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grosses de tête... ventre mou

English translation: top-knobs... run-of-the-mill...

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11:10 Jun 27, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Marketing - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / consultant interview
French term or phrase: grosses de tête... ventre mou
Consultant interview with managers of a merged advertising firm. No questions, just isolated comments in a presentation.

I love the source imagery, but this would make for a mixed metaphor if translated closely. Suggestions for something in the same register with similar impact would be appreciated. I'm thinking along the lines of "we were running with the leaders of the pack and now we're (and this is where start to draw a blank to convey 'ventre mou' after 'lagging behind'...)

Perhaps something altogether different would be better...

*On était avant dans les grosses de tête et on est aujourd’hui plus dans le ventre mou…* On avait tendance à être l’outsider parmi les grosses et là on est dans les moyennes … le marché attend qu’on fasse nos preuves et qu’on explique.
Les agences se sont restructurées… c’est à la mode, mais il faut sortir du lot.

MTIA
Tamara Salvio
United States
Local time: 19:59
English translation:top-knobs... run-of-the-mill...
Explanation:
I was wondering about:

"Before we used to be up there with the top-knobs [or: leaders], but now we're just more run-of-the-mill [or: mainstream]"

I'd love to be able to work in "soft underbelly" or "flabby...", but I really don't see how it could be made to work in EN.

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Note added at 26 mins (2007-06-27 11:37:35 GMT)
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Ah, now you didn't mention anything about a US audience!

I think CMJ's suggestion of cycling metaphors is a good one.

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Note added at 27 mins (2007-06-27 11:37:57 GMT)
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'also-rans' might be going a bit too far...
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 04:59
Grading comment
Thanks - I appreciate everyone's creative input! In the end I incorporated bits of Tony's and CMJ's suggestions.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4hard-headed...soft-bellied
Katarina Peters
3 +1top-knobs... run-of-the-mill...
Tony M
3 +1Big players
juliebarba
3big honchos/small fryjean-jacques alexandre
3bucking broncos / donkey derbySandra Petch
3graphic imageryxxxBourth


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
grosses de tete... ventre mou...
top-knobs... run-of-the-mill...


Explanation:
I was wondering about:

"Before we used to be up there with the top-knobs [or: leaders], but now we're just more run-of-the-mill [or: mainstream]"

I'd love to be able to work in "soft underbelly" or "flabby...", but I really don't see how it could be made to work in EN.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 26 mins (2007-06-27 11:37:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ah, now you didn't mention anything about a US audience!

I think CMJ's suggestion of cycling metaphors is a good one.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 27 mins (2007-06-27 11:37:57 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

'also-rans' might be going a bit too far...

Tony M
France
Local time: 04:59
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 316
Grading comment
Thanks - I appreciate everyone's creative input! In the end I incorporated bits of Tony's and CMJ's suggestions.
Notes to answerer
Asker: I like "run of the mill'; "top knobs is a bit too UK for this US audience, so would have to go with 'leaders' or some such. I agree the underbelly/flabby thing would be great, but so far I'm drawing a blank on the corresponding "grosses de tete" - something with powerhouses/weaklings?

Asker: Sorry Tony, I edited that bit (US audience) out of my original question!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steve Melling: Also-rans (UK horse-racing not sure for US).
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Chappy! As you say, probably only appropriate for UK
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34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
grosses de tete... ventre mou - pls see entire phrase
Big players


Explanation:
..before we were up there with the big players but now.....

(now I don't have a suggestion for the last part of the sentence!! but somebody could add to it!).

(I was going to suggest 'running with the big boys' but it wouldn't be very PC, so you got players instead)

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Note added at 36 mins (2007-06-27 11:47:05 GMT)
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Joe Bloggs? Joe Average?

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Note added at 37 mins (2007-06-27 11:48:02 GMT)
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or Average Joe rather.....?

juliebarba
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:59
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steve Melling: Big hitters perhaps (baseball?) I'm guessing as am English.
7 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
grosses de tete... ventre mou - pls see entire phrase
bucking broncos / donkey derby


Explanation:
"We used to be bucking broncos, now it's more like the donkey derby."

Superbowl might be another lead to follow given that this is for the US. Something about being league one and now being on the sidelines? Superbowl / football isn't my thing but it may be someone else's cup of tea!

Sandra Petch
Local time: 04:59
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 44
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
grosses de tete... ventre mou - pls see entire phrase
hard-headed...soft-bellied


Explanation:
suggestion
or: stubborn vs. lazy...

Katarina Peters
Canada
Local time: 22:59
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
grosses de tete... ventre mou - pls see entire phrase
graphic imagery


Explanation:
Maybe you could use the normal/Gaussian distribution curve, a sort of "cloche" shape where the greater mass is in the middle. The curve of such a graph is often referred to as a "ventre" or "loop" in English.

"We were once at the thin leading edge of the distribution curve, though closer to the slope than to the cutting edge, but now we're in with the mass of the middle spread" (reminiscent of "middle age spread", so "ventre mou").

xxxBourth
Local time: 04:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 204

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  juliebarba: or now we've gone downhill? now there's a thought - we were at the top (of the pile) but now we've gone down hill...
58 mins
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23 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
grosses de tete... ventre mou - pls see entire phrase
big honchos/small fry


Explanation:
just trying another angle

jean-jacques alexandre
France
Local time: 04:59
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 12
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Changes made by editors
Jun 23, 2011 - Changes made by Stéphanie Soudais:
Term askedgrosses de tete... ventre mou - pls see entire phrase » grosses de tête... ventre mou


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