Beyoncé French lyrics on “Partition”: Did Beyoncé sample The Big Lebowski?

Beyoncé Sampled the French Version of The Big Lebowski

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 13 2013 2:14 PM

Beyoncé Sampled the French Version of The Big Lebowski

Beyonce, The Big Lebowski
Bow down, Dude.

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Getty Images,Polygram Films.

Beyoncé surprised the world today by dropping her new album, in full, without announcement. As fans try to process the 14-track “visual album” all at once, we got to wondering what the French lyrics on “Partition” mean—and what we found came as a bit of a surprise.

Here are the lyrics, roughly, in French:

Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe? Le sexe. Je veux dire, l’activité physique. Le coït. Tu aimes ça? Tu ne t’interesses pas au sexe? Les hommes pensent que les féministes détestent le sexe, mais c’est une activité très stimulante et naturelle que les femmes adorent.

And here’s how they translate, roughly in English (translation courtesy Slate's L.V. Anderson and Miriam Krule):

Do you like sex? Sex. I mean, the physical activity. Coitus. Do you like it? You're not interested in sex? Men think that feminists hate sex, but it's a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.

Sound familiar?

We’re not sure if this is sampled directly from a French edition of The Big Lebowski, or if it’s just an interpolation—but the similarity is undeniable. Just listen to the scene in French:

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate senior editor. He writes and edits for Slate’s culture blog, Brow Beat.

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