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Song lines translated into English Options
domdomdu
Posted: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:36:06 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/4/2014
Posts: 39
Neurons: 1,365
Location: Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
Hi. The following is from a song called On Ne Change Pas by Céline Dion.
I translated the two bolded lines into English and got a translation from Google.


One gives the change, one believes
Make choices

But I am not sure this is right and don't understand what it means even if it is translated right.
Could you explain the lines, please?




On ne change pas
On met juste les costumes d'autres sur soi
On ne change pas
Une veste ne cache qu'un peu de ce qu'on voit
On ne grandit pas
On pousse* un peu, tout juste
Le temps d'un rêve, d'un songe
Et les toucher du doigt

Mais on n'oublie pas
L'enfant qui reste, presque nu
Les instants d'innocence
Quand on ne savait pas

On ne change pas
On attrape des airs et des poses de combat
On ne change pas
On se donne le change, on croit
Que l'on fait des choix
Mais si tu grattes là
Tout près de l'apparence tremble
Un petit qui nous ressemble
On sait bien qu'il est là
On l'entend parfois
Sa rengaine insolente
Qui s’entête et qui répète
Oh ne me quitte pas

On n'oublie jamais
On a toujours un geste
Qui trahit qui l'on est
Un prince, un valet
Sous la couronne un regard
Une arrogance, un trait
D'un prince ou d'un valet
Je sais tellement ça
J'ai copié des images
Et des rêves que j'avais
Tous ces milliers de rêves
Mais si près de moi
Une petite fille maigre
Marche à Charlemagne, inquiète
Et me parle tout bas
EPT31
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:04:00 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 41
Neurons: 71,561
Location: Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France
Hi, first of all, it seems the two bolded lines are not the right ones:
"One gives the change, one believes Make choices" matches "On se donne le change, on croit Que l'on fait des choix".

"Donner le change" is a French idiom meaning "successfully disguising one's intents". In this song, it's a wordplay with "On ne change pas" meaning "No one changes".
Here, I would translate "On se donne le change" by "One convinces oneself" or even "one succeeds in fooling oneself".

"On croit que l'on fait des choix" is simply "One believes one make choices".

The two lines in bold are "On a toujours un geste qui trahit qui l'on est" : "One always make a gesture that gives away who one is."

"On" is a very difficult word to translate. It is an "indefinite personal pronoun" that describes a person with no indication about that person.
It could be translated as "one, you, we, they, anybody, everybody, somebody" depending on the context.
Here, we have a list of absolute statements that can apply to anybody. So instead of "one", I'd personally rather use an absolute "you" (meaning not you personally, but anyone in this situation).

So another translation would be :

You do not change,
You just convince yourself you do, you think you can take decisions.

And :
You never forget,
You always act a way that gives away who you are, a prince, a servant.
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