and just because..

February 17th, 2008

Just because I felt like I’d done too many rough as guts translations of Chinese articles, I decided to open up Libé instead. And what did I find? That Muammar Gaddafi might be the son of a Corsican aviator

Yeah.

So here it is:

Le colonel Muammar Kadhafi, fils d’un aviateur corse… Cette idée surprenante, qui circule comme une légende sur l’île de Beauté depuis des années, a aussi retenu l’attention de hauts gradés de l’armée française. Le site d’infos en ligne Bakchich a mené son «enquête corse» sur les traces d’Albert Preziosi, héros de la Seconde Guerre mondiale mort dans le ciel de Russie en 1943. Héros et peut-être le père du Guide libyen. Pour les habitants de Vezzani, en Haute-Corse, cette filiation est une évidence. D’ailleurs, comment expliquer autrement le soutien de Tripoli aux nationalistes corses dans les années 70 ? Problème : aucune trace écrite ne confirme la légende orale. Les archives de l’armée de l’air n’apportent que peu d’informations, si ce n’est une correspondance d’officiers supérieurs français datant de 1999, preuve que l’on s’était déjà interrogé sur la véracité de cette filiation. Si l’on examine de près le parcours de l’aviateur corse, il paraît crédible qu’il ait été en Libye au moment de la date présumée de la conception de Muammar Kadhafi. Mais si ses anciens compagnons de combat évoquent une liaison possible avec une Libyenne, ses descendants sont plus circonspects. En définitive, le meilleur argument des tenants de cette légende reste la ressemblance frappante entre Muammar Kadhafi et Albert Preziosi.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, son of a Corsican aviator… This surprising idea, which has been circulating as a legend on the Isle of Beauty for some years, has also attracted the attention of high ranking soldiers in the French army. The on-line news site Bakchich undertook its own “Corsican investigation” into Albert Preziosi, hero of the Second World War killed in Russian skies in 1943. Hero, and perhaps father of the Guide of Libya [???]. For the residents of Vezzani, in Haute-Corse, this parentage is obvious [?????????]. Otherwise, how can you explain the support of Tripoli for Corsican nationalists in the 70s? Problem: No written evidence confirms the oral legend. The air force archives provide only a little information, if it’s not correspondance between superior officers dating from 1999, proving that the truth of this parentage [????] had already been investigated. If one examines more closely the path [???] of the Corsican aviator, it seems credible that he could have been in Libya at the presumed date of conception of  Muammar Gaddafi. But if his former brothers in arms speak of a possible liaison with a Libyan woman, his descendants are more circumspect. What is certain is that the best argument of the believers in this legend remains the striking resemblance between Muammar Gaddafi and Albert Preziosi.

Question marks mark where I’m really unsure of my translation; the more question marks the less sure I am. Corrections are welcome.

2 Responses to “and just because..”

  1. John Says:

    It looks like cette filiation est une évidence may mean “this connection is a piece of evidence (or, proof)”. I suspect that “family connection” might be a better translation of filiation. The sense of évidence seems to be backed up by the following sentence.

    The principal translation of parcours is “journey”, although it can also mean a round of golf.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if “Guide of Libya” was one of Gaddafi’s self-given titles.

    Are you familiar with WordReference.com, which is a an online dictionary I use quite a bit.

    I should also note that I know practically nothing about French.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Thanks, John. I have plenty of online dictionaries bookmarked, but for whatever reason it never occured to me to open one.Still, my shitty translation does serve to remind me just how badly my French has degraded. Dr Me prescribes more regular reading of Libe, Figaro, Le Monde, etc…

    wordreference.com seems to be blocked to me, though.