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repasser les plats

English translation: when history is kind enough to offer you another helping

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:repasser les plats
English translation:when history is kind enough to offer you another helping
Entered by: DPolice
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14:32 Mar 15, 2002
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Government / Politics / Politics
French term or phrase: repasser les plats
Extract from a journalist's book on the career of Francois Mitteran, published in 1988. The author is discussing the Socialist Party, in power in 1981. I am finding it difficult to get the tone of the piece from the opening paragraph, which I reproduce herebelow:

Quand l'histoire accepte de repasser les plats, mieux vaut savoir en profiter. Pas question de chipoter, de trainer un manque d'appetit, ni membe de manger a la carte. En 1981, les militants socialistes veulent, tout de suite, tout le menu. Entendez tout le programme.

It then goes on to say:

Ils sont avides d'obtenir ce que leur ont promis, a grand renfort de discours, de motions et de projets, les camarades qui viennet d'arriver au pouvoir.

I hope this is enough context for someone to give me a better idea of the tone of this piece.
French2English
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:03
when history is kind enough to offer you another helping
Explanation:
you'd better seize the opportunity

The first helping was not the Popular Front but the socialist governments of the 4th Republic. Guy Mollet, a socialist, was Prime Minister during the war in Algeria, for example. Later, in May 68, Mitterrand failed to seize power, although he came close to succeeding.
Selected response from:

DPolice
Local time: 16:03
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6when history is kind enough to offer you another helpingDPolice
4 +2to provide a new helping...
irat56
3 +2pass the buck
swisstell
4After history has taken its turn...
R. A. Stegemann
4to dish out
Theresa Pisani Moniez
4second helpingsStephen Finch


  

Answers


14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
pass the buck


Explanation:
or in this case to return the buck.
Passing the buck of course means passing on the blame for something, holding someone else responsible for it. In this case it is really "returning the buck" .....


swisstell
Italy
Local time: 16:03
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Theresa Pisani Moniez: This sounds good; unfortunately, it kills the food metaphor in the context.
7 mins
  -> thank you, Theresa. Loved your comments!

neutral  Eva Blanar: I doubt, see GDT and http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859...
14 mins
  -> thanks. I shall look this up when I get the time

agree  Dr. Chrys Chrystello
4 hrs
  -> thank you too!
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
second helpings


Explanation:
this is purely based on the context - Petit Robert gives the meaning as to hand round the dishes again (during a meal) - the only problem with this suggestion of course is - when were the "first helpings"? the Front Populaire in the 1930's?

Stephen Finch
Local time: 15:03
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
to dish out


Explanation:
In this case: the blame. I submit this as an alternative to the last answer because it seems such a shame to do away with the food metaphor.

Theresa Pisani Moniez
Local time: 16:03
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
to provide a new helping...


Explanation:
ou "wait on for a second helping..."
In fact it means that history brought back the same conditions and same party men, so they had an opportunity to succeed in which they had previously failed!
Unfortunately...it happens!

irat56
France
Local time: 16:03
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eva Blanar
2 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Rita Bandinelli
7 mins
  -> Thank you!
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35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
After history has taken its turn...


Explanation:
The author appears to be signaling to the reader that a more careful review of the historical facts surrounding the Socialist Party in 1981 would be fruitful to know and understand.


R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 23:03
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
when history is kind enough to offer you another helping


Explanation:
you'd better seize the opportunity

The first helping was not the Popular Front but the socialist governments of the 4th Republic. Guy Mollet, a socialist, was Prime Minister during the war in Algeria, for example. Later, in May 68, Mitterrand failed to seize power, although he came close to succeeding.

DPolice
Local time: 16:03
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: this sounds good
41 mins

agree  Andy Lauriston
1 hr

agree  xxxPemaLa: quite plausible
3 hrs

agree  Steven Geller: I agree, Daniel, I also think you explained it very well.
5 hrs

agree  ydmills
18 hrs

agree  John Garside
1 day1 hr
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