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the thin edge of a wedge

French translation: une pente savonneuse

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09:35 Feb 13, 2009
English to French translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: the thin edge of a wedge
When boys as emotionally and physically child-like as Alfie start creating babies, it is the thin edge of a wedge,that will break the existing cracks in society so wide open that there will be no hope for repair.
Williamson
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:03
French translation:une pente savonneuse
Explanation:
on s'engage sur une pente savonneuse

le loup est rentré dans la bergerie

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Note added at 17 mins (2009-02-13 09:52:37 GMT)
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perhaps even better if the style allows - BONJOUR LES DEGÂTS
Selected response from:

polyglot45
Grading comment
I am alwasy looking for equivalent idomatic expressions and you gave 2.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2(ce n'est) qu'un début
Oana Moisuc
3 +2une pente savonneusepolyglot45
4the start of something much bigger
Sheila Wilson
4ce n'est que l'amorcexxxEuqinimod
3 +1le commencement de la fin
Christophe G.
4la sonnette d'alarme...
MultiPro
3on s'engage sur un terrain miné
FBrisson
3la fin des haricots
Aitor Aizpuru


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
(ce n'est) qu'un début


Explanation:
C'est l'idée...

Oana Moisuc
France
Local time: 09:03
Native speaker of: Native in RomanianRomanian, Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hélène ALEXIS
4 mins
  -> Merci, Hélène.

agree  kashew
8 mins
  -> Merci.
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
le commencement de la fin


Explanation:
see reference below

"c'est le commencement de la fin" is tricky to link to the rest of the sentence though


    Reference: http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/wedge
Christophe G.
Ireland
Local time: 08:03
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Arnold007
3 hrs
  -> Thanks Arnold!
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
une pente savonneuse


Explanation:
on s'engage sur une pente savonneuse

le loup est rentré dans la bergerie

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 mins (2009-02-13 09:52:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

perhaps even better if the style allows - BONJOUR LES DEGÂTS

polyglot45
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 103
Grading comment
I am alwasy looking for equivalent idomatic expressions and you gave 2.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheila Wilson: expression idiomatique en anglais, donc pourquoi pas en français
17 mins

agree  MultiPro
9 hrs
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41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
on s'engage sur un terrain miné


Explanation:
autre suggestion

FBrisson
France
Local time: 09:03
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 16
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
ce n'est que l'amorce


Explanation:
Ce mot est défini par le GR : "Petite masse de matière détonante servant à provoquer l'explosion d'une charge de poudre ou d'explosif; dispositif de mise à feu.", et la citation suivante est donnée en exemple : "Restait la question d'inflammation de la substance explosive. Ordinairement, la nitroglycérine s'enflamme au moyen d'amorces de fulminate qui, en éclatant, déterminent l'explosion. Il faut, en effet, un choc pour provoquer l'explosion, et, allumée simplement, cette substance brûlerait sans éclater.
J. Verne, l'Île mystérieuse, t. I, p. 229.".

xxxEuqinimod
Local time: 09:03
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 19
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2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the start of something much bigger


Explanation:
from the shape of a wedge

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Note added at 29 mins (2009-02-13 10:04:26 GMT)
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Désolée, je n'ai pas remarqué que c'était anglais-français - j'ai vu beaucoup d'anglais-anglais ce matin.

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Note added at 1 hr (2009-02-13 11:14:11 GMT)
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Kashew a raison - l'expression est toujours 'the thin END of the wedge', pas ''the thin EDGE'

Sheila Wilson
Spain
Local time: 08:03
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: En français s.v.p.

Asker: Why should I change it?This piece of text is the literal transcription from an article in the Sun. The Sun uses "thin end of a wegde". So, why should I change the expression?

Asker: correction: wedge

Asker: The article is about a young boy of 13 making a girl of 15 pregnant.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  kashew: Thin END ... ?
15 mins
  -> Interesting Kashew - it's such a well-known expression, I just read it as 'end'
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
la fin des haricots


Explanation:
Quand les garçons …. commencent a avoir des bébés, c´est la fin des haricots, …

Cette expression est typiquement française, et correcte, mais un peu familière pour le contexte

Aitor Aizpuru
Mexico
Local time: 02:03
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 12
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
la sonnette d'alarme...


Explanation:
Pour adapter au contexte de la phrase et rendre l'idée plus idiomatique on pourrait dire :

.........c'est un mauvais signe/un mauvais augure qui risque de rompre les mailles déjà fragiles de la société. //...qui risque de la détruire.
.........c'est la sonnette d'alarme qu'une société actuellement décadente/chancelante succombera éventuellement...
.........c'est un signe précurseur de l'(éventuel) effondrement de la société.

Prière de noter que toutes ces propositions sont contextuelles et éliminent le verbiage anglais tout en transmettant l'idée essentielle. Simples, directes et concises.

HTH !



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Note added at 10 hrs (2009-02-13 20:15:14 GMT)
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Another bonus IDEA.... ::>::... C'EST UN SIGNE QUE LA SOCIÉTÉ COMMENCE À DÉCLINER, À S'EFFONDRER...

MultiPro
United States
Local time: 00:03
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 20
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