The Twilight Saga

The Twilight saga titles in French are different -- why?

The Twilight saga titles in French are different -- why?
**just my humble thoughts on the matter**

It seems some people are curious as to what the French titles are for Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn and why indeed any country would change them. I love translating so I thought I'd spend a couple of minutes trying to share the reasons why it is sometimes necessary, despite it being annoying in a way to have to change it at all.

In France, English is not spoken well at all. Somle countries can proudly claim to have a lot of people who are near bilingal speaking both their native tongue and the ever-so-popular English. France is not among them at all. To add to the problem, Franch is a latin based language and so a lot of its words are completly different so it's not like a French speaker could even guess what the word "twilight" means... It is a very germanic sounding word, altogether different from its French equivalent.

Also, just for Twilight an "exact" translation was not possible because of the fact that "twilight" refers to both the break of day in the morning and night fall in the evening in English but in French there are two different words : "crépuscule" (night) / "aube" (morning).

You must also remember that a book title has to be catchy, and have that snappy je ne sais quoi to it (sorry I just had to fit that in there! ;-) ). But neither of the French words have that "ring" to them.... Okay, "Crépuscule" sounds nice and could have worked for a book on its own maybe... but it sounds like an ending more than a beginning because of it only being a reference to the end of the day unlike "twilight". (also Edward only uses it in the books to refer to sundown so it wouldn't make mush sense at all really, it would merely be a word for word translation).

Also you must bare in mind that each language is used to using different kinds of titles... I'm not to sure how to explain that and I don't know enough about it to be more precise (I've never had to actually translate titles before, all I know is what I "feel" as a bilingual reader and a couple of allusions that my translation teachers have made telling us to "look out, titles are very tricky") so I'll just keep to pointing out "a cultural difference".

So instead they seem to have chosen to use words that all have a similar ring to thel to keep the "saga" feel and based on that kept to the general feel of each book with titles such as :
Fascination -- for Twilight
Tentation -- for New Moon
Hésitation -- for Eclipse
Révélation -- for Breaking Dawn
(you can probably guess because the English words are similar but they mean : Fascination, Temptation, Hesitation, and Revelation-- or perhaps "the revealing of" because "revelation" just sounds religious and doesn't seem to be the best equivalent to me).

Personally I was initially upset to see that the theme had changed completly as I love the "cosmic" references especially as they arre recurrent throughout the saga -- or would you call them references to astrology? or just the sky even? (haha out of my depth here...). But I still think the person who thought of the French titles did a good job. They have made all the books sound like a "saga" and hinted at the content of each story, in my mind anyway:

Fascination : Edward is fascinated with Bella and vice versa... it's practically an understatement though! ;
Temptation : her blood for Jasper and the Cullens, her tempting Jacob despite herself, will she move on to Jacob?! will Edward give in to temptation and come back?... ;
Hesitation: torn between Jacob and Edward...;
Revelation : we find out the ending and Bella reveals her "true form"... it is like she was meant to be a vampire after all.

ouh! I wonder what they have planned for Midnight Sun if it ever makes it that far? Any thoughts?

As always, these are just my thoughts. There is no "official" information in there other than the titles of the stories. I just wanted to share what I found to be interesting points based on my humble experiance of translating at university and my impressions as a bilingual reader. I hope you found someting interesting in there.

Don't hesistate to correct me if I'm wrong or to share contradictory views! I'd love to get some feed back from you (i.e did you find this interesting or if it was very boring? (be honest, I don't mind), do you know what the titles in other languages mean -- or even what they are? I don't so I'd loveto hear from you if you do!....)

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Tags: English, French, Twilight saga titles, breaking, dawn, eclpise, fascination, hesitation, moon, new, More…revelation, tentation, titles in French, translation, twilight


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