"Célibataire" by Seydou Chée

Aw ni ce! I need help with two lines in the song “Célibataire” by Seydou Chée. I have asked a few others about it but it still remains as question marks.

1. Here, I need help to correct the transcription and also need help with the best french translation of:

? - N tɛ ka se u/o (s’u/s’o) la de

:clapper: YouTube timestamp with context:

Musoman caman bɛ fɛ ka kɛ ne denw ba ye

U bɛ n fɛ


N tɛ ka s’u/s’o la de

2. Here, I need help with the best french translation of:

I b’a dɔn k’i ta t’a fɛ

:clapper: YouTube timestamp with context:

A lajɛ cɛ

Ni i ɲɔgɔn b’u la

Hali n’i y’a ye

I b’a dɔn k’i ta t’a fɛ


Nba! I ni ce @Christy ! I ni fama sa :slight_smile:

Based off the little piece of the song with your transcription, I’m guessing that it’s…

“N tɛ ka se u la dɛ” with the oral contraction of the verb to become [n tɛ s’u la dɛ] meaning literally “I am not arriving at them” (as in, “I don’t get near them, man”). If French, I’d go with something literal like Je n’arrive pas auprès d’elles deh.

As for the #2

I am not really sure if this will make sense because I don’t know the context of the song’s overall lyrics, but one interpretation of this would be:

I bɛ à dɔn ko i ta tɛ à fɛ → [I b’à dɔn k’i ta t’à fɛ]

  • k’à dɔn = to know sth
  • i ta = yours
  • X t’à fɛ = He/she/it doesn’t have X (lit. ‘X isn’t with him/her/them’)

So my translation would be ‘You know that he/she/they don’t have yours’ or in French “Tu sais qu’il/elle n’a pas le tien”

Nse! I ni waati! Thanks for chiming in @coleman. I uploaded the lyrics to “Célibataire” by Seydou Chée today.

After several discussions here’s what I decided to go with:


N tɛ ka s’u la dɛ
I’m not going near them
Je ne vais pas m’approcher d’eux


I b’a dɔn k’i ta t’a fɛ
You know you don’t have to prove anything to her
Tu sais que tu n’as rien à prouver à elle

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I ni baara, Christy! :slight_smile: Amazing work and very cool to see the lyrics!

I hope my take helped you a bit!

I had a quick listen/watch and I noticed some small spelling issues :grimacing:

First here:

It’s “A to yen” normally. The word is yen (lit. ‘there’) and not ye.

Also here:

It would be filimu danger-ma-yɔrɔ- (i.e., danger-ma is one word because -ma is the “adjectivizer suffix” for the noun ‘danger’; then it is single compound word fused with yɔrɔ); but the question of how to write a French loanword [danger] that is fully integrated into a Bambara word like that is variable/tricky. Normally, if it were a word like nafa ‘utility’ than it would be ‘nafamayɔrɔ’ in Bambara).

N ka foli b’i ye hali bi! :slight_smile:

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