KudoZ home » French to English » Medical (general)

déformer les propos

English translation: to distort what one is told

Advertisement

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:déformer les propos
English translation:to distort what one is told
Entered by: gad
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

00:22 Feb 13, 2009
French to English translations [PRO]
Medical - Medical (general) / Pédiatrie
French term or phrase: déformer les propos
En pédiatrie la maman ne posait pas toujours les bons gestes pour nourrir son enfant, par ex quand elle lui donnait à boire dans les bras elle la positionnait mal et n'avait pas toujours la patience pour lui donner la dose nécessaire et qu'elle avait tendance à déformer les propos qui lui sont tenus.


OK, "déformer des propos" means "to misquote". How does that fit in here, with a mother not feeding her infant child correctly? Who is she misquoting then? Or does this mean something else here? TIA
gad
United States
Local time: 06:24
she had a tendency to twist around what they would tell her
Explanation:
Hello,

déformer les propos = to twist around someone's words (whether on purpose or not)

When you say only "to misunderstand", you're not tranlsating this right because that implies that it was completely indeliberate. Here, we don't know if she does it on purpose, unintentionally, or a little bit of both. LOL.

It should be read in the imperfect tense: "propos qui lui étaient tenus" (things that "would" be said to her during that time)

I hope this helps.
Selected response from:

MatthewLaSon
Local time: 06:24
Grading comment
Merci:)
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3 +8to misunderstand/to misinterpret
Christophe G.
4 +2she had a tendency to twist around what they would tell herMatthewLaSon
4 +1misconstrue
SJLD
5to react badly to advicexxxACOZ
3she has a tendancy to distort her words/meaningBarbara Cochran, MFA


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


56 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
she has a tendancy to distort her words/meaning


Explanation:
Larousse's Advanced French/English Dictionary

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 59 mins (2009-02-13 01:22:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Detached interaction with the baby, in an attempt to distance herself from the whole mother/infant bonding scenario.

Barbara Cochran, MFA
United States
Local time: 06:24
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: In response to writeaway's comment, we know that tenses don't need to match completely from one source language to a target language - in fact, many times doing so is wrong, and is not translation as it's too literal. Did she actually stop having that tendency? I doubt it, so "had" is fine, though maybe "has had" is more accurate.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: it's past tense (avait) and the word 'distort' was suggested by Helene in a peer comment. However like the first answer, you've misread it and it's not 'her' words at all.
11 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
she had a tendency to twist around what they would tell her


Explanation:
Hello,

déformer les propos = to twist around someone's words (whether on purpose or not)

When you say only "to misunderstand", you're not tranlsating this right because that implies that it was completely indeliberate. Here, we don't know if she does it on purpose, unintentionally, or a little bit of both. LOL.

It should be read in the imperfect tense: "propos qui lui étaient tenus" (things that "would" be said to her during that time)

I hope this helps.

MatthewLaSon
Local time: 06:24
Does not meet criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 74
Grading comment
Merci:)
Notes to answerer
Asker: polyglot45, I don't see what the big deal is about "would tell" and "told". In English, you can use "would + verb" to mean "used to + verb". It doesn't sound "like a crib from French". Also, I don't see "would HAVE" anywhere anyway.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  polyglot45: what they TOLD her//the things people said to her - why on earth do you feel the need to say "would have"? It sounds like a crib from French
2 hrs
  -> Hi. Where did I write "would have". It's a very natural-sounding English sentence what I wrote. That's what the French is really saying. You could say, though, "what she was told." What is the "crib from France" LOL Please inform me.

agree  Gabrielle Leyden: "twist the meaning of", "distort", or "misinterpret" what she was told - "déformer" tends to be more deliberate or active than simply misunderstand
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Gabrielle! I appreciate it.

agree  Shog Imas
4 days
  -> Thanks, S. Imas!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
to react badly to advice


Explanation:
she had a tendency to react badly to advice / she couldn't take criticism.
The "propos" are remarks made to her by somebody else.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 hrs (2009-02-13 12:19:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you look at Helen Genevier's comment below, you'll see that she confirms the person's intentional "misinterpretation" or "distortion" of what is said to her. You could translate this sentence by "she distorted whatever was said to her" but, to me, that's "translated English", almost word for word translation. Surely our job is to render a text that remains true to the original but also reads like original English so that a reader knowing no French will look at the English version and read it without ever thinking "Mmm, that's a bit heavy-going. Wonder what the original French said?"

xxxACOZ
Australia
Local time: 19:54
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 36

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Emma Paulay: I think this is the underlying meaning but I'm not sure the phrase should actually be translated that way.//Actually, if you search 'distorts comments' you get some very relevant ghits...
5 hrs

neutral  writeaway: with Emma. you aren't translating the text, you are giving an interpretation
8 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +8
to misunderstand/to misinterpret


Explanation:
"déformer les propos" ... "qui lui sont tenus". So for me she is misunderstanding or misinterpreting what she 's told to do

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 hrs (2009-02-13 12:09:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Indeed, depending on the context, maybe another formulation would fit better. But I think what was important here was to get the meaning right (who's "lui" referring to for instance). If I'm not misinterpreting (never!), it is what Gad's question was about. Now picking the right words to fit the context better can only be decided by whoever has access to the rest of the text IMO.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 hrs (2009-02-13 15:28:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ok Gad fair enough! I wasn't sure.
Good luck!

Christophe G.
Ireland
Local time: 11:24
Does not meet criteria
Native speaker of: French
Notes to answerer
Asker: If I'm told that someone "misinterprets" something, I assume that it's unintentional.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Helen Genevier: It may be irrrelevant but to me the French could be accidental or deliberate, whereas misinterpret/misunderstand would only cover the accidental scenario - maybe distort would cover both possibilities
2 mins
  -> That's a good point! I didn't even consider the mother could do it intentionally... Thanks!

agree  Isabelle Berquin: That's how I understand it, perhaps misinterpreting advice from a nurse or doctor. However, the sentence is not particularly well written so it is ambiguous ("lui" seems to refer first to the infant, then to the mother).
7 mins
  -> The text is written in a strange way that's true. It sounds a bit like a translation actually :-) But here "lui" has to refer to the mother. Thanks!

agree  xxxNKW: Originally, I thought the first suggestion was correct, but the more I look at it, the more it seems that the final 'lui' refers to 'la maman'. This is a very difficult passage to translate.
15 mins
  -> I'm pretty confident "lui" refers to the mother too. Thanks!

agree  writeaway: it's not difficult with careful reading but the phrase has to be seen and translated as a whole and not just the isolated words in the question. fortunately the whol e thing has been posted, which should avert any mistranslation
40 mins
  -> True! More context would even help answering Helen's "deliberate/accidental" remark. Thanks!

agree  xxxLionel_M: cela respecte parfaitement le concept
51 mins
  -> Merci Lionel!

neutral  MatthewLaSon: She may have not misinterpreted what she was being told, but just ignored them and did she wanted (twisted their words around to make herself look legitimate). Misinterpretations are taken to be involuntary unless specified otherwise.
5 hrs
  -> She may very well have. "Misinterpret" is probably too unintentional then. My main focus when answering was what "lui" referred to, I picked the words too fast then, my mistake! Helen Genevier suggested "distort", I would agree on that.

agree  SJLD: this is how I understand it too
6 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  liz askew
8 hrs
  -> Thanks liz!

agree  Francois Tresfort: Can only be translated this way to my mind. The French text is poorly structured gramatically to begin with.
1 day7 hrs
  -> Thanks Francois! Agree with you about the text.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
misconstrue


Explanation:
another one to consider

SJLD
Local time: 12:24
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 1923

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  B D Finch: I like this version. As "en pédiatrie la maman..." is a generalisation, a general condemnation of mothers twisting the words of paediatricians is indicative of paranoid paediatricians.
5 hrs
  -> Well I don't know - I think it's referring to a specific mother when she was observed in the pediatric ward (en pédiatrie - dans le service de pédiatrie). My medico gut feeling.
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:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search