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Friday, 23 October 2009

French Friday (2)

Bonjour à tous !

Today I'm going to share with you a few titles' translations from English to French.
Most of the time I am either amazed or amused (either in a good or in a bad way) when discovering French translations of book titles. So here's a selection.

I'll start with Stephenie Meyer's books, since the New Moon movie comes out in a month. 
Let's call it a celebration. In French, the Twilight saga is translated as the Fascination saga.
Twilight : Fascination (Fascination)
New Moon : Tentation (Temptation)
Eclipse : Hésitation (Hesitation)
Breaking Dawn : Révélation (Revelation)

Ok, I think the translations make sense. But I really prefer the original titles.
I find the French version less poetic and more, I don't know, obvious? Realistic? What do you think?

As for The Host, it was translated as Les Âmes Vagabondes (Wandering Souls).
I like both versions, although I think The Host is more catchy.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was translated as L'Etrange Vie de Nobody Owens (The Strange Life of Nobody Owens). This came as a surprise. I love the original title, and the French one makes me think of The Nightmare Before Christmas's translation : L'Etrange Noël de Monsieur Jack (Mr Jack's Strange Christmas). We French people tend to transform short titles into long ones sometimes, don't we?

A is For Angst by Barbara Haworth-Attard (which I reviewed here) became Adam à Tout Prix (Adam At All Cost). And it was released in America as My Life From Air Bras to Zits. Talk about differences...! And the three covers have nothing in common. Confusing, huh? I like that! What's your favorite?

Last but not least, The Vampire is Just Not That Into You by Vlad Mezrich (which I reviewed here and definitely recommend) can be encountered in France as Comment Séduire un Vampire (sans y laisser sa peau), meaning How To Seduce a Vampire (without dying in the process).

 That's it for this week!
A la semaine prochaine!

What do you think of all these translations?  Good? Bad? Weird?


  1. French always sounds so classy! The French titles sound awesome, even if what they mean in English isn't as great. I love the Twilight saga's titles, and how they're all similar.
    I think "Wandering Souls" sounds awesome, and the French is lovely.
    I've not read The Graveyard Book, and don't really know what it's about - yet the French title gives a bit more of an insight.
    I prefer the American cover for Barbara Haworth-Attard, the other two look like they're aimed for younger readers, in my opinion.
    And as for The Vampire Is Not that Into You, the French title is just HILARIOUS! I love it!
    I'm going to check out your reviews now, as I don't know much about the two books you've reviewed. :)

    WV: sophomi

  2. I was literally mortified when I saw how they translated the title of the Graveyard Book. Franchement, je trouve que le titre original est mille fois meilleur.
    And, shockingly, my favorite cover and title for Adam a Tout Prix is the French one. I never prefer the french ones!
    Loved this post! :-)

  3. I actually like the French Twilight titles. They make more sense to me than the English ones (especially after having read the books).

    But je déteste the title for The Host. I hate Meyer's use of the word "souls" in that book (as someone with a soul, I find it rather insulting), so I'm not fond of the French title.

    The title change for The Graveyard Book is kind of cool. It still sounds intriguing and like something I might want to read.

  4. Wow, what a great post. It must have taken you ages. I think Wandering Souls has a certain beauty to it. I haven't read The Host so I don't know if this is a good reflection of it.

    I've read The Graveyeard Book and its very unususal. I really like the title and not sure I'd change it but as the book is really all about Nobody Owens it is a fair exchange, I guess.

    Thanks for French Friday. I love it!

    WV: spatess

  5. Thanks for cheering me on over at the read-a-thon!
    I hope you're having a fun time with your bake-a-thon and party!

  6. The Twilight books are definitely more obvious in French! They're not too bad though..I agree w/ you and prefer to U.S. titles.

    How To Seduce A Vampire (Without Dying In The Process)--I love that!

    I prefer Adam At All Cost to A Is For Angst title-wise, but not cover-wise. I'm a sucker for pink so I like the A Is For cover.

    I love the idea of this meme!

  7. the twilight series titles give off a different feel. i imagine the books to be magical rather than the vampire-ish theme that it is.

  8. Just wanted to personally invite you to join my 50 followers giveaway :]


  9. Thank you girls for sharing your thoughts on the subject. I'm glad you're enjoying this meme (because I'm surely having fun working on it !).

  10. Wow, great meme! I'm loving this, really.

    Believe it or not, I actually think I like the French Twilight titles more. They make a lot more sense (even if they are a bit obvious after reading them, but therein lies some of the appeal, I think). And I love the tie-in with all the "ion"s. It's very catchy, especially in French.

    The Graveyard Book's French title isn't too bad either, though I do love the English one. A name like Nobody Owens just captures my attention.

    However, I honest to goodness snorted when I saw the French translation for Nightmare Before Christmas. Really? Oh wow. That goes beyond obvious into the plain boring for me.

    The Host captures the essence of the story a lot more. Yeah, but for some reason, those Twilight titles... :)


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