Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 06-01-2005, 04:04 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,708
French translation: ''La Cage aux Folles''

I know that the adjective folle is the feminine of fou meaning "crazy." So, does the title in French mean "The Crazies Cage" or "The Nut House?" Or is it an French idiom that shouldn't be translated word for word.
#2
Old 06-01-2005, 04:05 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,708
I ask because the play did not seem to deal much with crazy people.
#3
Old 06-01-2005, 04:11 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: I don't......know.
Posts: 2,807
I believe it's kind of like "The Mad Cage" Sounds to me like it would have the same meaning as Americans saying "the nut house", "the cuckoo's nest" etc.

I'm sure someone will come along with more detail.
__________________
There is no theory of evolution. Evolution is a fact. The theory is of how it happened.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -Dr. Seuss

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"-Diderot
#4
Old 06-01-2005, 04:13 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SouthWest UK
Posts: 1,764
In the play (and later movie), "La Cage aux Folles" is the name of the night club owned by Renato. The name refers to the "crazy things" that go on there (drag queens! oh my!) rather than to a mental institution as such.

The word "folly" (as in Ziegfeld Follies) is from the same origin.
#5
Old 06-01-2005, 04:15 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: La Rive Ouest
Posts: 9,264
Turner Classic Movies has an article about the 1978 version of La Cage aux Folles. They give the translation as "Mad Cage", which does seem to idiomatically suggest "cuckoo's nest" (as Chao posits).

Knowing that the 1996 remake The Birdcage was based on LCAF, I was kind of thinking that folles was an alternative word for "birds" instead of the more conventional oiseaux). That is apparently incorrect.
#6
Old 06-01-2005, 04:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ass end of Alberta
Posts: 17,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
Turner Classic Movies has an article about the 1978 version of La Cage aux Folles. They give the translation as "Mad Cage", which does seem to idiomatically suggest "cuckoo's nest" (as Chao posits).
Another bird-related english idiom for mental institution: "Booby hatch." (The use of "Loony bin" also has some avian influence, in addition to the primary association with the moon.)

Hmmm... perhaps it might be possible to gull people into accepting a hypothesis that seabirds were thought to make people crazy.

"It is an ancient mariner, and he stoppeth one of three..."
#7
Old 06-01-2005, 04:53 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: New London, CT
Posts: 3,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
I know that the adjective folle is the feminine of fou meaning "crazy." So, does the title in French mean "The Crazies Cage" or "The Nut House?" Or is it an French idiom that shouldn't be translated word for word.
In addition to being an adjective, fou/folle can also be used as a noun, meaning "a crazy man/woman."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonius Block
The word "folly" (as in Ziegfeld Follies) is from the same origin.
Yup. It comes from the French noun folie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mudd
Another bird-related english idiom for mental institution: "Booby hatch."
And interestingly enough, "booby" (the bird) translates as un fou in French.
#8
Old 06-01-2005, 05:15 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Not here. There.
Posts: 18,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond
Knowing that the 1996 remake [i
The Birdcage[/i] was based on LCAF, I was kind of thinking that folles was an alternative word for "birds" instead of the more conventional oiseaux). That is apparently incorrect.
I remember still another translation: when seeing ads for the movie (I think), the main title would be given as LCAF, with a 'translation' in parentheses below, "Birds Of A Feather".

I never quite understood why translations of movie and book titles can be so far off the mark. Sometimes they can be downright wrong, or at least seem to have little to do with the meaning of the original title.
#9
Old 06-01-2005, 05:30 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 7,931
Umberto Eco's Il Secundo Diario Minimo (literally, The Second Little Diary) is published in English as "How To Travel With a Salmon, & Other Essays."

And you thought "The Birdcage" was a bit of a jump!

--Cliffy
#10
Old 06-01-2005, 05:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 16,837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
I know that the adjective folle is the feminine of fou meaning "crazy." So, does the title in French mean "The Crazies Cage" or "The Nut House?" Or is it an French idiom that shouldn't be translated word for word.

It shouldn't be, indeed. Though "folle" is normally the feminine form of "fou" (crazy), it's also a slang word refering to blatantly effeminated homosexual men, like one of the character in the play/movie.
#11
Old 06-01-2005, 05:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: France
Posts: 544
"folle" is also slang for an effeminate gay guy.
#12
Old 06-01-2005, 06:12 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ass end of Alberta
Posts: 17,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazz
"folle" is also slang for an effeminate gay guy.
"Birdie" has this sense in English. What a tangle!
#13
Old 06-01-2005, 10:03 PM
Moderator
Moderator
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 6,140
And faygelah in Yiddish means little bird/gay man.
#14
Old 06-01-2005, 10:18 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the wabe
Posts: 470
Whoa-- and all this time I thought it literally meant "the birdcage," with folles somehow related to the English fowl. Live and learn, and other cliches.
#15
Old 06-01-2005, 11:47 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 13,658
Spectre of Pithecanthropus:

> I never quite understood why translations of movie and book titles can be so
> far off the mark.

That's often the best way to translate a title. If the title has a double meaning, it pften doesn't work to translate it as either the literal or the figurative meaning. If you translate it as the literal meaning, the title sometimes just sounds irrelevant to the movie. If you translate it as the figurative meaning, it sometimes sounds like you're being too blatant about the theme of the film. Often the best thing to do is to choose a different double meaning in the language that you're translating the title into that's relevant to the film.
#16
Old 06-02-2005, 04:20 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
I never quite understood why translations of movie and book titles can be so far off the mark. Sometimes they can be downright wrong, or at least seem to have little to do with the meaning of the original title.
Chalk it up to the fact that four words in French are often ten in English and vice versa. Not everything translates smoothly, and the person marketing the flick isn't always a trained linguist. To get a similar effect of an idiomatic title in another language might involve turning the whole thing topsy turvy.
#17
Old 06-02-2005, 04:46 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Northumbria
Posts: 2,632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
Spectre of Pithecanthropus:

> I never quite understood why translations of movie and book titles can be so
> far off the mark.

That's often the best way to translate a title. If the title has a double meaning, it pften doesn't work to translate it as either the literal or the figurative meaning. If you translate it as the literal meaning, the title sometimes just sounds irrelevant to the movie. If you translate it as the figurative meaning, it sometimes sounds like you're being too blatant about the theme of the film. Often the best thing to do is to choose a different double meaning in the language that you're translating the title into that's relevant to the film.
The example I always think of as a well translated film title is the 1984 French film Poulet au Vinaigre, which was released in the UK as Cop au Vin.
#18
Old 06-02-2005, 06:33 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 1,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mudd
"Birdie" has this sense in English. What a tangle!
And of course 'Ducky', as in "Oooh, Ducky!"...
#19
Old 06-02-2005, 08:31 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 44,956
The Spanish production was called "La Jaula de los Locas" and the German "Ein Kofig voller Narren."
#20
Old 06-02-2005, 01:49 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaudere
And faygelah in Yiddish means little bird/gay man.
Could this be the basis for "fag"?

rwj
#21
Old 06-02-2005, 02:07 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 32,873
There is a lot of poor translation in the titles and subtitles of Satyajit Ray's movies.

In particular, Apur Samsar is translated as The World of Apu, which fails to capture most of the meaning of samsar (pronounced "shong-shar"). While it does literally mean "world," when you speak of a particular person's samsar, the usual meaning is his adult life, which includes a wife, a separate household, and children. An unmarried man would never be spoken of as having a samsar.
#22
Old 06-02-2005, 02:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ass end of Alberta
Posts: 17,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwjefferson
Could this be the basis for "fag"?
Nope -- that's derived from "faggot," ("loose end.") As a pejorative, it was originally applied to street prostitutes -- the association is with literal gutter trash.

The yiddish word may have influenced its use, though.
#23
Old 06-02-2005, 06:33 PM
Right Hand of the Master
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago north suburb
Posts: 16,078
See Straight Dope Staff Report: How did "faggot" get to mean "male homosexual"? The Archives are your friend.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:31 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: favorite yogurt generator run time best rust penetrant danny thomas fetish died unexpectedly euphemism crocs and socks special concurrence mosquito bite x casual nudity reddit stolen vehicle registration straight gay experience bleed out death eat raw steak gamma ray gun sublimedirectory stories incest imageboard o fay christian monks rose in teeth im so hungover kelsey grammer accent skyrim rain sheinhardt wig american restore eating cartilage godfather opening scene budget or uhaul ever loving furniture markups sunoco decals ox oxen mixing up numbers can o whoopass lobster claw strength star wars thx widescreen vhs po folks restaurant history support our troops bumper sticker what do white people eat how to test aa battery with multimeter why do cats like cheese what is a port of call fedex customize delivery grayed out book about christopher columbus family feud all top answers how to make a gas siphon pump baked potato weight watcher points brakes squeal when backing up clam broth vs clam juice how hard is political science best ear wax removal kit cvs big bang theory boobs how to fill a camelbak can you use windshield washer fluid to clean windows why do my eyes water when i wake up barnes and noble book buy back best time to plant willow trees fallout 3 downloads greyed out i like less than half of you bilbo baggins uva uvam vivendo varia fit translation can't get cork out of wine bank error in my favor can i keep the money species with more than two sexes can you break a diamond with a hammer how to practice driving without a permit weight limits for kayaks what do you wear horse riding are black babies born white what does 41 mean how to travel to the nether in minecraft pe