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31 March 2010

Au coin de la rue du conseil et rue sans souci

Someone made this:




And a little bit to the right of that, there is another stone that says this:

But what's the last word in the phrase with "douceur des mots devenus ..." Is it dérons? débons? ???? And what does it mean?

3 comments:

  1. It's démons, isn't it? "Douceur des mots devenus démons" A poet's lament, I think! It conveys to me the moment when words become just sounds to you, when the Yousuck Monster rears its head and you think, why am I wasting my time on this?

    I've been trying to translate it in my head, but "sweet poison of words" is the only thing that pops up, and it's not a great translation.

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  2. Google says:
    Gentle words become demons

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  3. Google's translation skills leave much to be desired. Why would it translate a noun as an adjective? And a past participle as a present tense?

    The most literal translation would probably be something like "The sweetness of words that have become demons." (Yes, could be gentleness as well, but I think "douceur" conveys the idea of "sweet" more strongly.)

    It's an instance of how French can be more poetic than English: look at all the words the writer left out! Jeannette, time for a poet to weigh in.

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