KudoZ home » French to English » Art/Literary

L’Ecrevisse et l’Huître

English translation: Man of many talents

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
12:00 Dec 14, 2003
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
French term or phrase: L’Ecrevisse et l’Huître
"Les tapisseries flamandes du XVIème siècle retracent la vie de Samson. Remarquables par leurs couleurs très vives et leurs bordures, peuplées d’animaux, elles symbolisent des proverbes - “ l’Habileté est supérieure à la Ruse ” - ou des fables, comme “ L’Ecrevisse et l’Huître ”, que l’on peut trouver à gauche du lit."

This is an extraction from the description on the room of Catherine de Medicis at the castle of Chenonceau. They ust say "L’Ecrevisse et l’Huître " is a fable. I soon think of that of La Fontaine, but after a brief web searching, I'm still not finding any episode titled as "Crawfish and Oyster" (if my literal translation is proper). Is anyone aware of what this is about?

TIA
Minoru Kuwahara
Japan
Local time: 17:30
English translation:Man of many talents
Explanation:
If you replace the écrivisse by a crab, you get Leonardo da Vinci's (!) fable of the crab and the oyster.

An oyster was in love with the moon. When the full moon shone in the sky, he spent hours watching it with open mouth.

A crab saw from his observation post that the oyster was completely open at the full moon, and decided to eat him.

The following night, when the oyster opened, the crab put a pebble inside.

The oyster immediately tried to close again, but was prevented by the stone.

Moral: This happens to anyone who opens his mouth to tell his secrets. There is always an ear ready to receive them.

[http://www.lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/fable1.html]

Selected response from:

xxxBourth
Local time: 09:30
Grading comment
Sorry for grading late and thank you, everyone, for your posts. It's certainly always rewarding to ask KudoZ for these difficult translations. Apparently, La Fontaine may not be applicable with reflection of the century he was creating "fables", while it's highly possible that this one may refer to that of Leonardo da Vinci, "Crab and Oyster" as in the age of Francois 1st. I learned something out of this post, thank you very much again!-
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +5I found something under the alternative spelling (crayfish)
William Stein
4 +2Man of many talentsxxxBourth
4 +1The Oyster and the Crabagtranslat
3 +1L'écrevisse et sa fille?John Peterson


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
L'écrevisse et sa fille?


Explanation:
In my very old edition of "Fables et Epitres" there is one tale entitled "L'écrevisse et sa fille" and two entitled "L'huître et les plaideurs" and "Le rat et l'huître". It may be that the text is referring to several of La Fontaine's fables.

John Peterson
Local time: 08:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1002

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  R. A. Stegemann: Je suis d'accord. J'ai trouvé tout ce que vous avez dit dans mon édition ancienne de Fables de la Fontaine.
16 mins
  -> merci

neutral  David Sirett: It may be that the text, concerning a 16th-century tapestry, is not referring to any of the fables from La Fontaine's 17th-century collection.
26 mins
  -> Agreed. But it may help to narrow things down a bit if there isn't a typo in the original (which has led to two tales appearing as one).

neutral  irat56: Agree with David! But I have no solution!
30 mins
  -> Agreed. See above.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
L’Ecrevisse et l’Huître
I found something under the alternative spelling (crayfish)


Explanation:
Chenonceau & Mary, Queen of Scots
... They are remarkable for their edges filled with animals symbolising proverbs and
fables, for example "The Crayfish and the Oyster" or "Skill is greater than ...
www.marie-stuart.co.uk/France/Chenonceau4.htm - 6k - Cached - Similar pages

Chenonceau
... They are remarkable for their edges filled with animals symbolizing proverbs and fables, for example ‘The Crayfish and the Oyster’ or ‘Skill is greater ...
www.castles.org/castles/Europe/Western_Europe/ France/france13.htm


William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 02:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1737

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsarahl: écrevisse IS crayfish anyway, bon ap!
1 hr

agree  lien: j'ai toujours vu crayfish quand on parle d'ecrevisses et les refs. ne pourraient mieux s'appliquer./ Quel pays ! :D
1 hr
  -> Il y en a plein dans le ruisseau derrière ma maison.

agree  xxxBourth: But is that a RESEARCHED translation, or just a literal rendition? If we found references other than in relation to Chenonceau ...
1 hr
  -> It's a step in the right direction. If you can do better, "Faites, cher ami!"

agree  sktrans
6 hrs

agree  CHE124
2 days 15 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Man of many talents


Explanation:
If you replace the écrivisse by a crab, you get Leonardo da Vinci's (!) fable of the crab and the oyster.

An oyster was in love with the moon. When the full moon shone in the sky, he spent hours watching it with open mouth.

A crab saw from his observation post that the oyster was completely open at the full moon, and decided to eat him.

The following night, when the oyster opened, the crab put a pebble inside.

The oyster immediately tried to close again, but was prevented by the stone.

Moral: This happens to anyone who opens his mouth to tell his secrets. There is always an ear ready to receive them.

[http://www.lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/fable1.html]



xxxBourth
Local time: 09:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18679
Grading comment
Sorry for grading late and thank you, everyone, for your posts. It's certainly always rewarding to ask KudoZ for these difficult translations. Apparently, La Fontaine may not be applicable with reflection of the century he was creating "fables", while it's highly possible that this one may refer to that of Leonardo da Vinci, "Crab and Oyster" as in the age of Francois 1st. I learned something out of this post, thank you very much again!-

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  R. A. Stegemann: Yes, since Leonardo lived during the late 15th and early 16th centuries this would be a much more timely fable.
2 days 20 hrs

agree  William Stein: Makes sense since the etymology of crayfish is just krebsfisch = crab-fish = crab
7 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
L’Ecrevisse et l’Huître
The Oyster and the Crab


Explanation:
It was easier to find the fable in Spanish, where it is called "La ostra y el cangrejo".
Same as in English the oyster takes precedence in the title.
The English site quoted by another poster does not tell the whole tale as it misses the concluding line, which roughly translated goes like this:
"The astute crab left its hiding place, opened its sharp claws, leapt upon the guileless oyster and ate it up."




    Reference: http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=3&q=http://www.goethe.e...
    Reference: http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=2&q=http://www.terra.es...
agtranslat
Netherlands
Local time: 09:30
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxBourth: Spaniards are sadists! Kiwis are peace-loving!
40 mins
  -> Yet Spaniards are Kiwi-loving!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search