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tirer son épingle du jeu

English translation: to get out of a tight spot

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:tirer son épingle du jeu
English translation:to get out of a tight spot
Entered by: JH Trads
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

14:41 Jan 20, 2002
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: tirer son épingle du jeu
Company X, l'une des quatre usines de transformation de crevette en Gaspésie, a su tirer son épingle du jeu, malgré la crise qui a secoué l'industrie.

The Robert-Collins gives "plays one's game well" or "extricate oneself" for this expression, but neither of them are good. I thought of "come out on top", but it might be altering the meaning a bit. (Basically, there's a crisis in the shrimp industry, but this company's production grew despite the crisis.)

I'd appreciate any suggestions for a translation.
Erika Pavelka
Local time: 23:05
managed to survive
Explanation:
I would use something that starts with "managed to" since extricate implies "the use of care and ingenuity in freeing from a difficult position or situation" (Webster)

and "tirer son épingle du jeu" = Se tirer habilement d'une affaire difficile" (Marie-Éva de Villers, MULTI DICTIONNAIRE DE LA LANGUE FRANÇAISE, Éditions Québec Amérique)

I was tempted to propose "managed to keep afloat/to keep its head above water" but this text doesn't seem to call for a play on words

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Note added at 2002-01-20 17:23:12 (GMT)
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it is also common to see the expression \"survive a crisis\" or \"live through a crisis\" but i prefer \"survive\" , \"live through\" implies no action, \"survive\" is stronger
Selected response from:

xxxUSER0034
Grading comment
Thanks for all the great answers (I wish I could share the points!). I think this solution fits my context the best.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1to get out of a tight spotmckinnc
5come through smelling like rosescheungmo
4 +1managed to survivexxxUSER0034
4 +1played a bad hand well
VBaby
4 +1to ride the stormDPolice
4has managed to pull through, has come out of it pretty well
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
4get out while the going's goodLinda Young
2pull the chestnuts out of the fire
Jack Doughty


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to ride the storm


Explanation:
could be used in the figurative (the storm being the crisis)

DPolice
Local time: 05:05
PRO pts in pair: 454

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  irat56
16 mins
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
pull the chestnuts out of the fire


Explanation:
English idiom for escaping with profit from a difficult situation.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Margaret Doney: I like this but it's probably too British for a Canadian company (which I presume this is)
5 hrs
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to get out of a tight spot


Explanation:
...managed to get itself out of a tight spot

mckinnc
Local time: 05:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 922

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JH Trads
6 hrs
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38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
played a bad hand well


Explanation:
But came out on top fits quite well also.


    Reference: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22played+a+bad+hand%22
VBaby
Local time: 04:05
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 401

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Andrew Cowderoy: think it fits best in this context
13 mins
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
get out while the going's good


Explanation:
or withdraw
HTH

Linda Young
Local time: 05:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 49
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
has managed to pull through, has come out of it pretty well


Explanation:
Couple of colloquial suggestions off the top of my head.

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Note added at 2002-01-20 18:18:19 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think playing on the use of the present perfect is a useful tool here, as it links the past with the present, emphasising continuity.


Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 05:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4115
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
managed to survive


Explanation:
I would use something that starts with "managed to" since extricate implies "the use of care and ingenuity in freeing from a difficult position or situation" (Webster)

and "tirer son épingle du jeu" = Se tirer habilement d'une affaire difficile" (Marie-Éva de Villers, MULTI DICTIONNAIRE DE LA LANGUE FRANÇAISE, Éditions Québec Amérique)

I was tempted to propose "managed to keep afloat/to keep its head above water" but this text doesn't seem to call for a play on words

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-01-20 17:23:12 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

it is also common to see the expression \"survive a crisis\" or \"live through a crisis\" but i prefer \"survive\" , \"live through\" implies no action, \"survive\" is stronger

xxxUSER0034
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 24
Grading comment
Thanks for all the great answers (I wish I could share the points!). I think this solution fits my context the best.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Margaret Doney: I think "managed to keep its head above water" would work here
3 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
come through smelling like roses


Explanation:
"Tirer son épingle du jeu" not only implies getting out of a delicate/difficult situation profitably, it also implies doing it with style. I'd say this is reinforced by the use of "savoir" in the text (*a su* tirer...), implying the use of smarts.

To wit: Larousse defines "tirer..." as "se tirer *adroitement* d'une situation délicate".

So, not only did the company weather the storm but they came through it smelling like roses.

cheungmo
PRO pts in pair: 339
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