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02:56 Feb 1, 2009
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Errant question
French to English translations [Non-PRO] Bus/Financial - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
French term or phrase:ne pas attendre
I'm totally of two minds about this: Is the "ne" intended, or is it a false negative (which French is fond of, as in "craint de ne...").
This is a Board of Directors meeting in Dec 2008 considering how to deal with the possibility that their two new product launches may fail in the new year (as none of their usual customers have signed up to the products yet). The meeting's minutes record that: "Le President [CEO] insiste notamment sur l'importance de ne pas attendre la fin de l'annee en prenant les mesures qui s'imposent pour limiter les consequences liees a cette hypothese."
I think the "ne" is a typical false negative and that he's saying "We must not end the year by failing to implement measures to limit the consequences of the products failing."
I'd be grateful for thoughts :-)
(There is, by the way, no other context on this point.)
I really don't see how "ne pas +infinitive" could be construed as a 'false negative' -- '(ne) pas' is unambiguously negative. Of course, disentangling a meandering sentence is another matter, but don't create extra problems for yourself by over-thinking basic grammar.