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Besides my professional translations, I also translate plays and songs, reflecting my allegiance to my first loves of music, plays, and the subject of my English degree study, pop lyrics. As an old jazzman, my father has also influenced my taste (www.hotjazz.ch). The plays I have translated have a vast array of characters and are long, but captivating to read. Some of the song lyrics (Fancy French Lyrics) were written to be sung to melodies which I only knew from intrumental scores or recordings when I started.
These adaptations can be sung to the original melodies, since the meter has more or less remained the same. The phrasing may have to be slightly changed according to the requirements of articulation and depending on what syllables are to be stressed. In French, the reader-singer must determine himself which ending e's he wants to pronounce, since the rules in this matter have become quite loose.
Again, in French where the stress is generally on the the last syllable of the word, the mood of the song may change considerably (for example in "Blackbird").
To hear the midi versions of the songs, click on the titles.
" L'homme à la mode " from THE MAN OF MODE (17th cent.) first act. This is an adaptation. The play seems never to have been translated into French, probably because it makes fun (mixed with fascination) of French dandinisme, an early form of dandyism. The Man of Mode has a pseudo-French accent and uses pseudo-French words. This required thorough adaptation..
I have translated the whole of this play.
" L'éveil du printemps " from FRÜHLINGS ERWACHEN first two scenes.
A children's tragedy
(written between autumn 1890 and Easter 1891).Unpublished translation by Elsa Wack and Micky Zimmermann. Existing French adaptations: François Regnault, Gallimard; Renée Wentzig, Yves Beaunesne, Actes Sud. This play has also been translated into English under the title "Spring's Awakening".
We have translated the whole of this play.