La Marseillaise - translation

Here it is: my French to English translation of La Marseillaise. It isn't unique, there's an official translation at which I discuss under other translations, along with a "translation" carried out by a bot. If you know of any others, please mail me with the details.

The translation smurfs

If you're interesting in seeing other translations I've done, check out the translation smurfs page.


If you want to suggest I add a note to a particular line, if you think I've made an error, or if you have any other suggestions, please mail me.

The translations (there are two - more on that later) are all my own work, and at no time did I claim to be perfect. If you have any suggestions as to how to improve the translation (or if you want to complain because you copied it for a school project and your teacher told you it was the worst attempt at translation he'd ever seen), feel free to send me your ideas. There's a mail link at the bottom of this page.

As I hinted above, I've provided two translations. The first is a first attempt at a literal translation, whereas with the other I took a few more liberties to try to give a better idea of the meaning of the original French. In both cases you'll see a set of arrows next to each verse. Click on the arrow next to the French verse to line up the English translation. Similary, click on the arrow next to the translation to line up the original French.

La Marseillaise was deliberately written using flowery language and is therefore very difficult to translate, and it's almost impossible to give an English version without sounding arty-farty and stupid, but I've given it my best shot. However there are a few points worthy of mention for various reasons.

Click on the translation notes icon above to see my notes. The section is designed to work in Netscape 4 or above, but will work equally well with Internet Explorer 4. It can be seen in Netscape 3, but the presentation is a bit more prosaic. In theory there should be no problem with Internet Explorer 3 either, but I haven't tested it. Sorry, other browsers are not currently supported.

You will see a listing of the French words, some of which will be highlighted. Move the mouse over the highlighted words or phrases to bring up the associated notes in the window on the right of the screen.

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