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Droit et Etat ne font pas bon ménage

English translation: to be strange bedfellows

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:ne pas faire bon ménage
English translation:to be strange bedfellows
Entered by: Debora Blake
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

02:59 Aug 30, 2000
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
French term or phrase: Droit et Etat ne font pas bon ménage
There is no further context...sorry. Urgent help appreciated. Claire
Claire Agius
See Below
Explanation:
Here are 2 options close to the original mood of the French

1. The Law and the State are strange bedfellows.

2. The Law and the State are quite the odd couple.

I personally prefer using bedfellows.

Regards,
Deb
Selected response from:

Debora Blake
France
Local time: 02:58
Grading comment
Thanks to all of you for all the answers yesterday. I apologise for being a nuisance. I am also sorry that I can't split the points as all the answers were really helpful
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
na"Law and Government are an ill-assorted pair"; or...Heathcliff
na"Law and the State do not get on very well" or "Law and the State do not live in harmony"Louise Atfield
naSee Below
Debora Blake
naThe Law (or justice) and the State do not sleep easily togetherHavona
nasee below
Nikki Scott-Despaigne


  

Answers


22 mins
see below


Explanation:
This expression "faire bon/mauvais ménage" means "get along well/badly", "hit it off well/badly". Your sentence thus means that the Law (or even Justice here)and the State to not get along well together, are not made for one another. Depending on the context, and you must ahve one somewhere, you can opt for another expression with the same meaning to respect the register of your original.

Where does the expresison come from?Ménage is a household, used to describe a couple, particularly whether or not they are getting on.

In your context, whether familiar or more strict, the following expression could also be used in GB English I like this one becasue it's very close to the idea of the French and oh so English :

"The Law and the State do not make (for) good bed partners".

I have seen this phrase used many a time by "good" newspapers in England.


    Robert & Collins
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4431

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

Heathcliff

Fr?d?rique
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2 hrs
The Law (or justice) and the State do not sleep easily together


Explanation:
I agree with the suggestion of the other translator, but do not feel that it is very aesthetically pleasing.
Another option is "do not lie easily together". More strongly, I would suggest "The Law (or Justice) are not compatible"

Havona
Netherlands
Local time: 02:58
PRO pts in pair: 66

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

Heathcliff
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2 hrs
See Below


Explanation:
Here are 2 options close to the original mood of the French

1. The Law and the State are strange bedfellows.

2. The Law and the State are quite the odd couple.

I personally prefer using bedfellows.

Regards,
Deb


    Robert and Collins Senior
Debora Blake
France
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 95
Grading comment
Thanks to all of you for all the answers yesterday. I apologise for being a nuisance. I am also sorry that I can't split the points as all the answers were really helpful

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

Heathcliff

Fr?d?rique
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs
"Law and the State do not get on very well" or "Law and the State do not live in harmony"


Explanation:
Just a couple more suggestions.

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 300

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

Heathcliff
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9 hrs
"Law and Government are an ill-assorted pair"; or...


Explanation:
"Law and Government are an ill-matched couple," if you prefer.

Going even further afield, how about "Justice and Politics are (utterly) incompatible"??!

Heathcliff
United States
Local time: 17:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 953
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