Candice Renoir: Subtitling Faux Pas

Mark Olmsted
3 min readMar 15
French Detective Series, starring Cécile Bois

First, let me say that I really love Candice Renoir (Amazon Prime/Acorn). Which also means I tend to read the subtitles with an especially critical eye.

I noticed a drop in quality this most current fifth season, and decided to specifically note them for Episode Three.

First off, the timing is off. The subtitles start off reasonably in synch, but soon begin to come in late, and by the end of the show are almost a second late. It’s extremely distracting, and I noticed the same problem in the first two episodes of this season. (The previous seasons were fine.)

Following, I’ve put the original French at the marking timecode, then the subtitle that appears, (SUB), the translation that should have appeared instead (“should be:”), and a clarifying explanation (EXPL).

8:25 — “la disparition de votre compagnon.”

SUB: “the disappearance of your partner.”

should be:

“the death of your boyfriend.”

EXPL: “Disparition” does indeed mean “disappearance,” but it is also used to mean “death.” In this case, Candice’s lover died at the end of the previous season, and his death is a major plot point. “Partner” could work for “compagnon,” but since she is a police officer, it could easily construed as her police partner. “Boyfriend” specifies that it was an intimate relationship.

10:44 — “Vous êtes en terminale depuis deux ans.”

SUB: “You’ve been in school for two years.”

should be:

“You’ve been a senior for two years.”

EXPL: “terminale” is the last grade of French high school, and the reference to “two years” specifically makes it clear that this 19-year-old character failed his final exams and is redoing his final school year. He is a lazy Lothario and this detail emphasizes it. “You’ve been in school two years” is vague and does not convey this.

12:40 “Très hétéroclite comme lecture.”

SUB: “Very heterogeneous reading material.”

should be:

Mark Olmsted

Author, "Ink from the Pen: A Prison Memoir" about my time behind bars. See GQ dot com “Curious Cons of the Man Who Wouldn’t Die” for story of how I got there.