KudoZ home » English to French » Art/Literary

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

French translation: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

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.
21:39 Aug 26, 2000
English to French translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
familiar phrase.
Julie
French translation:Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose
Explanation:
That's it.. pure and simple. Sometimes shortened to 'Plus ca change...' with a grin and a raise of the eyebrow. You can find it used to great effect in Jean Anouilh's excellently funny play 'The Rehearsal'
Selected response from:

xxxmarychilds
Local time: 21:29
Grading comment
Many thanks, and I apologize for my tardy response!
Julie
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
naPlus ca change, plus c'est la meme chosexxxmarychilds
naPlus ça change, moins ça change.
alx
naone last message on this one...
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
naPlus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Bruno Magne
naPlus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Bruno Magne
naPlus ça change, et plus c'est la même chose.xxxrnoel
naPlus ça change, plus c'est pareilLouise Atfield
naPlus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
naPlus ça change, et plus c'est la même chose
Bruno Magne


  

Answers


50 mins
Plus ça change, et plus c'est la même chose


Explanation:
Bonjour, Julie

Cette phrase a connu son heure de gloire dans les années 70-80. Si ma mémoire ne me trompe pas, ça avait quelque chose à voir avec Giscard d'Estaing ou François Mitterand.

Amicalement
Bruno Magne

Bruno Magne
Local time: 19:29
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 318

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Yolanda Broad

Nikki Scott-Despaigne

alx
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs
Plus ça change, et plus c'est la même chose.


Explanation:
It is a saying that renders the same idea. Do not let anyone try to force you into using a word-for-word translation!

xxxrnoel
PRO pts in pair: 33

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Yolanda Broad

Nikki Scott-Despaigne

Ariea
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 hrs
Plus ça change, plus c'est pareil


Explanation:
Maybe that is because I am French Canadian, but this is the way we always said it. It could be different in France, I suppose...

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 577

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

16 hrs
Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose


Explanation:
I was interested to see that other answers has "et" in the middle as I had not heard the saying put like that before. Nor had I heard the Canadian version.

For info, web searches showed up a fair number of lists of French sayings. Here is just one :

www.lodace.com/index1.htm

Curiosity getting the better of me, I looked into the Canadian version and found "... plus c'est pareil" on the following site :

www.ql.umontreal.ca/qlv5n13/03.html

The saying seems to be much-used by journalists in headings for articles, particularly in the political domain (I wonder why?!). In one list, the descritpion under the article heading explained how students in a certain part of Asia were no longer able to preprare the bark they need to do their calculations on. Further on, an article under the same heading was about Canadian Medical Officers in the Second World War and in Bosnia.




    webrefs in body of answer
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 22:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 882
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 2 hrs
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose


Explanation:
Hi, Julie

In my first answer, I used "et", because that's the familiar way.

According to the Grand Robert, the "correct way" would be the one above.

I wonder why "moel" made his comment about not "letting anyone force you to translate..." All answers are correct and were given out of the pleasure to help a fellow translator.
The fact that Canadians prefer "pareil" is just one more proof that the French language is alive and diverse. I reckon that French-speaking Africans must have a colorful expression of their own. does not mean

Bruno Magne
Local time: 19:29
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 318
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 2 hrs
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose


Explanation:
Hi, Julie

In my first answer, I used "et", because that's the familiar way.

According to the Grand Robert, the "correct way" would be the one above.

I wonder why "moel" made his comment about not "letting anyone force you to translate..." All answers are correct and were given out of the pleasure to help a fellow translator.
The fact that Canadians prefer "pareil" is just one more proof that the French language is alive and diverse. I reckon that French-speaking Africans must have a colorful expression of their own. does not mean

Bruno Magne
Local time: 19:29
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 318
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 14 hrs
Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose


Explanation:
That's it.. pure and simple. Sometimes shortened to 'Plus ca change...' with a grin and a raise of the eyebrow. You can find it used to great effect in Jean Anouilh's excellently funny play 'The Rehearsal'

xxxmarychilds
Local time: 21:29
PRO pts in pair: 4
Grading comment
Many thanks, and I apologize for my tardy response!
Julie
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 days 5 hrs
Plus ça change, moins ça change.


Explanation:
Bearing in mind that the inherent mission of a translator is to transfer ideas and not words from a code to another, I thought that this version was quite faithful in spirit to the original even if the syntax is rather different but after all, that's the burden of translation: equivalence in difference.

alx
Local time: 21:29
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 119

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 days 15 hrs
one last message on this one...


Explanation:
This expression is so familiar, so French, that I, who grew up (in England) often heard this one in French. It was often quoted around me, (parents, friends, teachers) ... in French. The French coined this phrase and we English adopted it, lock, stock and barrel, very often saying the first part alone, "plus ça change...", as indicated by a previous answerer. But perhaps we should not refuse to translate it - particularly as the original version is French!



Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 22:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 882
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