timetableFirst of all, my British friends, do not miss this new series on Channel 4. The first episode was extraordinarily good, with a fantastic soundtrack by mogwai.
Back to language: Les revenants was translated as “The returned”, but in this context, revenant (from revenir, to come back) has a different meaning. It was actually borrowed in English to mean a dead person reappearing in their community, looking exactly the same as when they died, which is the premise of this series. So why not translate the title as “The revenants”? Maybe because it’s not a very common term?
By the way, I keep hearing people talk about “the French zombie series”, but although they are all undead, revenants are quite different from zombies, who have a unique way of walking, look rather beaten up and just want to eat human flesh. Revenants normally return for a specific purpose. Neither are they ghosts, as suggested by the English translation given by the Oxford dictionaries:
So, to sum up, this is a revenant:
This is a ghost:
This is a zombie:
I think we’ll all agree that revenants are far scarier than ghosts or zombies.