intervenir à l'état de

English translation: colour only appears / is only used in the form of

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:la couleur n'intervient qu'à l'état de
English translation:colour only appears / is only used in the form of
Entered by: Tony M

18:23 Aug 26, 2017
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Archaeology / ancient art
French term or phrase: intervenir à l'état de
Hi!
DOC: 1907 Museum catalog of ancient mirrors -- Introduction, section about materials used for mirror handles.
CONTEXT: Bois. - [....] Le sycomore et le cèdre sont généralement employés pour les manches de miroir purement funéraires, tels que les GLYPH, recouverts d'une couche d'ocre jaune, tandis que l'acacia se passe aisément de couleur, l'usage et le temps lui donnant sous le poli une patine qui se suffisait à elle-même. La couleur, en pareil cas, ***n'intervient qu'à l'état de*** mastic bleu ou de pâte d'incrustation.
ATTEMPT: In such specimens, the only coloring that comes into play is in the case of blue mastic or of paste inlay.
ISSUE: Suggestion from WordReference.com: "The only coloring to be found on these might be that of blue mastic or of paste inlay." But am not completely comfortable with it, so I'd appreciate some other opinions.
Thank you in advance!
angela3thomas
United States
colour only appears / is only used in the form of
Explanation:
You really need to keep the 'ne...que...' expression together, otherwise it doesn't make sense

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Note added at 1 jour20 heures (2017-08-28 14:57:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Christopher has raised an interesting point in his response to my peer comment. Taking the sentences as a whole: "La couleur, en pareil cas, n'intervient qu'à l'état de mastic bleu ou de pâte d\'incrustation.", my instinctive reading was that 'any use of colour was confined to..."

I think I read it this way because of:
a) the use of 'en pareil cas', which it interpreted as 'in cases like these' (instead of 'dans ces cas...'), which seemed to me to suggest some uncertainty as to whether ALL cases are involved — but maybe it's just the dated FR construction that led me to over-think it!
and
b) the use of "n'intervient que", specifically the choice of the verb 'intervenir', seemed to me to hint again at an occasional rather than systematic occurrence.

It seems to me that generally, colour might have been used for decorative purposes, whereas in these instances, its use only arose for these 2 specific reasons.
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 06:11
Grading comment
Thank you so very much TonyM!
A big thanks also to Christopher Crockett.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3colour only appears / is only used in the form of
Tony M
4[the only color] is that of the blue mastic
Christopher Crockett


Discussion entries: 6





  

Answers


1 day 19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
[the only color] is that of the blue mastic


Explanation:
The only color in such cases [i.e., the handles made of acacia] is that of the blue mastic or paste.

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 00:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 131
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
la couleur n'intervient qu'à l'état de
colour only appears / is only used in the form of


Explanation:
You really need to keep the 'ne...que...' expression together, otherwise it doesn't make sense

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 jour20 heures (2017-08-28 14:57:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Christopher has raised an interesting point in his response to my peer comment. Taking the sentences as a whole: "La couleur, en pareil cas, n'intervient qu'à l'état de mastic bleu ou de pâte d\'incrustation.", my instinctive reading was that 'any use of colour was confined to..."

I think I read it this way because of:
a) the use of 'en pareil cas', which it interpreted as 'in cases like these' (instead of 'dans ces cas...'), which seemed to me to suggest some uncertainty as to whether ALL cases are involved — but maybe it's just the dated FR construction that led me to over-think it!
and
b) the use of "n'intervient que", specifically the choice of the verb 'intervenir', seemed to me to hint again at an occasional rather than systematic occurrence.

It seems to me that generally, colour might have been used for decorative purposes, whereas in these instances, its use only arose for these 2 specific reasons.

Tony M
France
Local time: 06:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 96
Grading comment
Thank you so very much TonyM!
A big thanks also to Christopher Crockett.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yolanda Broad: I'm glad to see you corrected the term to "la couleur n'intervient qu'à l'état de" If added to the KOG, it should appear as you have written it.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Yolanda!

agree  Daryo
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Daryo !

agree  Louisa T.
1 day 15 hrs
  -> Merci, Louisa !

neutral  Christopher Crockett: How can "colour" only be "used in the form of" something? Surely the sense has to be that the blue mastic/paste is the only source of the colour?
1 day 18 hrs
  -> Thanks, Christopher! Whence my initial suggestion of 'only appears in the form of'; but I do also think we can talk about "using colour in the form of a narrow border" etc.
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