Pardon my French as ‘Love/Hate’ is translated

This will mean trying to find an equivalent for “now get yis the f**k out of me car” in the language of international diplomacy

“Qu’est-ce qu’il se passe, Nidge? (What’s the story, Nidge?) “

“Qu’est-ce qu’il se passe, Nidge? (What’s the story, Nidge?) “

 

The title Amour/Haine should be simple enough, at least. But the planned broadcast of RTE’s gangland drama Love/Hate in French is sure to present some unique problems for the translators involved.

The prospect arises because, in a deal announced yesterday, Netflix has acquired the rights to stream the acclaimed crime drama in five continental European countries, including France and Germany, where it will be dubbed.

Among other challenges, this will mean trying to find an equivalent for the phrase “Now get yis the f**k out of me car” in the language of international diplomacy.

Not that French is lacking in swear words. Despite a reputation for being the language of love, it also has an impressive collection of expletives, some of them even used by presidents.

Coolaboola

Nicolas Sarkozy“Caisse-toi, pauv’ con!”

But that sort of thing won’t get the translators too far in a world populated by “dirtbirds” and “garda” cars and “halting sites” and garden gnomes filled with “yokes”.

And what about “coola boola”: a phrase that doesn’t even officially exist in English?

A particular problem for those who will have to translate the just-ended season five is that there is no direct French equivalent of the phrase “I have a bone to pick with you”.

They say instead, simply: “J’ai un compte à régler avec toi” (“I have an account to settle with you”).

But in the grisly world of Love/Hate, the metaphor has a double meaning – an actual finger-bone being as central to the plot as Yorick’s skull is in Hamlet.

Other parts of the script may be more straightforward. Here’s a few lines we’ve translated already:

“Qu’est-ce qu’il se passe, Nidge? (“What’s the story, Nidge?”)

“Les poissons ont l’air bien!” (“The fish are looking well!”)

“Je le payerai pour l’oeil, d’accord?” (“I’ll pay him for the eye, ok?”)

“Terence Grosse Couilles” (“Terence Big Balls”)

Je ne veux pas ton fric. Reprends le pour acheter une pierre tombale.” (I don’t want your money. Take it back and use it to buy a headstone.)

“Ta gueule, gros lard!” (“Shut the f*** up, ye fat bastard”)

“Aucun chat n’a été maltraité durant la réalisation de cette série.” (No cats were harmed during the making of this series.”)

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