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meilleurs éléments

English translation: (have become) the best ones from their graduating class

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:les meilleurs éléments (dans ce contexte) de leur promotion
English translation:(have become) the best ones from their graduating class
Entered by: Scott de Lesseps
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15:52 Dec 1, 2003
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
French term or phrase: meilleurs éléments
Excerpt from a letter of recommendation for a guy in the navy from his supervisor:

Il est important de préciser que les 7 jeunes officiers qui commandent ces unités sont les meilleurs éléments de leur promotion, puisque 4 ans après l’école ils sont classés dans les premiers 5% (d’après leur classement école + notations par leurs précédents amiraux).

The phrase "4 ans après l’école" seems questionable. Shouldn't this actually be après 4 ans de l’école? If the first one is correct, then 4 years after school, they would no longer be students. Thanks for any help.
Scott de Lesseps
United States
Local time: 01:08
have turned out to be [or have become] the best ONES from their graduating class
Explanation:
they have turned out to be...because it's four years afterwards....
ONES- to avoid repeating officers....

Let's not miss the point here.....
Selected response from:

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Grading comment
Thank you Jane-- it looks like you hit the nail right on the head. Thanks to everyone!

Scot
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5have turned out to be [or have become] the best ONES from their graduating classJane Lamb-Ruiz
5outstanding junior officers
irat56
4 +1the top studentsRHELLER
3 +2the best elements of their class
Francis MARC
4the best elements of their year
Richard Benham
4the cream of the crop
William Stein
4are the best of their yearxxxCMJ_Trans
3 +1outstanding students of their yearxxxIanW
4commentDavid Sirett


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
meilleurs éléments
outstanding students of their year


Explanation:
How about "outstanding students of their year" or "the cream of their year"?

xxxIanW
Local time: 07:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 234

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER: since you mentioned cream, how about cream of the crop?
7 mins
  -> Yes, I had thought of that, but (a) it's too florid and (b) it'd be hard to fit it in.
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
the best elements of their class


Explanation:
Termium:
Domaine(s)
  – Military Administration
Domaine(s)
  – Administration militaire
 
element Source CORRECT,
UNIFORMISÉ

  elm Source CORRECT, UNIFORMISÉ

élément Source CORRECT, MASC,
UNIFORMISÉ

  élm Source CORRECT, MASC,
UNIFORMISÉ

OBS – element; elm: terme and
abbreviation officially approved by
the Department of National
Defence. Source

OBS – élément; élm : terme et
abréviation uniformisés par le
ministère de la Défense nationale.


Francis MARC
Lithuania
Local time: 08:08
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 6500

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Sirett
7 mins

neutral  RHELLER: the term element has a very negative connotation when used to describe a person
10 mins

neutral  xxxIanW: I agree with Rita on this point
14 mins

agree  Jose Paez
3 hrs
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
meilleurs éléments
outstanding junior officers


Explanation:
We 're in the Navy, now!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 mins (2003-12-01 16:10:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You are right! They are no longer students, but young officers!

irat56
France
Local time: 07:08
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 380
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25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
comment


Explanation:
At least in the USA, military academy students retain their 'class' identification after graduating, e.g. 'class of 1989'.
Here we're obviously talking about young officers who graduated 4 years ago, since they are now in command of units and have already served under other admirals (so "4 ans après l'école" is OK).

David Sirett
Local time: 07:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2045
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
meilleurs éléments
the top students


Explanation:
of their graduating class

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 25 mins (2003-12-01 16:18:21 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

ELEMENT
www.bartleby.com/cgi-bin/texis/webinator/sitesearch?FILTER=...

1) element. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001
...element, in chemistry, a substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by chemical means. A substance such as a compound can be decomposed into its...

2) element. Roget s II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. 1995.
...One of the individual entities contributing to a whole: building block, component, constituent, factor, ingredient, integrant, part.


3) element. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
...1. A fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity. 2. elements The basic assumptions or principles of a subject. 3. Mathematics


4) identity element. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
...The element of a set of numbers that when combined with another number in a particular operation leaves that number unchanged. For example, 0 is the identity element...


\"I\'m just trying to scare the bad element away from this town,\" explained the frontier journalist. \"Lady, I am the bad element,\" said ...
members.aol.com/hlmuspub/badele.html

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 23:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1582

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  irat56: No longer students, sorry! And they would be "cadets"
7 mins
  -> the expression "top student of his/her graduating class" is a qualitative phrase which can be used to describe someone even after their death

agree  xxxIanW: Sound, simple approach - I like it!
15 mins
  -> merci Ian! from Southern California :-)
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
are the best of their year


Explanation:
because 4 years after leaving Naval College, they are still in the top 5% (school grades + evaluations by the different Admirals under whom they have worked since graduating)
HTH

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-01 16:27:26 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"served\" rather than \"worked\"

This also answers your ofer question about \"notations\"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-01 16:27:43 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"served\" rather than \"worked\"

This also answers your other question about \"notations\"

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 07:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 5264
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34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
meilleurs éléments
the cream of the crop


Explanation:
or "show the highest potential"

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 00:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1737
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the best elements of their year


Explanation:
Actually, you can ignore the above, if you wish.

I really wanted to answer the qustion about "4 ans après l’école". It's what is says in the original and it is not part of the translator's job to invent new facts because s/he thinks the original author doesn't know what s/he is talking about.

In fact, it makes quite good sense that these young officers would be required to have four years' experience before being put in command of a unit.

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 07:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 614

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  xxxCMJ_Trans: Dear Richard, you are of course 100% - I tried to say as much in my answer. But it does sound a little pontificating and may well go down like a lead balloon !!!!
14 mins
  -> Maybe so. But I am on a bit of a crusade against gratuitously changing the content. It's bad enough when you have to, without looking for opportunities to do it!
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
have turned out to be [or have become] the best ONES from their graduating class


Explanation:
they have turned out to be...because it's four years afterwards....
ONES- to avoid repeating officers....

Let's not miss the point here.....

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 8576
Grading comment
Thank you Jane-- it looks like you hit the nail right on the head. Thanks to everyone!

Scot
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