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This question was closed without grading. Reason: Other
French to English translations [PRO] Marketing - Retail
French term or phrase:marronnier
This is an interesting piece about what Amazon should be doing about the disconnect between its advocacy of responsible sourcing & manufacturing, and its implicit advocacy of consumerism. The sentence is: "Deux événements presse à l’occasion des **marronniers** commerciaux pour nourrir les journalistes sur les thèmes rédactionnels clés, avec au-delà d’une présentation produits une étude liée au **marronnier**"
It later refers to Valentine's Day and Black Friday as "marronniers".
I can't think of an idiomatic tag in English to match "marronniers".
Hi folks, with grateful thanks as always for your insights, I'm closing this because I don't think any expression hits the mark and, as TonyM wisely pointed out, no one expression can probably convey all the connotations contained in "marronnier". Clearly, it refers to events/occasions such as Velentine's, Back-to-School, Christmas, etc, but also refers to the article published promoting it. I recall sitting in a weekly editorial meeting, the editor saying to his features editor, "donne-moi un marronnier sur les entreprises qui...". I'm sure there are English words that have such a dual existence, although I can't for the life of me think of one right now. It conjures up visions of a linguistic scattergraph, or in another discipline a "dual-sun" system, but now I'm verging on surreal :-) -- As I say, thank you all very much, but I think I have to hit this one on the head...
marronnier d'Inde. Ex. (2) : "l'achat des fournitures scolaires est le marronnier de la rentrée". Sens 2 : par analogie avec l'arbre qui produit les même fleurs et les mêmes fruits à la même époque chaque année.
Whether or not you are correct in your persistent arguing, the asker's text says "marronniers commerciaux pour nourrir les journalistes" which clearly means an EVENTS about which journalists write. Either you are wrong or the writer of this text has totally misused a word. We can only translate what we have in front of us at the end of the day. Either way, the term fits both possibilities and so should the translation. Stop battering.
I'm sure you're right, it would have to be translated differently to suit the particular meaning. I was just hoping to avoid the inevitable comeback from the client's proofreader complaining of inconsistency. I've found that 'Comments' inserted to clarify such issues invariably get lost in the wash and come back repeatedly to haunt...
Quite simply because there IS no single, simplistic one-word solution that can cover both meanings in EN, nor is there even a word that is sufficiently ambiguous to be able to be used with the same ambiguity as the original.
But regardless of what meanings the term can have, there is no need to try and shoehorn all of those meanings into this context, where it is obvious which one of those meanings is needed.
You cannot say that "Valentine's Day is a press article" — it may give rise to one, certainly; nor can you say that they are going to have a press conference to give information about a "sales press article"; it is just nonsense in EN — and would be in FR too, if that were the meaning it had here.
At the risk of repeating myself, "marronnier" refers both to the event/occasion and to the article about it. In my example in my original question, it refers to the event, but in real-world use in journalism it is also the term used to refer to the article about it. I don't see why it seems difficult to grasp that it can imply both. I've been in umpteen editorial meetings and find it perfectly reasonable to imagine it being used to refer to both, as they imply each other, with any potential confusion dispelled intuitively. What I'm searching for is a word or phrase in English that matches its conciseness, scope and connotations.
...although in this case "advertorial" wouldn't work because it is by definition paid for by the advertiser, whereas the "marronniers" referred to here are unpaid stories by
grateful journalists fed the necessary background info at a press event/junket.
I'm not looking to avoid or not avoid a negative connotation. I was merely saying there is no negative intent. Any more than "advertorial" may have a negative connotation for a purist journalist but a positive one for a features editor because it kills 2 birds with one stone by filling space & being paid for. See, eg, the contrasting reviews on Daily Mail Online when it runs a gushing story about a ski resort, ranging from 'great article thanks!' to 'you call this news?!'. And of course I'm only concerned with one sense of "marronnier", ie, as it relates to pr & journalism (see my original question). Btw, wiki.fr cites among its sources the Paris school of journalism and other journalistic/media sources. And yes, of course Amazon-related stories would be on online versions of Le Parisien, Le Figaro, etc, although I'm sure I recall seeing Amazon.fr advertised (as a logo ad) in a newspaper or supplement in print.
Well done! Those are excellent, solid references that totally confirm what some of us have been saying all along.
If asker is seeking to avoid a negative connotation, I was thinking about 'mainstay' as an alternative...
Here' is another reference that shows it used with a differnt slant, much closer to your own context here:
« Le Calendrier Marketing 2018, le marronnier social & commercial le plus complet.
Le marronnier marketing, agenda des commerciaux médias et des community managers, le Calendrier Mediatic 2018 est le document de référence le plus complet en France. »
Here, it is clear that it is referring to a 'calendar of events' — not soem kind of list of articles!
Yes, of course, no-one's disputing that definition; but as with very many Wiki articles, that is presenting just one meaning of the term in journalistic jargon — by its very nature, Wikipedia is not a truly exhaustive and encylcopædic resource in the traditional meaning of the term. People contributing to it will give definitions of terms as they relate to their own specialist knowledge of this or that subject area, while possibly ignoring uses in other fields.
This journalistic use of 'marronier' is just a restricted sense of the original term, which like 'old chestnut' in EN has a much wider meaning in general usage, which I am totally convinced is what it meant here — just from the way the term is being used, even without any consideration of the reason why it is being used in this sontext.
So there are times when specialist knowledge can mislead one into looking for a narrower meaning of a term, instead of looking at the wider picture.
Take another example: 'baguette' — a carpenter will see it with one meaning; an orchestral conductor with another; while the wo/man in the street might be oblivious of those meanings, but just want a loaf of bread!
Wiki.fr explains marronnier as "Un marronnier en journalisme est un article ou un reportage d'information de faible importance meublant une période creuse, consacré à un événement récurrent et prévisible. Les sujets « débattus » dans un marronnier sont souvent simplistes, parfois mièvres."
This is all about these EVENTS — they come round every year, and it must be constantly difficult to find new and exciting marketing things to say about them, and Amazon does not have the advantage of brochures in your letter-box or attractive (?!) themed in-store displays, so they need to work hard to find a way to match this veritable deluge of advertising with which the public is bombarded.
I don't know where your FR text originates from, but anyone living here in France will perfectly understand the climate here into which Amazon has to shoehorn its advertising.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough that, like several people here, I firmly believe this term (whichever translation you choose) refers to the sales events themselves and is nothing to do with any press article or similar — it just happnes that people working in the field of PR happen to use a jargon term that is used in many fields, including (but but by no means exclusively) journalism.
It's of course also important to bear in mind that, as far as Amazon are concerned, this is very unlikely to happen through press articles — much more likely to be through TV or Internet advertising.
While there is plenty of room for discussion as to the best term to use, there seems little ambiguity in the meaning of the source term in context, and I can't understand why some people appear to be totally misinterpreting this.
In the text you quote:
"Deux événements presse à l’occasion des marronniers commerciaux pour nourrir les journalistes sur les thèmes rédactionnels" — press events organized to co-incide with 'sales marroniers' to feed journalists editorial themes they can use.
"avec ... une étude liée au *marronnier" — with a [study of some kind] connected to the *marronnier" — a study, survey or whatever relating to this sales 'event'
It later refers to Valentine's Day and Black Friday as *marronniers" — like Christmas and Easter and Mothers' Day, etc., these are the recurring sales drives that come up every year.
Actually, I'm leaning toward the grand old term used in magazine publishing: "advertorial" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertorial), and to convey the recurring aspect how about "annual advertorial(s)" ?? Thoughts??
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't disparaging their content or purpose, I was just suggesting that they're given a moniker that is whimsical/irreverent. Otherwise they'd be called something boring like "papiers". :-)
can be a starting point:
old familiars, same old stories, same old humdrum, etc. etc.
I am unsure of what degree of irony is required.
I do rather resent the opposition to my suggestion; whilst it may not be perfect as translation, it contains the nub of what is meant.
Unlike old chestnuts, not all marrionniers are quaint. Each year, French journalists write marronniers on the annual report of the Government Board of Accounts (la Cour des Comptes). This is serious and informative.
Ditto, each year, French journalists write marronniers on the state of inequalities in France. In this case too, the information is very thick on data and regulation and is amply quoted for its seriousness.
I agree, 'marronnier' has a provenance totally different from 'old chestnut' but it does have a whimsical air about it that is shared by 'old chestnut', which is probably purely coincidental but funny nevertheless.
What they call 'Old Chestnut' in the UK has nothing to do with what French jpournalists call 'marronniers'.
Chestnut is a British slang term for an old joke, often as old chestnut. The term is also used for a piece of music in the repertoire that has grown stale or hackneyed with too much repetition.
A plausible explanation for the term given by the Oxford English Dictionary is that it originates from a play named "The Broken Sword" by William Dimond, in which one character keeps repeating the same stories, one of them about a cork tree, and is interrupted each time by another character who says: Chestnut, you mean ... I have heard you tell the joke twenty-seven times and I am sure it was a chestnut. The play was first performed in 1816, but the term did not come into widespread usage until the 1880s
I totally agree with Francois. I worked as production editor on magazines for many years, and this is referring to a scenario where Amazon or its PR agency holds a press junket/media event to persuade journalists to write good things about them in an feature article coming up to an annual event like Valentine's, Halloween, Black Friday, etc, to extol the handy things you can buy for the event from Amazon, with some nice informative info about Amazon along the way.
I don't agree, there is something slightly negative here, even if the PR company themselves are not wishing to be negative; but they are sort of conveying the idea that "you need to do something to breathe life into these 'old chestnuts' that come round regularly each year and everyone gets sick of..."
The only real problem is that one of the instances is further qualified by 'commercial', which is slightly trickier to fit into EN — maybe soemthing like "regular sales events that have become / are by now old chestnuts"
I come back to my initial comment that "I can't think of an idiomatic tag in English to match 'marronniers'." It's a wonderfully succinct French expression that refers not only to the annual occasion itself (Valentine's etc) but also to the gift, or in this case the article, feature, advertorial placed by Amazon. I'm searching for a suitably concise English phrase...
(I was going to post this before you provided additional information)
Re à l’occasion des marronniers commerciaux
Perhaps something involving fixtures - retail fixtures, shopping fixtures, (firm/regular/permanent/established) fixtures in the retail/shopping calendar
Or perhaps simply retail events https://www.worldfirst.com/uk/blog/international-business/ke...
I don't sense anything negative here, it's advice to Amazon by a PR firm about the opportunities Amazon should exploit to plant favourable stories, including showcasing suitable products/gifts at occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Black Friday, Christmas, etc -- it's not that they 'only managed to come up with' these, they're just using them as an example. So far, the most concise I've come up with is "special-occasion articles" or "special-occasion write-ups" but they feel lumpy and miss the sense of "recurring"... So, I'm still searching...
All I can think of is "annual events such as Valentine's Day and Black Friday", which feels like an admission of defeat.
Are there any negative connotations, Rimas? You haven't given any of the surrounding sentences, but the first sentence of your question possibly implies some criticism of Amazon, on the lines of "all they can come up with is these two events". Or am I reading something into it that's not there?
Yes, I love the association of "marronier" and "old chestnut" which must have derived from a common quip centuries ago, but I'm still struggling to find a neat word for events like St Valentine's Day, Black Friday, Christmas...
Explanation: − Au fig., JOURN. ,,Article de circonstance publié traditionnellement à certaines dates`` (Gilb. Mots contemp. 1980). Le premier marchand de marrons, les crêpes de la Chandeleur, le bouquet de violettes sur la tombe de Musset, sont des marronniers (Coston,A.B.C. journ., 1952, p.196).
Source: Le Dictionnaire T.L.F.I
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