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servir de lièvre

English translation: open the floodgates

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:servir de lièvre
English translation:open the floodgates
Entered by: Stéphanie Soudais
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07:50 Apr 29, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
French term or phrase: servir de lièvre
Bullet point, reads as follows:
Préparer les éléments critiques de l'accord avec XXX qui devront etre discutés dans la réunion de travail du 16 juillet (motivations stratégiques de XXX, risque de servir de lièvre, modes de sortie de l'accord, ...)
Amy Grieve
Local time: 23:23
2 distinct possibilities (see below)
Explanation:
without more context, either of these seems possible, but they are quite different:

opening the floodgates

setting a precedent

Selected response from:

Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
Grading comment
Thank you - opening the floodgates seemed to best fit the context.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +22 distinct possibilities (see below)
Carol Gullidge
3 +2open the way (for others)Sandra Petch
3act as a coach driver/coachmanxxxEuqinimod


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
2 distinct possibilities (see below)


Explanation:
without more context, either of these seems possible, but they are quite different:

opening the floodgates

setting a precedent



Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 47
Grading comment
Thank you - opening the floodgates seemed to best fit the context.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: more than just 2 distinct possibilities. context will determine so Asker will have to judge. lots of hints in dicos.
44 mins
  -> of course, that goes without saying. The 2 possibilities were my own suggestions, not in the least implying that these are the only possibilities!

agree  Jim Tucker: yes, agree that the possible negative overtones of the phrase here should be called to asker's attention
1 hr
  -> many thanks Jim!

agree  sueaberwoman
4 hrs
  -> thanks sueaberwoman!
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59 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
act as a coach driver/coachman


Explanation:
I think it's the idea. May be there's a better term or phrase to convey the overtone of concern.

xxxEuqinimod
Local time: 00:23
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
open the way (for others)


Explanation:
I think it's referring to those electric hares that greyhounds are made to race after... or the athlete that runs at the head of the others to help them pace themselves (in longer distance events). He/she is also called the "lièvre".

Here I think they are concerned that they will open the way for others. Another French expression that came to mind was "débroussailer le chemin". They do all the hard work which others may then benefit from.

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Note added at 4 hrs (2008-04-29 12:14:48 GMT)
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The three points in brackets are all things they seem concerned about: the other party's motivations, how to get out of the agreement if needs be, and the risk of letting others follow in their wake.

Another way of saying it might be "risk of leaving an open door for others."

Sandra Petch
Local time: 00:23
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nadia Ayoub
17 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  Emma Paulay: It sounds like they're worried about paving the way for others - and possibly being overtaken. Only more context would confirm that though.
1 hr
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Changes made by editors
Jan 14, 2011 - Changes made by Stéphanie Soudais:
Edited KOG entry<a href="/profile/134264">Carol Gullidge's</a> old entry - "servir de lièvre" » "open the floodgates (in this context)"
May 7, 2008 - Changes made by Carol Gullidge:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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