not a French speaker in any way, shape or form, so. One of my favorite things to do is watch shows/movies I liked dubbed in other languages ... Idk, I think it's fun. And sometimes movies sound excellent in other languages (like listening to the Saw movies in German).

I usually here that dubs aren't really great to listen to, regardless of what's being done (and hey, I can understand that, I don't like English dubs of anime), but I agree with you that from a non-speaker/non-native's standpoint, it sounds pretty cool.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 19:09 (UTC)

I'm pretty similar, at least with a language where I sort of half-know bits and pieces of it. It's fun to try and pick out words or even full sentences you can understand mixed in with the apparent-gibberish. (Like I knew the French for rabbit was 'lapin', so I was waiting to see when it came up in this song...)

Posted by: brutti_ma_buoni (brutti_ma_buoni)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 18:30 (UTC)

I have a terrible urge to suggest this year's writerconuk performs this... We did a simple OMWF singalong last year, but that's far too easy. *g* (I quite like this particular song. But it's a hell of a lot of effort to have gone to for a dubbed version.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 19:12 (UTC)

I don't know if that's tempting me to go to Writercon sometime or flee far, far away from it. :)

I think this was the best of the dubbed songs, or at least the one that sounded most like the original. 'Donne-moi une vie qui chante pour moi" is good too. Some of the others... less good.

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 18:32 (UTC)
willow poof biscuit

Too funny. I grew up hearing the soundtrack to HAIR in French, and though sadly it did little to nothing in terms of teaching me the language, to this day it sounds wrong when I hear it in English.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 19:15 (UTC)

I think probably about 2% of my music collection is in languages other than English, several of which I don't speak at all (Irish Gaelic and Russian, for example). It makes singing along with the song rather awkward. :)

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 19:59 (UTC)

Is that Serge Gainsbourg playing Sweet?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:10 (UTC)

Wouldn't he be like 90 years old by now?

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 16:47 (UTC)

Posted by: goldenusagi (goldenusagi)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 20:10 (UTC)

Maybe be impressed by the effort, but appalled by the result? :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:10 (UTC)

It's not quite that bad, is it? :)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 20:14 (UTC)
Buffy Lol!

SO WRONG.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:10 (UTC)

But is it wrong enough to be right?

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:11 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:14 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 03:24 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 20:27 (UTC)
Dawn

Now I'm wondering about the German dub... unfortunately I have the UK DVDs.

Mein ganzes Leben lang habe ich im Schatten gelebt, ohne dass die Sonne mein Gesicht berührt hat...?

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 23:22 (UTC)

UK DVDs

So the dubbing is much better on them?

:-)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 23:40 (UTC)

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 6th July 2011 12:20 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:12 (UTC)

Posted by: giantpanda_de (giantpanda_de)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 08:41 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 10:41 (UTC)

Posted by: gillo (gillo)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 17:02 (UTC)

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 20:38 (UTC)

ROTFLMAO! I needed the laugh!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:12 (UTC)

:)

Posted by: TimeTravellingBunny (boot_the_grime)
Posted at: 4th July 2011 20:46 (UTC)
OMG

Dubbing is always WRONG, period.

This case just shows most blatantly just how wrong it is.

I'm always saying that dubbing shows and films is just like shooting a completely new film with the same script but different actors and director, and then calling it the same film.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:14 (UTC)

just like shooting a completely new film with the same script but different actors and director

Well, that happens all the time in theatre. And more to the point, in musicals - they bring new singers in regularly. Think of it as a homage to Joss's original vision. :)

Posted by: TimeTravellingBunny (boot_the_grime)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 00:32 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 6th July 2011 03:38 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th July 2011 12:38 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 7th July 2011 14:08 (UTC)

Posted by: Katta (kattahj)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 05:37 (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 10:44 (UTC)

It seems like the people who have learned French like it and the people whose native language is French all hate it. :)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 08:04 (UTC)

Obviously I knew about that. Part French and lived in Paris for a while. I thought it was a bold move and I love those songs even if they were awful in comparison to the real thing. Especially Walk Through the Fire. I thought Buffy and Xander's voices in French were much better than the original. I don't know if they were the actor and actress or someone else.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 10:46 (UTC)

Do you mean the singers here are better than the usual French voice actors - or that the French voice actors are better than Nicky and Sarah? The second might be controversial. :)


Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 14:27 (UTC)

Posted by: relurker (relurker)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 09:15 (UTC)


Cannot judge the French version, 'cause I'm on the laptop and I refuse to hear it squeaking, but I can say that OMWF, dubbed in Italian, is what told me to stop watching it on TV and buy the DVDs. The songs were not dubbed in this case, and the contrast in language between Italian spoken lines and sung ones was striking: I had been watching a different show!
At times, the phrases didn't even make a lot of sense, because they were more adapted to match lips movement than meaning...
Buffy's, Willow's and Xander's voices were exceptionally good, very much like the originals, but Spike's and Giles' were horrible--not to mention that all the English vs American thing was completely lost, thus generating lines and jokes that had nothing to do with the show, because they had to substitute those other jokes!

PS.This has been a most interesting conversation, I really loved it. I'm friending you so I don't have to wait for the Herald to give me notice!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 10:49 (UTC)

the phrases didn't even make a lot of sense, because they were more adapted to match lips movement than meaning...

Eep. So much of what's good about 'Buffy' is the language, the wordplay and so forth. Unless a translater is a literary genius on a par with the original creator/author/director etc, all that would be lost.


I'm friending you so I don't have to wait for the Herald to give me notice!

Welcome,although I don't post much these days, unfortunately.

Posted by: Fender Love (fenderlove)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 09:48 (UTC)

I actually really love the French version of "Rest in Peace" in an awesomely bad way. XD In a way, it sounds so cool... yet not quite right. *hearts it*

I've been desperately trying to get the Japanese dubbed version of OMWF. I have a friend in Japan who saw it when it aired on their Fox station, and she said it was crazy good (they got some Visual Kei and JPOP singers to come in for it). The DVDs are available, but I don't have a player that could take that region code. :( One day though, I'm going to get them... and not just because "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is called "Baafii the Loving Cross" there. :D

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 11:54 (UTC)

You had me looking for Japanese dubs too, but I couldn't find anything either. Except I now know that Buffy in Japanese is バフィー~恋する十字架.

Posted by: Fender Love (fenderlove)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 19:09 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 11:59 (UTC)

Posted by: Fender Love (fenderlove)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 19:12 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 19:17 (UTC)

Posted by: Fender Love (fenderlove)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 19:43 (UTC)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 14:30 (UTC)

Posted by: Fender Love (fenderlove)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 19:13 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 11:51 (UTC)

Thank you! It was fun.

There is something fascinating about transfering a musical into another language. I still remember my first shock when I heard "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Russian. :)

Since then, the majority of famous modern musicals were staged in Russia in Russian language. Some of them were great, some were awful. The lyrics of Russian version of "Notre Dame" by Yuliy Kim have very little in common with the French version , expect the overall idea - and I think his lyrics are better than the original (sacrilege, I know).

That said, I'm more or less open-minded about translating and dubbing. The first time I watched OMWF it was on German TV (I specially visited my friends in Germany the week OMWF had been aired there): the dialogues were dubbed, the songs were subtitled. Later, Russian TV did the same.

I'm a bit surprised my the reaction of native French speakers. I don't know, maybe it sounds very strange for them. But, to me, it's another foreign language version. Not on par with the original, but a nice tribute to it. Apparently, is has less layers and nuance - but, OTOH, I feel so proud that I understand everything without a dictionary. :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 12:14 (UTC)

I can understand that seeing/hearing something in the original version is better, unless - like I said in one of my replies above - the translator is equal in literary skill and inspiration to the original writer, which is rare.

I couldn't really understand the sung version of the French song, but I could read the lyrics without a dictionary except for a couple of words.


Actually, I've recently been listening to songs in Russian too. :) Mostly ones from the Revolution and Civil War era, like 'Varshavyanka' and 'Belaya Armiya, Cherniy Baron' or 'Po dolinam i po vzgoriam'. I don't know if it's similar - to me, they're all stirring and exciting and cool, but maybe for you they're embarrassing, or bring back unfortunate memories of Soviet days?

(And no, I can't understand them unless I have a translation in front of me; I speak about ten words of Russian, and can guess ones like 'armiya' that are similar in English.)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 18:02 (UTC)

Posted by: gillo (gillo)
Posted at: 5th July 2011 17:12 (UTC)
OMWF Spike

I rather enjoyed it - different and with less of the familiar characters in the voices, but I thought the translation worked rather well - "mauvais lapins" is a fair way of projecting Anya's terror of bunnies.

Francophones who are very comfortable in English presumably dislike the removal of some of the subtleties, which just don't always translate. (In "Freshman" Buffy says "Can you be renowned without being "nowned"?", or WTTE. In translation she's up against the problem that "renommé" and "nommé" both have specific meanings, so a viewer is not aware of Buffy's mangling of the language.

However, much as I love the original, I'm happy to share the love in as many languages as possible. I have S4 in French and S6 in Italian. I kid myself it helps me to learn the languages.

Why don't you come to writerconuk, anyway?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th July 2011 12:17 (UTC)

Would renommé and prenommé work, in context?

Thanks to music and history books, I have a vocabulary of about 20-30 disconnected words in half a dozen languages each. :)


Why don't you come to writerconuk, anyway?

Mostly for all the reasons tht those "why you shouldn't be afraid of going to Writercon" posts say you shouldn't worry about. :)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 6th July 2011 03:09 (UTC)
what is this I don't even

Wow.

That's... yikes.

I mean, props for the effort, Frenchies, but wow, Jossian lyrics do not translate well to other languages.

LOL, is it wrong that I think French!Buffy has a better voice than SMG? But Anya kind of sounds like an anime character or something, haha. Also, I can't tell the difference between Giles and Xander. Is the same person doing both parts or something?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th July 2011 12:29 (UTC)

I thought exactly the same thing about Giles. "Wow, the actor they've got doing Xander's voice sounds exactly like a French Nick Brendon. That's really impres-- wait, that's supposed to be Giles, isn't it?"

I do think the voices for Anya and Tara were the worst of the bunch. Buffy was pretty good.

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