C’est Étrange Comment Certaines Traductions Me Donnent le Blues

C’est Bizarre

Je sais que je te donne parfois le blues
Mais un livre anglais enseignant le français
dit que dire: “Je vous donne le blues”,
je dois dire, “je vous donne parfois un cafard.”

J’ai déchiré mon dictionnaire
et appelé l’exterminateur.
Je ne sais pas si ces mots
feront une chanson. Je suppose
que c’est un au revoir.
It’s strange how some translations give me the blues.
    It’s weird.

I know I sometimes give you the blues
but an English book teaching French
says that to say: “I give you the blues”,
I must say, “I sometimes give you a cockroach.”

I ripped my dictionary
and called the exterminator.
I do not know if these words
will make a song. I suppose
that it is a goodbye.
I found a text book “Conversational French One” and in the back under “ENGLISH-FRENCH” it lists:
blues cafard m.; give someone the blues donner le cafard à quelqu’un;
    Google says that means, “Give someone a cockroach.” BUT

Avoir le cafard French expressions analyzed and explained by Laura K. Lawless
“It was the poet Charles Baudelaire, in Les Fleurs du mal, who first imbued cafard (and also spleen, incidentally) with the fourth meaning [melancholy]. So the French expression avoir le cafard isn’t related to cockroaches at all (even though it kind of makes sense – who wouldn’t feel bad about having cockroaches?)”

— Douglas Gilbert


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