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04:59 Dec 7, 2010
French to English translations [PRO] Tech/Engineering - Construction / Civil Engineering / Site manual for contractors
French term or phrase:plane
"Cette zone pourra ne pas être plane et non compactée pour des critères d’installation de grues."
Manual describing site conditions for contractors. I don't understand the logic of the first part of this sentence. It seems it is saying "the area cannot be flat..." - but maybe I am missing something. I would have thought that the site would have had to be flat for cranes.
Maybe "plane" mean something else in this context. Information or comments please - thanks in advance.
Yes - I think sheer common sense dictates the best answer; I used Richard's answer word for word. But thanks also to Bourth and the others who contributed. Clearly the grammatical quality of the French in this document leaves something to be desired. 4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
pouvoir here would be translated "may"/might". As to translating that negative, we cannot (easily) say "may be not flat" and have to rely on "may not be flat" conveying the message, unless delves into "It is possible/There is every chance that the area may/might/will not be flat", etc.
Also, pourra ne pas être plane et non compactée is ludicrous, grammatically : pourra être non plane et non compactée or pourra ne pas être plane et compactée would make more sense.
However, the ultimate translation will depend on what is said about cranes etc. It might be a perfectly meaningless statement, the project not requiring anything even remotely resembling cranes. Along the lines of "This china tea cup need not survive impact by a bulldozer dropped from an altitude of 6 kilometres". I have seen worse. Almost.
...the French is not detailed enough.
I suspect there's an implicit warning to the contractor that levelling and compacting work may have to be undertaken - and for which the contractor will probably have to bear the cost - before the crane can be installed.
Explanation: The French is back to front and not explicit enough.
The translation would be better off as "This area should be flat and compacted to meet criteria for the crane installation" - but check with your client
Richard Hedger Switzerland Local time: 23:58 Specializes in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 450
Yes - I think sheer common sense dictates the best answer; I used Richard's answer word for word. But thanks also to Bourth and the others who contributed. Clearly the grammatical quality of the French in this document leaves something to be desired.