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esquif

English translation: rowing boat/raft

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18:24 Dec 3, 2010
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
French term or phrase: esquif
Je décidai de ne pas trop m’éloigner. Pour me libérer, j’aurais dû me transformer en esquif, j’étais près d’y parvenir…

For more context, see the question before.

Little boat?
Sarah Robertson
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:36
English translation:rowing boat/raft
Explanation:
I think it's a continued reference to the film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_African_Queen_(film) so yes, "rowing boat" or perhaps "raft."
Selected response from:

Emma Paulay
France
Local time: 05:36
Grading comment
I think you are right, and Skiff is a little obscure...
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3skiffcc in nyc
5Safety boatKhidor
3 +2some kind of boat
Tony M
3 +2skiff
fionn
4i'd have to mutate into a seacraft
philippe vandevivere
3 +1rowing boat/raft
Emma Paulay
3a nutshellImanol
3(convert into) a raftLouis Cyril P
3lifeboatMarco Solinas


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
lifeboat


Explanation:
In keeping with the metaphor of life

Marco Solinas
Local time: 20:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 33

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: Yes, though possibly conjures up unwelcome images of the Titanic more than AQ
45 mins
  -> Had I been a passenger on the Titanic (I was not, despite my venerable age), I would have very much welcome the sight of a lifeboat.

neutral  cc in nyc: Metaphors are nice, but ooh – the poor dear mother – too big
2 hrs
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
rowing boat/raft


Explanation:
I think it's a continued reference to the film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_African_Queen_(film) so yes, "rowing boat" or perhaps "raft."

Emma Paulay
France
Local time: 05:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 126
Grading comment
I think you are right, and Skiff is a little obscure...

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  philgoddard
4 hrs

neutral  cc in nyc: American Englsih usage would be "rowboat"
2 days 19 hrs
  -> Thank you. I don't usually give the American equivalent unless it's specifically asked for. I'm British and Sarah's in the UK, so I'm presuming she's not translating for a US audience.
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39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
i'd have to mutate into a seacraft


Explanation:
seacraft has similar 'poético-comical'' tone as 'esquif'

philippe vandevivere
France
Local time: 05:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
some kind of boat


Explanation:
I'm not very familiar with this rather gooey process, but I believe it does entail quite a bit of water... so surely the 'baby' is suggsting that the best way out would have been to have been 'some kind of little boat' — and I don't think it ought to be too specific, since surely it's just the image of riding the rapids in something that floats...? The idea of 'raft' is appealing, except that the shape is well... rather painfully wrong..! Something like a canoe might have been more apt...

Tony M
France
Local time: 05:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 312

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxBourth: Good, esp. with "little", which reflects the word best associated with esquif : frêle.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Alex! I'm glad you at least have understood exactly what I was getting at ;-)

agree  philgoddard: I still wonder why they chose this particular word, though.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Phil! I think it's because it's a humorous word to refer to a boat... I was tempted to suggest 'punt', but felt it might not go down too well...

neutral  Khidor: it is indeed a boat but let us focus on the abstract meaning here
5 hrs
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
skiff


Explanation:
Well at the risk of stating the obvious there is a word for a little boat which is 'skiff'...
which happily comes from the French word:
"The term skiff is a type of small boat.
The word is related to ship and has a complicated etymology: "skiff" comes from the Middle English skif, which derives from the Old French esquif..."

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Note added at 1 hr (2010-12-03 19:45:35 GMT)
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The image I have is of a simple, low-tech little boat as per:

"One usage of skiff is to refer to a typically small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and a flat stern originally developed as an inexpensive and easy to build boat for use by inshore fishermen." (see wiki ref)

But I see there are other ideas for what a skiff refers to. Still, you could use 'a fragile/little skiff' or something of the sort.

The point is (as JM has indicated in the discussion) that 'esquif' is a quite specific word in FR and not just 'a boat'...


    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiff
fionn
Germany
Local time: 05:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: Yes, but it's a bit of a faux ami here, really... 'skiff' is a very specific, narrow term with certain connotations, and would I feel be out of register here
33 mins
  -> OK, you may be right, not exactly a faux ami, but... I hadn't cottoned on to the film refs from the previous question. Let's see if I can rescue it...

agree  jmleger: yes
44 mins
  -> thanks JM

agree  cc in nyc: Of course I agree (we posted the same answer)... Updated late, after holiday shopping
2 hrs
  -> Well I'll agree with you if you agree with me... ;)

agree  Gallagy: think it fits (esp for mother!) better than other options
5 hrs
  -> Thanks gallagy!
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
skiff


Explanation:
Found in both Larousse and Collins-Reverso.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2010-12-03 19:45:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

esquif: Vx, littér. Petite embarcation. Fragile, frêle, léger esquif. (http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/esquif)
skiff: any of various types of boats small enough for sailing or rowing by one person. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skiff)


    Reference: http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/esqui...
    Reference: http://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/esquif
cc in nyc
Local time: 23:36
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 153

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: Yes, but it's a bit of a faux ami here, really... 'skiff' is a very specific, narrow term with certain connotations, and would I feel be out of register here
36 mins
  -> Thank you for your comment, even if you disagree.

agree  jmleger: I agree
47 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  fionn: Well, me first...
4 hrs
  -> Thank you. Too bad we can't pool our votes together.

agree  Gallagy: think it fits (esp for mother!) better than other options
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  xxxSMcG: yeah, does the trick without any need for extrapolation, a flimsy boat
17 hrs
  -> Thank you. Too bad we can't pool our votes together.
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Safety boat


Explanation:
esquif (Nom commun) : embarcation légère et fragile (soutenu)
Dérivé du verbe"ésquiver"(toward safety)
Safety boat is the most expressive translation regarding the meaning and the context






--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 heures (2010-12-04 01:21:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Esquif (boat)==) Derivative from "ésquiver" (run away toward safety) ==) that gives us ==) Safety boat

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 heures (2010-12-04 01:37:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

That is more abstract and convenient and serves more the artistique purposes which are implied in the source language.Let us not forget "we are dealing with Cinema and literature

Khidor
United States
Local time: 23:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  cc in nyc: I don't know what a "safety boat" is. Wait, wait, don't tell me! It googles, so I can read and learn. My experience on the water is limited, but I've done some rowing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and cruising – and yet I've never heard this term.
5 hrs

neutral  Gallagy: really not English
17 hrs
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
(convert into) a raft


Explanation:
suggestion

Louis Cyril P
Local time: 08:36
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 8
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a nutshell


Explanation:
floating down the stream

Imanol
Local time: 05:36
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in category: 4
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Changes made by editors
Dec 4, 2010 - Changes made by Stéphanie Soudais:
Field (specific)Cinema, Film, TV, Drama » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters


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