il y a un litre de vin sur le caveau.

English translation: there's a liter of wine on the [burial] vault

02:32 May 28, 2019
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / argot/meaning
French term or phrase: il y a un litre de vin sur le caveau.
Je lis le premier roman de Jean Genet, 'Notre-Dame-Des-Fleurs'.
Comme vous le savez, il y a beaucoup d'expressions argotiques dans ce roman.
Est-ce que c'est ca aussi et si oui, quel en est le sens exacte svp? (parce que, si non, je ne peux pas trouver la raison qu'elle criera abruptement comme ca dans ce contexte.)

[contexte] : .... Divine par la fenetre secouera son torchon et dira adieu aux fantomes. A l'aide d'une jumelle, un jour elle decouvrira un jeune fossoyeur. "Dieu me pardonne, criera-t-elle, il y a un litre de vin sur le caveau." Ce fossoyeur veillira avec elle et l'ensevelira sans rien savoir d'elle.
malamour
Local time: 13:40
English translation:there's a liter of wine on the [burial] vault
Explanation:
Forgive me for asking, but why isn't this simple, and why are we seeing suggestions like "a ton" or "a stash"? A liter is a liter, and it's a size that many wines come in (standard wine bottle = 750ml but some wines come in 1L bottles).

"Le litre, familièrement surnommé « kil », est souvent réservé à des vins de table ou, en brasserie-limonaderie, à des vins d'appellation de qualité très courante, voire supérieure aux termes de la dénomination « vin délimité de qualité supérieure », dits « vins de comptoirs »)." https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouteille_de_vin
Selected response from:

Eliza Hall
United States
Local time: 00:10
Grading comment
Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +1there's a liter of wine on the [burial] vault
Eliza Hall
3there is a bottle of wine atop the vault
Solen Fillatre
2 -1there's a ton of wine in play here
David Hollywood
Summary of reference entries provided
there's a bottle of wine on the vault
Charles Davis

Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): -1
there's a ton of wine in play here


Explanation:
to get you going

David Hollywood
Local time: 02:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  writeaway: un litre = a ton????
5 hrs
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
there's a liter of wine on the [burial] vault


Explanation:
Forgive me for asking, but why isn't this simple, and why are we seeing suggestions like "a ton" or "a stash"? A liter is a liter, and it's a size that many wines come in (standard wine bottle = 750ml but some wines come in 1L bottles).

"Le litre, familièrement surnommé « kil », est souvent réservé à des vins de table ou, en brasserie-limonaderie, à des vins d'appellation de qualité très courante, voire supérieure aux termes de la dénomination « vin délimité de qualité supérieure », dits « vins de comptoirs »)." https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouteille_de_vin

Eliza Hall
United States
Local time: 00:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Thanks!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jennifer White
27 mins

neutral  Ph_B (X): "Forgive me for asking"... To answer your question, litre can also describe a bottle of wine./Apologies if unclear: I was just answering y/q, i.e. litre = not necessarily 1l, but often used to mean a(ny) "bottle of".
23 hrs
  -> I'm not clear how we disagree. It means a one-liter bottle. I didn't mean there was 1L worth of liquid wine spilled on the vault. Hence the reference to, and link about, 1L bottles in my explanation.

neutral  Anaïs G.: Same comment as Ph_B, pretty sure [un litre de vin] stands for a bottle of wine, here.
1 day 4 hrs
  -> Same response as to Ph_B.
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
there is a bottle of wine atop the vault


Explanation:
x

Solen Fillatre
France
Local time: 06:10
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
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Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +4
Reference: there's a bottle of wine on the vault

Reference information:
As Anais suggests, this may simply mean what it literally says, rather than being a colloquial phrase. This is how it is rendered in Bernard Frechtman's English version of the novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, as you can see here (p. 88):
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Our-Lady-Flowers-Jean-Genet/dp/0571...

Frechtman (1914-67) was Genet's official translator. He also translated Sartre and Céline, among others.

As to why she should say this, perhaps it's simply that there actually is a bottle of wine there. Perhaps the gravedigger has a drink while he's working.

Charles Davis
Spain
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Note to reference poster
Asker: Me too having verified Frechtman's translation, I think i understand this scene now, as something like that Devine is giving notice to the gravedigger of his insensitiveness (putting the bottle of wine on the grave!). Thanks Anais and Davis!


Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Anaïs G.: Thank you for finding the official translation, Charles!
15 mins
  -> It's a pleasure! Thanks, Anaïs.
agree  writeaway: I was going to suggest looking for a translation. /with someone as prominent as Genet, finding no translation would have been a real surprise.
4 hrs
  -> Thanks! It's always worth a try.
agree  Michele Fauble
14 hrs
  -> Thanks, Michele :-)
agree  Ph_B (X): Can't actually access the quote itself (p. 88 is proving elusive :-) ), but I agree that un litre means a bottle here (sometimes also called litron), rather than "one litre of".
1 day 8 hrs
  -> Thanks! (In Spanish it's called a litrona, by the way.)
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