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serait en train de

English translation: it was reported to be crumbling apart

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17:39 May 20, 2001
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
French term or phrase: serait en train de
This is a literary translation.

Problem: Meaning of
"etre (au conditional)+ en train de"

Le dernier bastion de la resistance serait en train de s'effriter.

Still confused with how to translate this verb to English. I've done search after search, and I can't find the exact meaning of this verb in this context.

You can translate it as "would be crumbling apart".

But that's awkward in American English. Ca sonne pas bien du tout!!!!

Please help me!
Thanks
(PS someone offered some advice earlier, but I am not 100% sure of the meaning in this context. No reference was given)
Sarah
English translation:it was reported to be crumbling apart
Explanation:
In this case, "serait en train de s'effriter" is not a conditional as for
its meaning ; the mode + tense is conditional present, yes, but in fact, it is reported speech. It means that someone has voiced the opinion that "le dernier bastion ..." would crumble apart, but it's in no way a real conditional (there's no condition such as "if" in this sentence).
It is one of the use of conditional in French, very common in newspapers for example.

So the translation is : it was said/reported to be crumbling apart/
be falling apart/be disintegrating ...
or : it was reportedly falling apart ...

Bon courage :)
Selected response from:

Carole Reade-Kentros
Local time: 00:14
Grading comment
Thank you! You are great Carole! Ce que vous etes forte en traduction. Tres bien fait!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nait was reported to be crumbling apartCarole Reade-Kentros
nasee answers to Ian's question of last weekBuzzy
na. . . is said/rumored/reported to be falling apart/breaking downMargriet Lacy
naEnglish can be used in a similar way too to mean the same thing...
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
nawas said to be
JMcKechnie
nawould be/was about to break up
Parrot
naserait en train deJULIA BROCINER
nawould maybe crumble apartxxxvrede
nawould seem (to be) about to crumble down/ fall apartBono
nais about to crumblesamsi


  

Answers


8 mins
is about to crumble


Explanation:
... was about to crumble apart

it's just an idea, it might help
good luck and nice regards


    experience
samsi
Local time: 17:14

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

JMcKechnie
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12 mins
serait en train de


Explanation:
was about to be...English


estaba a punto de ... Spanish


    thorough knowledge of language
JULIA BROCINER
Local time: 17:14

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Heathcliff

Bono
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13 mins
would maybe crumble apart


Explanation:
Or: would perhaps crumble apart

It's a suggestion. What do you think?


    Own knowledge of the languages involved.
xxxvrede
Local time: 19:14
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 8

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

JMcKechnie

samsi
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44 mins
would seem (to be) about to crumble down/ fall apart


Explanation:
en train de = about to in this case.

With a conditionnel you would tend to think that "would be about to crumble" is enough but in such a sentence/context, I would have a few doubts as to this.

And I would rather read it as "would seem (to be) about to crumble down/ fall apart.

as further explanation, it is a bit hard for me right now as I am dead tired but hit on my name and i will further explain later on, I do need a few hours of sleep once in a while.

Let me just say this for the time being : "être en train de" is normally translated by "is doing something just now", which is a bit heavy. So I would simply keep the 'ing' at the end of a verb to show for it. It is a heavy phrase in french too anyway.

Why I add "seem" in your sentence, is mostly a feling in a way, living with both languages all the time, I would tend to say that without "seem" your sentence lacks something and that I would also add either "down" or "apart" at the end of this sentence to avoid making it sound like a foreign translation. But that is more like a habit than a rule as such. And is very hard to explain when all you want is to sleep. But let's just say that the French langage does not allow for too much details of this kind unless you are loking at a very heavy sentence, while the English langage thrives on it, since it is so much shorter and easier. So if I want a good translation, I would have to add in English, words that were not there in French as such, since they would have been heavy.

So hit reply if you need anything else and i'll answer you in five hours time.

Good luck !

Corinne

Bono
Local time: 23:14
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 142

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

JMcKechnie
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1 hr
would be/was about to break up


Explanation:
depends on how you want to tell the story. "Serait" might be reported speech and not simply conditional.

Parrot
Spain
Local time: 23:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1861

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Heathcliff

JMcKechnie
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5 hrs
was said to be


Explanation:
I agree that this could be reported speech rather than conditional. If this fits the context (newspaper account etc) then I would suggest, 'was said to be crumbling'
'en train de' means that it is in the process of happening at the time of the report.

Hope this helps!

JMcKechnie
Local time: 22:14
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 35

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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5 hrs
it was reported to be crumbling apart


Explanation:
In this case, "serait en train de s'effriter" is not a conditional as for
its meaning ; the mode + tense is conditional present, yes, but in fact, it is reported speech. It means that someone has voiced the opinion that "le dernier bastion ..." would crumble apart, but it's in no way a real conditional (there's no condition such as "if" in this sentence).
It is one of the use of conditional in French, very common in newspapers for example.

So the translation is : it was said/reported to be crumbling apart/
be falling apart/be disintegrating ...
or : it was reportedly falling apart ...

Bon courage :)



    native French speaker
Carole Reade-Kentros
Local time: 00:14
PRO pts in pair: 90
Grading comment
Thank you! You are great Carole! Ce que vous etes forte en traduction. Tres bien fait!

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

Carolyn Denoncourt
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7 hrs
see answers to Ian's question of last week


Explanation:
Hi Sarah
Yes, as stated above it's not a "real" conditional as we understand it in English, it means "this is apparently what is happening".

Ian asked about exactly the same sentence (in the Easy section, you can still consult it through the site). Is this an assignment? Good luck! (and please tell anybody else on the same text how to cope with this sentence so the question doesn't come up a third time!)


    own knowledge of language
Buzzy
Local time: 23:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 377

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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17 hrs
. . . is said/rumored/reported to be falling apart/breaking down


Explanation:
I think - although it's hard to tell without a context - that you need the present tense: People ARE saying/rumor HAS it that . . . is breaking down/falling apart.


    teacher of French
Margriet Lacy
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch
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19 hrs
English can be used in a similar way too to mean the same thing...


Explanation:
... would appear to be + -ing

thus would appear to be falling apart

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 23:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4431
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