ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
KudoZ home » French to English » Cinema, Film, TV, Drama

C'est en faisant n'importe quoi, qu'on devient n'importe qui

English translation: The best way to become a p*** artist is by p***ing around

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
13:32 May 23, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Cinema, Film, TV, Drama / Comedy
French term or phrase: C'est en faisant n'importe quoi, qu'on devient n'importe qui
This is the slogan of a French comic/spoof artist called Remi Gaillard. (I highly recommend his videos if you have time for a laugh!!)

I've translated this as:
'it’s only by doing the completely ridiculous that you become a ridiculous nobody like me'

but I'd love some other suggestions please!

The idea is that he's still not famous despite the outrageousness nature of his stunts.
Amy Cheshire
Local time: 13:51
English translation:The best way to become a p*** artist is by p***ing around
Explanation:
sorry but that's more the register

The best way to become a spoof (?) artist is by spoofing around
Selected response from:

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 13:51
Grading comment
Thank you for all the contributions. I like the structure of this translation best.
Although I think I might replace p*** artist by fool (so thanks also to Equinimod).
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3It's only by doing whatever that you end up being whoever.
arrathoonlaa
3 +2The nonsense you have to go through to become a complete nonentity...
Andy Bliss
5When you do whatever, you become whomever.xxxSpeakering
3 +2It's by doing just anything that you become just anyone
Emma Paulay
3 +2The best way to become a p*** artist is by p***ing aroundxxxCMJ_Trans
4It's by doing anything that you become something
Basak Balkan
3it's only by mucking /fooling around, that you end up a nobody like me
bcsantos
3To become a somebody or other, you have to do something or otherDylan Edwards
3if you don't achieve something remarkable you will never be someone
Tassia Karam
3To become anyone, you have to be prepared to do (just about) anything
Carol Gullidge
3fooling about makes just a foolEuqinimod
3 -1You can only become just anybody if you'll do just about anything
Susan Nicholls


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
The best way to become a p*** artist is by p***ing around


Explanation:
sorry but that's more the register

The best way to become a spoof (?) artist is by spoofing around

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 13:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 23
Grading comment
Thank you for all the contributions. I like the structure of this translation best.
Although I think I might replace p*** artist by fool (so thanks also to Equinimod).
Notes to answerer
Asker: the humour is definitely in this vane!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andreas THEODOROU
2 mins

agree  Melzie: Having seen the vid your first option is the best, the second is too tame.
2 hrs
  -> I fear this is true

neutral  Charlie Bavington: I'm afraid that AFAIAC, "piss artist" has only one meaning, which is essentially someone who drinks too much. Doesn't seem appropriate here. I do agree about the register, though.
10 hrs

neutral  xxxSpeakering: is that pissing? i mean, why not write the word? not an usa expression for sure.
1 day2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
C\'est en faisant n\'importe quoi, qu\'on devient n\'importe qui
It's by doing just anything that you become just anyone


Explanation:
Another way.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2008-05-23 13:37:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Do any old thing, become any old guy...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 34 mins (2008-05-23 14:07:49 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you fool around, you get taken for a fool.

Emma Paulay
France
Local time: 13:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ewa Kondracka
4 mins

agree  Victoria Burns:
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
it's only by mucking /fooling around, that you end up a nobody like me


Explanation:
Another option.

bcsantos
Gibraltar
Local time: 13:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 8
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
You can only become just anybody if you'll do just about anything


Explanation:
A twist on the last response.

Susan Nicholls
Local time: 21:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  kashew: Off beam, Sue!
4 hrs
  -> I may be blind, or just tired, but I can't see it's so much worse than some of the other suggestions! Is it the "just about anything" bit that is worrying you?
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
fooling about makes just a fool


Explanation:
Or something along those lines, since in French it is inspired from "c'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron", the equivalent in English being : "practice makes perfect", at least what is given by the R&C.

Euqinimod
Local time: 13:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 7
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

53 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
It's by doing anything that you become something


Explanation:
I like the symmetry

Basak Balkan
Belgium
Local time: 13:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in TurkishTurkish, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: impossible in English.
6 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
It's only by doing whatever that you end up being whoever.


Language variant: If you screw around enough, finally you get to be a total screwup.

Explanation:
This would be a perfect rendering in Michigan, where we have the idiom "whatever," meaning roughly, "I don't give a damn." For example, your mate or parent makes an unwelcome suggestion, you reply, "whatever!" It's just that I think this way of thinking is only valid in this part of the country.

arrathoonlaa
Local time: 07:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Emma Paulay: "Do whatever and become whoever" is neater I think.
40 mins

agree  Nadia Ayoub
3 hrs

agree  katsy
3 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
To become anyone, you have to be prepared to do (just about) anything


Explanation:


You could easily remove ""be prepared to", but I feel that this adds an emphasis that is otherwise partly lost

Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
if you don't achieve something remarkable you will never be someone


Explanation:
in other words, do something remarkable so people would recognize you and talk about you. That's another option for you, hope it helps

Tassia Karam
France
Local time: 13:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
The nonsense you have to go through to become a complete nonentity...


Explanation:
It's an amusing phrase, with probably as many different possible translations as there are translators out there. It must be fun for you doing this translation!

Andy Bliss
Local time: 13:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  katsy: Like this one !
1 hr

agree  Charlie Bavington: maybe drop "complete", but otherwise very good (IMHO)
6 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
To become a somebody or other, you have to do something or other


Explanation:
An attempt to match his n'importe, n'importe...
You could carry this "... or other" to maddening, ridiculous extremes.

Dylan Edwards
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
When you do whatever, you become whomever.


Language variant: It is by horsing/clowning around that one becomes nobody.

Explanation:
nice quote

xxxSpeakering
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in MacedonianMacedonian, Native in Serbo-CroatSerbo-Croat
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: so many suggestions and you are 100% certain you have come up with "the" best one?
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also: