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Le chemin n’est ni long ni tortueux

English translation: there's a thin line between

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03:57 Sep 2, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Journalism
French term or phrase: Le chemin n’est ni long ni tortueux
Du locataire de mauvaise foi au squatter organisé, le chemin n'est ni long ni tortueux.

I was tempted to translate it simply as :there isn't a long way. But that doesn't include "tortueux". Maybe "the road is neither long nor winded" but I am really not sure that it sounds natural in English??
Your ideas and suggestions would be most welcomed!!
Valosh
English translation:there's a thin line between
Explanation:
If you really want to translate the metaphor, then I think rkillings suggestion is the best. However, it isn't really what an En speaker would write naturally. I think you could express the same idea with a different metaphor.
Selected response from:

Emma Paulay
France
Local time: 04:42
Grading comment
A huge thank you to all who shared their ideas and opinions! Lots of good suggestions but I will go with this one. Thank you!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7there's a thin line between
Emma Paulay
4 +4It's not a long and winding roadrkillings
4 +2It is just a short and straight step
Narasimhan Raghavan
3 +2it's not a far step
David Hollywood
4The path is neither long nor treacherousSerge F. Vidal
4It doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming
Helen Shiner
3the road is neither long nor tortuous
chry01
4 -1The road is only a stone's throw away.xxxtenkyuu


  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
it's not a far step


Explanation:
I would say ...

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Note added at 6 mins (2008-09-02 04:03:52 GMT)
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think you can dispense with "long and tortuous" here

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Note added at 7 mins (2008-09-02 04:04:26 GMT)
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implicit in "far"

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Note added at 9 mins (2008-09-02 04:06:30 GMT)
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I'm sticking to me guns here :)

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Note added at 11 mins (2008-09-02 04:08:09 GMT)
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or: it won't take much to go from etc.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2008-09-02 04:09:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

a wee bit more idiomatic ...

David Hollywood
Local time: 23:42
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gayle Wallimann
1 hr
  -> thanks Gayle :)

agree  Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
4 hrs
  -> thanks BeaRH :)
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
The road is only a stone's throw away.


Explanation:
In my humble opinion, there is an English idiom that best suits the phrase in question:

a stone's throw away (a very short distance)



Example sentence(s):
  • The city centre is only a stone\'s throw away.

    Reference: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/stone's+throw
xxxtenkyuu
Indonesia
Local time: 10:42
Native speaker of: Native in IndonesianIndonesian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  B D Finch: A stone's throw away is about physical distance from A to B when you are at A, not about distances between legal or moral statuses.
4 hrs
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36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
It is just a short and straight step


Explanation:
From a tenant showing bad faith to an organized squatter it is just a short and straight step.

Therefore think carefully whom you choose as tenant and don't be taken in by the cringing behavior of a potential tenant, lest you should repent afterwards.


Narasimhan Raghavan
Local time: 08:12
Native speaker of: Tamil
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  B D Finch: Without "and straight", i.e. It's just a short step".
3 hrs

agree  Héloïse King: Agree with above - i.e. "just a short step" (no "straight")
7 hrs
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58 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
It's not a long and winding road


Explanation:
from lying tenant to organised squatter.

Whassa matter, Paul McCartney doesn't sound natural in English?

rkillings
United States
Local time: 19:42
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Irene McClure
1 hr

agree  EJP
4 hrs

agree  Katarina Peters: my choice!
6 hrs

neutral  Héloïse King: I think this would be great in another context, but not here!
7 hrs

agree  bcsantos
12 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the road is neither long nor tortuous


Explanation:
Actually I like the "path is neither long nor treacherous" suggestion most of all!

This is merely an alternative, and deals more closely with the "winding" aspect Valosh wanted. Moreover, there are over 200 hits on the web!

Example sentence(s):
  • \

    Reference: http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/friday_review/article01/index...
chry01
Local time: 04:42
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The path is neither long nor treacherous


Explanation:
I think it's hard to get any closer to the text

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-09-02 07:51:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Alors ça, c'est à vous de décider! Il faudrait le reste de l'article pour voir si on colle au sens, au style... Ceci dit, 'bon à 100%' est une notion qui n'existe pas en tradution. 'Traduttore, Tradittore'

Serge F. Vidal
Switzerland
Local time: 04:42
Works in field
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: Serge, je pense que "treacherous"signifie traitre ou dangereuse mais pas tortueuse. C'est cependant assez proche mais je ne suis pas certaine que cela soit bon a 100%?!

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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
there's a thin line between


Explanation:
If you really want to translate the metaphor, then I think rkillings suggestion is the best. However, it isn't really what an En speaker would write naturally. I think you could express the same idea with a different metaphor.

Emma Paulay
France
Local time: 04:42
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 48
Grading comment
A huge thank you to all who shared their ideas and opinions! Lots of good suggestions but I will go with this one. Thank you!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  B D Finch: I like this one too.
27 mins
  -> Thanks, BD.

agree  katsy: agree with suggestion and yr explanation too.
47 mins
  -> Thanks, Katsy.

agree  Mark Nathan
54 mins
  -> Thanks, Mark

agree  Clair@Lexeme
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Clair.

agree  Héloïse King: Yes, keeping too close to the original in this case just doesn't sound natural.
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Heloise.

agree  David Hollywood: this is a cracking good translation IMO :)
5 hrs
  -> Thank you for the compliment, David!

agree  Yolanda Broad
17 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
It doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming


Explanation:
to turn oneself from XX into XS

Just to suggest something very natural-sounding in EN.

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:42
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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