ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
KudoZ home » French to English » Linguistics

ma petite

English translation: girlfriend

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:ma petite
English translation:girlfriend
Entered by: NancyLynn
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

17:18 May 2, 2005
French to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics / bilingual teen novel
French term or phrase: ma petite
in the sentence:
" T’arrête de me postillonner à la figure où je t’en colle une, ma petite."
(a young girl to another)

I thought of 'missy' but I don't think teenagers would use this word among themselves.
any suggestions greatly appreciated!
TIA!
Sandra Chiancone
France
Local time: 12:29
girl, girlfriend
Explanation:
I realise 'girlfriend' is used between friends, but I imagine it can be used in a pugilant manner, like 'buddy' or 'pal' with men.

Missy is good, too, but with the proliferation of Melissas in the past couple of decades it has become more of a proper name.
Selected response from:

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 06:29
Grading comment
thanks Nancy. "girlfriend" fits best with my context. :-)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3sisterxxxIanW
5 +1girliealizee
5bitch / beeatchPierre Renault
5young lady/madamcanaria
3 +1Report from the mean streets of north London + recommendation
Charlie Bavington
3 +1you bitch
Rachel Davenport
3 +1sugar baby, honeybunch,
suezen
4dearanaleonor
2girl, girlfriend
NancyLynn


Discussion entries: 14





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
girlie


Explanation:
little girl- girlie

alizee
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher RH: I remember teenage girls using this at school (in the UK) - and it wasn't all *that* long ago... honest
15 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
girl, girlfriend


Explanation:
I realise 'girlfriend' is used between friends, but I imagine it can be used in a pugilant manner, like 'buddy' or 'pal' with men.

Missy is good, too, but with the proliferation of Melissas in the past couple of decades it has become more of a proper name.

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 06:29
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 21
Grading comment
thanks Nancy. "girlfriend" fits best with my context. :-)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carolingua
36 mins

disagree  xxxIanW: British girls don't refer to their friends as "girlfriends" the way that American girls do (I'm making this a 'disagree' so that the asker will be notified, Nancy)
1 day22 hrs
  -> good to know that British girls are not so heavily influenced by Hollywood!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
dear


Explanation:
a way to say to somebody

analeonor
Local time: 07:29
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
sister


Explanation:
How about "sister"?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2005-05-02 17:32:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Not quite as aggressive a context, but not between friends either:

\"Listen, sister,\" I said, \"I ain\'t got the time for all this Percy Flage. This is politics, baby. It\'s the big supermarket. It\'s a fast flight on the red-eye to a little town called \'mid-term elections\' - ever hear a\' it? Sometimes your ticket gets stamped \'No Return\'. So I gotta know, baby, and I gotta know now, you on board or what?\"

http://www.dystopical.com/W2/f.bamboozle.html

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 45 mins (2005-05-02 19:03:45 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, now that it\'s UK English, I can safely say that I wouldn\'t use any of the current suggestions (including mine). In this case, I\'d go for \"darling\" or \"petal\", for the reasons that suezen mentioned, which are equally relevant in the UK.

xxxIanW
Local time: 12:29
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  analeonor: very american,and not polite enough
27 mins
  -> Right, and "je t’en colle une" is the height of politeness, is it?

agree  suezen: I think sister could work ... the context is not exactly friendly after all
38 mins

agree  xxxsarahl
42 mins

agree  Patrice: my North American opinion
1 hr

agree  Can Altinbay
2 hrs

disagree  Pierre Renault: You would call "sister" someone you threathen to bitch-slap?
5 hrs
  -> I wouldn't, no, but apparently it's very much the done thing in certain circles

agree  Charlie Bavington: think that 'sister' is OK especially if they're both black.
18 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
sugar baby, honeybunch,


Explanation:
using an endearment at the end of a threat is typical black teenage humour

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 58 mins (2005-05-02 19:16:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In answer to Ian, I think that in the UK you could very easily say*If you don\'t get out of my face dahhhling you\'ll be looking at a bunch of fives!!!!
or
If you don\'t want a Glaswegian kiss, honeybunch, then you\'ll get a smack in the face
In fact, I think one of the problems with this sentence is the fact that ma petite is at the end, where in English it would probably be at the beginning or in the middle
Look, sweety pie, keep out of my hair or else ....

suezen
Local time: 12:29
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 31

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  TesCor -: yes for honeybunch.
1 hr
  -> thanks Teresa :-)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
bitch / beeatch


Explanation:
As in "Get outta my face, bitch, or I'm gonna rip you a new one" (or whatever colourful description of physical abuse you can come up with).

bitch would be more appropriate
Use "beeatch" (pronouced "bee atch") if the speaker is being polite (yeah, right...)




Pierre Renault
Local time: 06:29
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
you bitch


Explanation:
Depends how young. Also I think it would be possible to leave it out.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs 48 mins (2005-05-03 07:07:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

How about \'cow\'? A bit more \'polite\' than \'bitch\'.

Rachel Davenport
France
Local time: 12:29
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NancyLynn: cow is good
21 hrs
  -> Thanks!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
young lady/madam


Explanation:
this is what my daughter's granny (from St Lucia)says to her when she threatens to give her a clump, unless of course she strays back into patois as is so often the case in which its 'tifi' (not sure how you spell that or what the equivalent would be in Guayana)

canaria
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:29
Native speaker of: English
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Report from the mean streets of north London + recommendation


Explanation:
I fear this will be of no use to you.
But as I ambled up the road, who should I run into but the 14 year-old cousin of a friend of mine. I presented a brief outline of the scenario, being careful not to lead the witness. After making sure that I wasn't gonna tell her mother, she then proceeded to turn the air blue. Which I suppose I should have guessed since when I was at school, we were always partial to a spot of industrial language. To cut a long, post-watershed only, story short, the two commonest insults bandied around by 13 year-old girls from what is far from being one of north London's roughest areas are bitch and whore. Anything milder exposes one to ridicule of the highest order.

That said of course, I suspect that "ma petite" isn't exactly on the insult cutting edge either.

One useful thing to come out of it was that far and away the best equivalent for "je t'en colle une" is "you're gonna get such a slap".

Your trouble is that if you make it "real", no-one's going to publish it, but if you err too far the other way, no kid's gonna take it seriously.

This is a problem faced in the UK by the kids' TV show "Grange Hill", set in a London school, where as we know, effing and blinding is in reality the order of the day. It's been on for ages; when I was a lad, it was liberally peppered with "flippin' 'eck", whereas we of course wouldn't have dreamt of saying anything milder than "f*****' 'ell". The language aspect aside, it's always been fairly realistic and is still relatively popular amongst kids (else it wouldn't have been running for 25+ years). I wonder whether some surfing for "Grange Hill" websites might give you pointers into how to use realistic-ish yet relatively inoffensive UK slang (altho set in London, the programme is broadcast nationwide so it can't be too insular). I seriously think that if you aim for a "Grange Hill" style in your book, you will be very much on the right lines. Don't know why I didn't think of it before.....

(NB: confusingly, there is a real "Grange Hill" as well, so make sure you get hits that relate to the TV show)

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 11:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NancyLynn: Excellent, Charlie. Ever notice that Bruce Willis can blow people up, 100 souls in a few minutes, but he has to say 'Hell!' as his worst expletive... to be admitted to the PG-13 crowd & escape an R-rating.
21 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also: