KudoZ home » French to English » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters

vous êtes de passage - tu es de passage

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.
07:52 Sep 26, 2011
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Answer found elsewhere

French to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Conversation between two people - vous/tu issue
French term or phrase: vous êtes de passage - tu es de passage
The age-old problem of how to render vous/tu in English. This is a conversation that takes place between a man and a woman who have met in a hotel bar and get chatting. I have a few ideas of my own about how I could deal with this, but thought I would benefit from your collective wisdom for any bright ideas!

Thanks in advance.

Lui - *Vous êtes de passage ?*

Elle - "Vous ! Vous, vous, vous". Le vouvoiement, ça fait partie du cocktail, c'est ça ? C'est le sucre qui cache l'alcool ?

Lui - *TU es de passage ?*
Gail Bond MITI
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:36
Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +2translation in explanationemiledgar
4 +1Just passing through, Madam?
Debora Blake


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
translation in explanation


Explanation:
he: "Excuse me Miss, are you in town for a visit?"

she: "'Excuse me Miss'? We're being very formal, aren't we? Is that supposed to legitimize the come-on?"

he: "New in town?"

emiledgar
Belgium
Local time: 10:36
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 125

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheila Wilson: Certainly something alont those lines. Maybe he'd come back with "haven't we met before?" seeing as how that's supposed to be the most clichéd pick-up line
59 mins
  -> Thank you - yes, there are, of course, many possibilities since we can't do You/Thou in English. I used "New in town" because I think it's a classic cliché pick-up and keeps some continuation from the original text, but yours is even more cliché!

agree  cc in nyc: Definitely the right idea; well done! Maybe "Leaving soon?" or something like that for the retort.
7 hrs
  -> Thank you.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)
The asker has declined this answer

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Just passing through, Madam?


Explanation:
"New in town" is not the same as "Just passing through".
être de passage is literally "passing through" which is appropriate in this context (bar).

Using "Madam" (no final e like in French) lets you add tongue-in-cheek formality to the exchange. If this is dialog, you can pronounce is "maDAMME", to play up the formality, too.

Also keep in mind that "Mrs." reserved for a knowingly married woman. It is preferable to use "Ms" these days, unless the woman is younger and you can say "Miss".

Debora Blake
France
Local time: 10:36
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: de passage is definitely passing through. for the rest, asker has to work it out imo. it's one area the FR and EN don't meet up at all.
2 mins
  -> Thanks. Yes. I agree.

neutral  emiledgar: I agree that "new in town" is not the same as "être de passage"; which is why I used "just in town for a visit" to open the dialogue. "New in town?" was his semi-ironic rejoinder.
15 mins
  -> It's subjective, but "just visiting" sounds more natural than "just in town for a visit".

neutral  cc in nyc: Re: your Explanation – It would be unnatural to use "Ms." [note period] in this context.
5 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)
The asker has declined this answer




Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (2): juliebarba, Rob Grayson


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