KudoZ home » French to English » Poetry & Literature

à fleur de lèvres

English translation: They mouthed words...

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:à fleur de lèvres
English translation:They mouthed words...
Entered by: zaphod
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

15:53 Mar 6, 2004
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
French term or phrase: à fleur de lèvres
Ils ont continué à lire à fleur de lèvres des mots qui ...
tapon
They mouthed words...
Explanation:
To translate it literally. Movement of the lips without pronouncing the actual words. Like Lip-synch
Selected response from:

zaphod
Local time: 11:51
Grading comment
I should have give more context. Those reading are
medieval monks. In fact it seems the intent of the
passage is to suggest they read while mouthing the
words. Thanks everyone.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +3barely whispering
Hacene
5 +1They mouthed words...zaphod
3 +2hushedlySusana Galilea
3 +1under their breathDavid Sirett


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
under their breath


Explanation:
;)

David Sirett
Local time: 11:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 13

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
16 mins

neutral  Hacene: doesn't this carry 2 much of a negative connotation which is not contain in the text?
35 mins
  -> I wouldn't say there was anything negative in 'under their breath', either.

neutral  writeaway: it does imply saying something but trying to keep others from hearing it. often (but not always) it has a negative edge to it
17 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
barely whispering


Explanation:
they kept on reading barely whispering the words which ...
a more elegant shape could have been given if more context had been provided. Nonetheless, this expression express the fact that they are moving their lips with barely any sound coming out.

Hacene
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:51
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Robert Frankling
23 mins
  -> cheers

agree  David Sirett: This would proably be fine.
49 mins
  -> cheers

agree  xxxAmandine
1 hr
  -> cheers

neutral  zaphod: what's the difference with under their breath?
5 hrs
  -> I have always heard and seen this expression in a negative context hence I tend to attach to it a negative connotation.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
hushedly


Explanation:
another option

Susana Galilea
United States
Local time: 04:51
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  PB Trans: I like this... it's very poetic
10 hrs

agree  writeaway: I'd prefer the musical term 'sotto voce' but am not 100% convinced there is any sound at all
17 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
They mouthed words...


Explanation:
To translate it literally. Movement of the lips without pronouncing the actual words. Like Lip-synch

zaphod
Local time: 11:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 10
Grading comment
I should have give more context. Those reading are
medieval monks. In fact it seems the intent of the
passage is to suggest they read while mouthing the
words. Thanks everyone.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: could be
11 hrs
  -> A true connoisseur I see. Merci
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