A friend recently sent me a post card from Brittany, showing massive waves breaking right over a lighthouse - very impressive. What struck me was the softness of part of the French phrase - Le combat titanesque de la vague and du phare. Even the first part sounds unthreatening enough, but the mighty battlers are la vague and le phare - gentle, soft words, insubstantial and without force.
The English was neutral - and very un-English - A titanic combat between the lighthouse and the waves (note the plural). An English postcard would have been much more prosaic - Waves breaking over the Sentinel lighthouse, built by G F Littlebourn, 1922.
But the German - listen to the force and the power: Der gigantische Kampf zwischen dem Leuchtturm und dem Meer. Fanastic!
My friend asked whether the wave or the lighthouse would win? Well, the lighthouse is winning, but in the end it must lose - because in spite of the vagueness of the French word, there is little more powerful in nature than the sea.