Zut alors! Don't mention the Tunnel

Click to follow

A momentous week for Anglo-French relations was crowned by the Queen's speech in Paris, whose text, oddly, I have not seen widely reprinted. I am putting that right today by bringing you the highlights of her speech - in the Queen's French - together with a simultaneous translation.

A momentous week for Anglo-French relations was crowned by the Queen's speech in Paris, whose text, oddly, I have not seen widely reprinted. I am putting that right today by bringing you the highlights of her speech - in the Queen's French - together with a simultaneous translation.

Monsieur le Président de la république française,

(Mister President, whose name escapes me for the moment,)

Mon mari et moi

(My husband and I)

Nous vous remercions beaucoup,

(Would like to thank you very much)

Du grand banquet que vous nous avez offert ce soir

(For tonight's meal)

Qui était vraiment magnifique.

(Which means, I suppose, that we will have to have you back to our place some time.)

Cette année a été pleine d'évènements

(This has been a very eventful year)

En débutant avec notre victoire en Australie

(Starting last January with England's glorious victory in the Rugby World Cup)

Tenez - je me suis trompée de discours -

(No, hold on - that's the wrong speech -)

J'ai commencé mon discours de Noël par erreur.

(I started my Christmas broadcast by mistake.)

Zut.

(Oops.)

Recommençons.

(Let's start again.)

Les Anglais et les Français

(Our two great nations)

Ont connu une grande histoire commune.

(Have been at each other's throats for centuries.)

Il est vrai que les voisins ne s'entendent pas toujours.

(There have been neighbourly disagreements.)

Mais je crois que tout est paisible maintenant.

(You will never get the Channel Islands back.)

Et nous avons coopéré en beaucoup de choses!

(We have co-operated in many, many things, and I am trying to think of an example or two.)

Comme, par exemple, le football et le rugby,

(Oh, yes, such as football and rugby,)

Qui étaient inventés par nous

(Which we invented)

Quoique vous soyez maintenant les meilleurs joueurs

(Although you usually thrash us)

- C'est la même vieille histoire!

(- 'Twas ever thus with British inventions.)

Dans les temps modernes

(In my lifetime)

Nous avons collaboré sur la Concorde

(We built Concorde together, which was a great idea but lost lots of money and had to be put out of its misery)

Et sur l'Eurotunnel...

(And on the Eurotunnel, which was a great idea but is losing lots of money...)

A propos, j'ai ici dans mon sac à main des millions d'actions d'Eurotunnel

(Which reminds me that I have brought with me millions of shares in Eurotunnel)

Et demain je vais aller avec les autres actionnaires

(And tomorrow in Paris I shall be joining the other shareholders to demand the resignation of the hopeless clods who have brought Eurotunnel to its knees)

Parce que je comptais sur ça pour ma retraite!

(Because I was relying on this for my retirement pension!)

Ah, espèce d'incompétents!

(You incompetent French swine!)

A la lanterne!

(Hanging's too good for you!)

Mais j'ai peut-être trop dit.

(But perhaps an Anglo-French state dinner is not the best place to air these thoughts.)

Donc, levons nos verres à l'Entente Cordiale!

(So I give you the toast: the Entente Cordiale, and make sure you've got the return tickets safe, Phil, because I can't wait to get back home.)

Comments