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Je n’ai pas vocation à juger de la société... (Balzac quote)

English translation: My role is not to cast judgement on society, let alone reform it, I have quite enough to do just describing it

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:Je n’ai pas vocation à juger de la société... (Balzac quote)
English translation:My role is not to cast judgement on society, let alone reform it, I have quite enough to do just describing it
Entered by: Conor McAuley
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07:08 Apr 5, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Balzac quote
French term or phrase: Je n’ai pas vocation à juger de la société... (Balzac quote)
"Je n’ai pas vocation à juger de la société, et encore moins à la réformer, j’ai déjà assez à faire de la décrire"
Honoré de Balzac.

Fairly obscure quote from Balzac (I think), I've been searching on the internet but haven't come up with the "official" translation of this...or indeed any translation of it.
Conor McAuley
France
Local time: 18:49
My aim is not to judge society, let alone reform it, I have quite enough to do just describing it
Explanation:
That's what it means, anyway

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Note added at 1 hr (2007-04-05 08:16:32 GMT)
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Thanks Conor............mmm, judge/put on trial...I'd still go with judge cos it reads better I think, all one-word verbs

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Note added at 1 hr (2007-04-05 08:18:23 GMT)
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PS I can't help thinking Dickens said something very similar, or maybe I'm just mixing them up, brain getting old now!
Selected response from:

Jacqui Audouy
France
Local time: 18:49
Grading comment
Thanks Jacqui, brilliant stuff, beautiful indeed. (Although I did use Marc's "role"). Thanks a lot to all.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +9My aim is not to judge society, let alone reform it, I have quite enough to do just describing it
Jacqui Audouy
3 +5It is not my role to cast judgement on societyMarc Glinert
4 +1I was not called upon to pass judgment on society...
Katarina Peters
4It is not my job to pass judgement on society, let alone to reform it. I have enough to do in justxxxkrista jorda
3 +1I do not have the vocation to judge society
Olli Leroy
3Iam not trying (not destined) to judge the society...Lidija Lazic


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Iam not trying (not destined) to judge the society...


Explanation:
nor (even less) to change it, I have enough to do describing it.

C'est le sens de la phrase. La traduction quant à elle....

Lidija Lazic
Local time: 18:49
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in SerbianSerbian
PRO pts in category: 4
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42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
It is not my role to cast judgement on society


Explanation:
..morning Conor...

Marc Glinert
Local time: 18:49
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  katsy: I, personally, like 'my role' for 'vocation' much better than 'aim'
4 hrs
  -> thanks katsy

agree  Sandra Petch: ... and follow on with Jacqui's proposal.
6 hrs
  -> Hi Sandra & thanks

agree  Martin Cassell: as in "not my position/job/mission"
7 hrs
  -> thanks Martin

agree  Ben Gaia MA
10 hrs
  -> thanks Ben

agree  Najib Aloui
1 day10 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
My aim is not to judge society, let alone reform it, I have quite enough to do just describing it


Explanation:
That's what it means, anyway

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-04-05 08:16:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Thanks Conor............mmm, judge/put on trial...I'd still go with judge cos it reads better I think, all one-word verbs

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2007-04-05 08:18:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

PS I can't help thinking Dickens said something very similar, or maybe I'm just mixing them up, brain getting old now!

Jacqui Audouy
France
Local time: 18:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Thanks Jacqui, brilliant stuff, beautiful indeed. (Although I did use Marc's "role"). Thanks a lot to all.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Excellent! Judge or "put on trial"?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  jean-jacques alexandre: 100%, I'll say it's just about perfect !!
12 mins
  -> Merci JJ

agree  Emma Paulay: I vote for judge, for what it's worth!
13 mins
  -> Thanks Emma

agree  xxxCMJ_Trans: It is not for me to judge society..... Far be it from me to judge.....
14 mins
  -> Thanks CMJ - I was trying to get the idea of "vocation" in

neutral  Marc Glinert: does the "Highest - I am sure" rating denote that this is indeed some kind of "official" translation, Jacqui?
17 mins
  -> sorry, I thought it just referred to MY confidence level, better read the rules again!

agree  Lidija Lazic: Comme j'aurais aimé savoir le traduire ainsi! :-)
32 mins
  -> Merci beaucoup Lidja!

agree  juliebarba
38 mins
  -> Thanks Julie!

agree  Swatchka
1 hr
  -> Thanks Swatchka!

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
1 hr
  -> Thanks Vicky!

agree  Sandra Petch: And there was I looking for an "official" translation!
1 hr
  -> Thanks Sandra

agree  Evi Prokopi: Just, add "the" before society!! :)//I disagree with that, www.britishcouncil.org/uganda-beyond-borders-baffoka-articl... but Conor will decide. :)
4 hrs
  -> Thanks for the 'agree' but adding 'the' would be incorrec in English unless you were talking about a secret society or something, whereas Balzac is talking about society in general.

agree  kironne: Beautiful
9 hrs
  -> Thanks Kironne

disagree  Najib Aloui: a vocation is not just an aim , an aim is freely chosen not a vocation which is the strong feeling that one is destined for some role ...
1 day11 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I do not have the vocation to judge society


Explanation:
If you like going literal.

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Note added at 12 uren (2007-04-05 19:40:38 GMT)
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/movingword...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/6518431.stm
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/media/comment/0,12123,1106871...
...

Olli Leroy
Other
Local time: 17:49
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in DutchDutch

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Najib Aloui: or, perhaps , " my vocation is not....3
1 day10 hrs
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17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I was not called upon to pass judgment on society...


Explanation:
just my version.

...much less to reform it, I have enough trouble describing it...

Katarina Peters
Canada
Local time: 12:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Najib Aloui
17 hrs
  -> Thank you, Najib!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
It is not my job to pass judgement on society, let alone to reform it. I have enough to do in just


Explanation:
Each sentence seems to follow logically on from the last. The words themselves don't seem to be very difficult, with the exception perhaps of the sense of "vocation". I saw it more as meaning his work/job.

xxxkrista jorda
Local time: 00:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (1): Sandra Petch


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