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In the French lyrics to "Sous l'Ocean" from "La Petite Sirene," we have:

Doudou c'est bien mieux, tout le monde est heureux, sous l'ocean.

Why would a stuffed animal or a baby blanket be better under the sea?

  • This is not a question about French Language but about understanding ideas. The whole song is about how great and better life is under the sea for anything that is/looks like fish, so why not a stuffed animal in shape of a fish? We should not pay too much attention to why the person who chose the word "doudou" and not the name of a seafood when adapting the lyrics into French, sound, number of required syllables to fit the music, etc. And all things considered what's worse for a stuffed fish: being wet in the sea and torn by fish or torn and dirtied by a baby? – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 27 '14 at 5:15
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about French language but about understanding ideas independently of the language used. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 27 '14 at 5:19
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    @Laure I disagree: this is a question about the French language! The word doudou doesn't mean a stuffed animal here. – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Sep 27 '14 at 12:41
  • I probably should have been more clear with my question. It should have been something more like "Does 'doudou' mean something different here, or is it part of some idiom? If so, what does it mean? If not, am I missing something? It seems like a bizarre choice of words and it isn't a direct translation from the English." – Lore Sjöberg Sep 27 '14 at 17:32
  • But now that I look below, it IS a direct translation from the English, sort of. – Lore Sjöberg Sep 27 '14 at 17:33
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Doudou can also be a term of endearment applied to a human being. In the sense of an adult loved one, according to the Petit Robert and the Trésor de la langue française, it's only used in the Antilles. It can also be used by a parent to refer to their young child (the child is the parent's comfort object?). I can't find a dictionary that mentions this meaning, but it's not the first time I've seen it, and it's a logical derivation anyway: a euphonic doubling of doux (sweet).

The original song has “Under the sea, darling it's better, down where it's wetter”. Here doudou translates darling. There is no implication that doudou is an object.

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    For extra comparison, the Quebec version goes "Chéri, c'est splendide//Là où c'est humide//Assurément." – Circeus Sep 27 '14 at 14:43
  • Oh! Of course. "Doudou, c'est bien mieux" not "Les doudous c'est bien mieux." Thanks, I feel silly for not getting that. – Lore Sjöberg Sep 27 '14 at 17:35
  • In the sense of an adult loved one, according to the Petit Robert and the Trésor de la langue française, it's only used in the Antilles. Seems it's spreading outside that area: I know at least three couples having no relationship with the Antilles which are using doudou to refer to one (or both in a case) member of the couple. – Un francophone Sep 28 '14 at 19:00

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