The French translations of Star Trek: The Animated Series episode titles only have a few notable digressions from the English originals, but like TOS it has an interesting French distribution history. Allons-y!
The French version of Star Trek, la série animée was dubbed in Québec like TOS and was broadcast on Radio-Canada starting in September 1980. It wasn’t broadcast in France until 1998.
The translator, Michel Collet, was the same guy tapped to adapt TOS – so it’s probable that some of the findings in this article also apply.
In the Québec release, instead of the actor who voiced French Kirk reading the “Space, the final frontier” intro, it’s read by the guy who voiced Scotty and it’s missing from a couple of episodes. In the French broadcast they cast another voice actor and added it across the board.
The actor who voiced Kirk, Guy Nadon, is an actor with a long filmography of his own. In addition to dubbing TAS Kirk he has dubbed Morgan Freeman’s voice for 25 films, Dustin Hoffman’s for 16, and John Lithgow’s for 13.
The actor who voiced Spock in French went on to voice Captain Picard in the movies Generations and First Contact.
The guy who voiced McCoy, Aubert Pallascio, also voiced Morgan Freeman in 14 films (yes friends, he’s also white), as is Anne Caron, who voiced Uhura (and Guinan in Generations).
On to the episode titles! Some episodes have two recorded French titles. I think one is from the Quebec release and one from France, but not 100% sure which is which.
The streaming services I can access use one set of titles, including “Retour dans le passé” (Return to the Past) for fan-favourite “Yesteryear,” but the alternate title is “Le Petit Spock,” (The Little Spock) which is maybe a Little Prince reference and much more fun.
As with other series, the translator didn’t attempt a tribble pun. Instead “More Tribbles, More Troubles” became “Les Soucis du capitaine Kirk” (The worries/troubles of Captain Kirk).
As mentioned in my previous threads, titles with literary references and English metaphors often don’t work as a direct translation. Which is how we get some pretty literal TAS titles like “La Planète mystérieuse” (The Mysterious Planet”) for “The Eye of the Beholder.”
“How Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth” became “Le Retour to Kukulhan” (The Return of Kukulhan).
And “Albatross” became “Dramia : L’Épidémie” (Dramia: The Epidemic). This isn’t the only translation to pull in the name of the planet where the episode takes place.
The other one is “The Ambergris Element,” which became “Mutation sur Argos” (Mutation on Argos).
The rest of the episodes are pretty direct translations, or just slight shifts, but my fave is probably “L’Univers à l’envers” (The universe upside-down) for “The Counter-Clock Incident” because it’s accurate and it rhymes!