When it comes to French episode translations of Enterprise there is a lot of change from the English originals. Which honestly surprised me because many of the English titles are single, straightforward words (e.g. “Dawn” or “Exile”). So I’m breaking this up into two posts.
In the first 2 seasons we have a ton of episodes where the French title spoils the plot. Like “Fortunate Son,” which just became “Pirates” (same spelling as in English, just different pronunciation).
The French title for “Cold Front” (Season 1, Episode 11) told us a Temporal War (“Guerre temporelle”) was coming ahead of the show really getting into it.
“Fallen Hero” became the much less exciting “Incident diplomatique” (diplomatic incident) and “Dead Stop” became the much less exciting “La Station service” (the service station/gas station).
“Dear Doctor” became “The Evolution of the Species” (L’Évolution de l’espèce) and “Singularity” became “Anarchy on the Enterprise” (Anarchie sur l’Enterprise) – so again somewhat spoilery but accurate.
A big spoilery title came at the end of Season 2: “Menace sur la Terre” (Menace/threat to the Earth) for “The Expanse.”
One really interesting one is “Dawn,” which was translated to “Crépuscule”, meaning “twilight” or “dusk.” I mean both happen in the episode but not sure why dusk was more palatable a title in French than dawn.
Some translations are completely different from the originals, but it mostly works. Take the premiere, “Broken Bow,” which became “Full speed ahead” (En avant toute).
Or “My friend Porthos” (Mon ami Porthos) for the infamous “A Night in Sickbay.”
“First Flight” became “L’Étoffe d’un héros” (roughly ‘hero material’ or ‘the stuff heroes are made of’)
One interesting one is “Cogenitor.” It seems straightforward that they translated the title to “The Third Sex” (Le Troisième sexe) but what’s a cool additional layer is that this could also be an allusion to Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal existentialist feminist book The Second Sex.
I was a bit mystified by the choice of “Règles de l’abordage” (literally Boarding Rules or Collision Rules) for “Acquisition.” FWIW, the Rules of Acquisition are usually translated as Les Devises de l’Acquisition.
If you’re looking to beef up your sci-fi French vocab though, “Chasseur de primes” (bounty hunter) for “Bounty” might come in handy.
And finally instead of “Fusion” we got “L’Esprit vulcain” (The Vulcan Mind). Fun fact: Vulcan mind meld is often translated as la fusion mentale vulcaine.
So a lot to unpack just in the first 2 seasons!