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les sans papiers

English translation: migrants without/not in possession of residency permits

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09:15 Apr 25, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Government / Politics
French term or phrase: les sans papiers
tjs le même doc, attempts at protecting illegal migrants from being sent back to their country of origin, inculding kids born in France!
I can obviously "translate" this, but would like better ideas than a mere translation
cjohnstone
France
Local time: 04:16
English translation:migrants without/not in possession of residency permits
Explanation:
I don't like "illegal immigrants" in this context, the tone of it is wrong, I like Charlie's answer, but have a problem with "indefinite" -- for example my "carte de séjour" when I arrived here was only valid for ten years (no longer required for EU nationals).

So...we need something more neutral, something which 'slants' ther issue in favour of the migrants. The key issue is residency permits, so this is what I suggest.

Not very elegant, but sometimes you have to sacrifice elegance for accuracy.

(PS: There's a magnificent article in a recent Le Monde books section about a connected issue -- asimilation vs mult-culturalism vs etc etc, well worth a read, I'll try to supply a link)



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Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:07:30 GMT)
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(As I understand it, in France a residency permit necessarily gives you the right to work...I may be wrong.)

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Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:10:58 GMT)
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"sans papiers" - immigrants with no papers and no right to stay.

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:Uacoo0QqZbMJ:www.guardi...

immigrants with no papers has my vote


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Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:12:58 GMT)
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Note: the writer in the piece above chose to explain the term on first use and then continued to use it -- is it a culturally-specific term?

Do the migrants have no residency permits, or no ID (passport, etc.) at all? This issue has always confused me.

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Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:13:45 GMT)
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Example: "The sans papiers themselves have marched in demonstrations all over France. Some have gone on hunger strike."

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Note added at 20 hrs (2008-04-26 05:31:30 GMT)
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http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sans-papiers

http://www.linternaute.com/dictionnaire/fr/definition/sans-p...

Contradictory definitions: do these migrants have national ID documents (from their home countries)?
I'll ask my girlfriend.

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Note added at 20 hrs (2008-04-26 05:57:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, got an answer...could be either...or both.

Personally I would do a cop-out and go the Guardian route, ie explain what "sans-papiers" is, but continue to use the French expression. I don't think it translates well into English...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/mar/04/football.newssto...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 hrs (2008-04-26 06:08:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here's that link I promised:

http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2008/04/24/la-curiosi...

It's dense stuff, you may need a few coffee to get through it, but it's very illuminating all the same.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 116 days (2008-08-19 19:54:49 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

In the States it's "undocumented", which I think is a good equivalent:

http://www.irishabroad.com/Home/Articles/home-in-ireland1505...
Selected response from:

Conor McAuley
France
Local time: 04:16
Grading comment
this suits me best, thks you
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +11illegal immigrants
Victoria Burns
4 +3undocumented immigrantssueaberwoman
3 +1without indefinite leave to remainCharlie Bavington
4migrants without/not in possession of residency permits
Conor McAuley
3residents without citizenship
Ben Gaia MA
3undocumented non-nationalsrkillings
3illegal aliensKari Foster


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +11
illegal immigrants


Explanation:
Is it not simply 'illegal immigrants'? i.e. those without the correct documentation to be able to live legally in the country?

Victoria Burns
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ritu Bhanot: Or IATE suggests terms such as "undocumented immigrant", "person without documents". Personally I think Victoria's suggestion is much better as this is the actual implied meaning.
0 min
  -> Thanks Ritu

agree  PTeale
1 min
  -> Thanks!

agree  juliebarba: Of course it's this! if you don't have "papers", you're an illegal immigrant (or illegal alien in the US, which always makes me laugh..)\ also as we don't have ID cards to date in the UK the notion of "papers"/docs just isn't widespread...
17 mins
  -> Same here!! Thanks juliebarba!

agree  xxxcmwilliams
19 mins
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Michelle Grace: Yes, definitely 'illegal immigrants'. Also, the feedback from IOL regarding a past exam informed that this is how the term should be translated.
30 mins
  -> Thanks Michelle!

agree  Ghyslaine LE NAGARD: Yes, Victoria explanation is spot on.
33 mins
  -> Many thanks :-)

agree  swanda
1 hr
  -> Thanks swanda

neutral  Aude Sylvain: I fully agree that it's the meaning, but IMO "sans-papiers" is supposed to be neutral/factual while "illegal immig." adds a legal/moral appreciation (violation of law). Think this is why the associations in France don't use "illégaux", "clandestins" etc
1 hr
  -> OK, thanks Aude

agree  B D Finch: Re Aude's comment - yes that is right but, they are illegally in France. The law and administration that made legal entry to France impossible may be considered unjust and may call for challenge and change. I'd still use the UK English term proposed.
1 hr
  -> Many thanks

agree  Alana Quintyne
1 hr
  -> Thanks :-)

neutral  Charlie Bavington: I agree with Aude's comments, in a nutshell. It does have that Daily Mail ring to it. I saw some of the TV prog you refer to, please see suggested answer based on that :-)
2 hrs
  -> OK, thanks Charlie.

agree  AllegroTrans
3 hrs
  -> Many thanks!

agree  tatyana000
3 hrs
  -> Thanks tatyana

agree  Gabrielle Marcellus-Temple
8 hrs
  -> Thanks Gabrielle :-)

disagree  Ben Gaia MA: See Aude Sylvain's comment.
2 days44 mins
  -> I've taken Aude's point, but I still say these would be referred to as 'illegal immigrants' in UK English. Thanks for your contribution.
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
illegal aliens


Explanation:
(also "undocumented immigrants")
This is a more US version, I suppose, but it gets round the slight problem that children born in the country did not really "immigrate".

Kari Foster
Local time: 04:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: Spacemen? Not wrong, but not a term in general use in W. Europe
9 hrs
  -> Quite; hence the proviso that it is primarily US usage.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
without indefinite leave to remain


Explanation:
As Victoria says, this was on telly the other night. You can get a driving licence, NI number, pay tax, etc, and still be sent "home" (sic) if the govt thinks they don't want you here.

The status that all these "illegal" immigrants (including those who arrived quite legitimately to e.g. study but whose visas have expired) are after is "indefinite leave to remain". You get given a smal card with "residency permit" written across the top.

My suggestion is, I think, the neutral term you may be groping for.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2008-04-25 12:10:33 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Of course, it does have the drawback that it is a specifically UK term, although I guess the words would convey the right idea to any reader....?

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 03:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  lcr24: this definitely seems the best option given the notes above
1 hr

neutral  AllegroTrans: your term is too specific to UK administration/law
6 hrs
  -> I'm inclined to agree (as I said!); I would probably, if reluctantly, use "illegal imms" in most texts, but the asker specifically said she wanted to avoid the word. Was just trying a different path :-)
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
undocumented immigrants


Explanation:
Other suggestions.
I'd use the second, clandestine workers, or a combination of the two -- undocumented workers-- if speaking about the current problem in France.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2008-04-25 09:26:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2008-04-25 09:29:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Didn't see the other suggestions before sending!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2008-04-25 14:04:57 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Takeaways are hardest hit as undocumented workers sacked
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/jun/02/china.immigrationpo...

France's Sarkozy rules out blanket amnesty to undocumented workers
http://news.uk.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=8163651

France says no to mass legalisation of undocumented immigrants
www.dailymail.co.uk/.../articles/news/worldnews.html?in_art...


Example sentence(s):
  • [1]; undocumented immigrant; clandestine workers
sueaberwoman
Local time: 04:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  xxxCMJ_Trans: where does it say they are workers? Some of them are on the dole
1 min
  -> It was just a shot, as it's a current issue... if you look at Catherine's comment, it seems I may have hit the right note.

neutral  Ghyslaine LE NAGARD: Agree with CMJ, they can be on the dole or just simply living of government help of some sorts etc....
26 mins
  -> It was just a shot, as it's a current issue... if you look at Catherine's comment, it seems I may have hit the right note.

agree  Carmen Schultz
31 mins
  -> Thanks, Carmen!

agree  Aude Sylvain: yes, possibly in association with the french expression, into brackets for instance, since it now has a strong and specific political meaning in Fr - see http://tinyurl.com/4de6cv
57 mins
  -> Thanks, Aude!

neutral  lcr24: Just wanted to add that this phrase sounds very odd to a British English speaker, so would only use for US English
4 hrs
  -> Cannot deny that they're used in the US! I've however added UK links above -- and a slightly "foreign" flavo(u)r may be useful to reopen the European debate from a new angle!

agree  Jaimie Boyd: This is commonly used in Canadian English (if anybody cares!) as it is supposed to be a bit more neutral... I would say that this best conveys the French term, but a footnote in your text to explain would be appropriate.
7 hrs
  -> Well, it's interesting to raise a bit of controversy. And as a former neighbor from across the Great Lakes, I do try to learn about the Canadian take on things, tho I'm woefully ignorant, in many cases...
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
undocumented non-nationals


Explanation:
Obviously the kids born in France are not "immigrants", and readers can draw their own conclusion that undocument = illegal. The context should be sufficient to establish that they are present in France.
You could even settle for "undocumented persons", since you can be confident no French nationals have escaped being documented somewhere, somehow.<g>

rkillings
United States
Local time: 19:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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20 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
residents without citizenship


Explanation:
Just an idea.

Ben Gaia MA
New Zealand
Local time: 14:16
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
migrants without/not in possession of residency permits


Explanation:
I don't like "illegal immigrants" in this context, the tone of it is wrong, I like Charlie's answer, but have a problem with "indefinite" -- for example my "carte de séjour" when I arrived here was only valid for ten years (no longer required for EU nationals).

So...we need something more neutral, something which 'slants' ther issue in favour of the migrants. The key issue is residency permits, so this is what I suggest.

Not very elegant, but sometimes you have to sacrifice elegance for accuracy.

(PS: There's a magnificent article in a recent Le Monde books section about a connected issue -- asimilation vs mult-culturalism vs etc etc, well worth a read, I'll try to supply a link)



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:07:30 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

(As I understand it, in France a residency permit necessarily gives you the right to work...I may be wrong.)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:10:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"sans papiers" - immigrants with no papers and no right to stay.

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:Uacoo0QqZbMJ:www.guardi...

immigrants with no papers has my vote


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:12:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Note: the writer in the piece above chose to explain the term on first use and then continued to use it -- is it a culturally-specific term?

Do the migrants have no residency permits, or no ID (passport, etc.) at all? This issue has always confused me.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 hrs (2008-04-26 05:13:45 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Example: "The sans papiers themselves have marched in demonstrations all over France. Some have gone on hunger strike."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 hrs (2008-04-26 05:31:30 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sans-papiers

http://www.linternaute.com/dictionnaire/fr/definition/sans-p...

Contradictory definitions: do these migrants have national ID documents (from their home countries)?
I'll ask my girlfriend.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 hrs (2008-04-26 05:57:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, got an answer...could be either...or both.

Personally I would do a cop-out and go the Guardian route, ie explain what "sans-papiers" is, but continue to use the French expression. I don't think it translates well into English...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/mar/04/football.newssto...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 hrs (2008-04-26 06:08:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here's that link I promised:

http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2008/04/24/la-curiosi...

It's dense stuff, you may need a few coffee to get through it, but it's very illuminating all the same.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 116 days (2008-08-19 19:54:49 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

In the States it's "undocumented", which I think is a good equivalent:

http://www.irishabroad.com/Home/Articles/home-in-ireland1505...


Conor McAuley
France
Local time: 04:16
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 17
Grading comment
this suits me best, thks you
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (1): juliebarba


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