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The tail wags the dog

French translation: voir ci-dessous

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15:01 Sep 19, 2007
English to French translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: The tail wags the dog
L'arbre cache la forêt ?

Merci
Michel A.
Local time: 15:50
French translation:voir ci-dessous
Explanation:
je pense que c'est un jeu de mots sur "longue queue". la traduction du titre est ok. ensuite, il y a ce jeu de mots sur la queue du chien qui est expliquee ci dessous. en francais, ca reviendrait a "l'habit fait le moine" mais on perd le jeu de mots :

from wikipedia : The title of the movie is taken from the joke: "Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog." Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor. Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government. Or, when considering the personal relations in the movie, the dog is the president and the tail represents his PR assistants, who immediately assume the authority for the damage control. Moreover, the expression "the tail wagging the dog" refers to any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.
Selected response from:

Psilberz
Grading comment
Merci à tous
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +4c'est le monde à l'enversxxxCMJ_Trans
4c'est la queue qui remue le chienN Chancel
3 +1ça ne tourne pas rondNicolas Marie
3C'est l'arroseur arrosé
Catherine CHAUVIN
3voir ci-dessousPsilberz


Discussion entries: 8





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the tail wags the dog
C'est l'arroseur arrosé


Explanation:
Je ne connais pas le contexte, mais je pense à cette idée, de l'arroseur qui n'est plus maître de la situation.

Catherine CHAUVIN
France
Local time: 21:50
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
the tail wags the dog
c'est le monde à l'envers


Explanation:
sometimes works

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 21:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 92

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nicolas Marie: oui
4 mins

agree  1045
3 hrs

agree  Patrick Debray: see Harrap's Idioms dictionar
5 hrs

agree  Marie Perrin
23 hrs
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the tail wags the dog
ça ne tourne pas rond


Explanation:
cela dépend du contexte, mais je pense que c'est une expression utilisée pour indiquer les choses sont "out of order" (peut être même "mettre la charue avant les boeufs" si le contexte le permet)

Nicolas Marie
Local time: 21:50
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  1045
2 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the tail wags the dog
voir ci-dessous


Explanation:
je pense que c'est un jeu de mots sur "longue queue". la traduction du titre est ok. ensuite, il y a ce jeu de mots sur la queue du chien qui est expliquee ci dessous. en francais, ca reviendrait a "l'habit fait le moine" mais on perd le jeu de mots :

from wikipedia : The title of the movie is taken from the joke: "Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog." Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor. Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government. Or, when considering the personal relations in the movie, the dog is the president and the tail represents his PR assistants, who immediately assume the authority for the damage control. Moreover, the expression "the tail wagging the dog" refers to any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.


    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wag_the_Dog
Psilberz
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Merci à tous
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the tail wags the dog
c'est la queue qui remue le chien


Explanation:
Il y a une région en France où on utilise cette expression, mais je ne me souviens plus où.


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Note added at 14 hrs (2007-09-20 05:46:08 GMT)
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Ou alors, pour aller avec l'expression 'long tail', peut-être peut-on tenter une histoire de manche (être du bon côté du manche, qui tient le manche...)

N Chancel
Local time: 21:50
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 4
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