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KudoZ home » French to English » Government / Politics

se dissoudre en marécage

English translation: come to nothing

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11:45 Aug 10, 2006
French to English translations [PRO]
Government / Politics / Le Monde article
French term or phrase: se dissoudre en marécage
les efforts de deux générations de grands entrepreneurs politiques se dissoudront en marécage

Same article, end of same sentence

Again, I should be interested to know if someone has more imagination than me.... (but I won't tell you what I would put since it would spoil the "'game")
Hope you enjoy
xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 15:19
English translation:come to nothing
Explanation:
If you don't want to stick with the swamp image (though "mired"? might be good), there's always the trusty-but-boring "have come to nothing"
Selected response from:

xxxIanW
Local time: 15:19
Grading comment
hard to choose but this was the first answer that went in the right direction, so.... "to get bogged down" is not enough - it really means that it would all have been wasted
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3come to nothingxxxIanW
3 +4sink into the quagmire of mediocrityCharlie Bavington
3 +2get bogged downTerry Richards
3 +1turn sour, turn to vinegar, go pear-shaped, turn to custardxxxBourth
3 +1fall into oblivionxxxsarahl
3 +1dissolve in thin air
Fiorsam
3fall by the way-side
juliebarba


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
get bogged down


Explanation:
keeps the swamp metaphor

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 15:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Franck Le Gac: Excellente traduction pour une phrase source si mal écrite (où est passé le quotidien de référence?). Je ne sais si la mention 'Académie française' ajoutée en note devrait rassurer. Peut-être la lourdeur de l'image vise-t-elle à appuyer l'idée exprimée?
3 mins

agree  Marion Sadoux
47 mins
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
dissolve in thin air


Explanation:
It's idiomatic. Cannot be translated literally.

Fiorsam
United States
Local time: 09:19
Works in field
Native speaker of: Italian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Franck Le Gac: Même si ç'aurait été plus adapté à "se volatiliser" en français.
52 mins
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
come to nothing


Explanation:
If you don't want to stick with the swamp image (though "mired"? might be good), there's always the trusty-but-boring "have come to nothing"

xxxIanW
Local time: 15:19
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
hard to choose but this was the first answer that went in the right direction, so.... "to get bogged down" is not enough - it really means that it would all have been wasted
Notes to answerer
Asker: as in "go down the plug hole"


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsarahl
35 mins

agree  Sara Freitas
1 hr

agree  Natasha Dupuy
3 hrs
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
sink into the quagmire of mediocrity


Explanation:
kinda depends a bit on what you'd put for "de petite semaine"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 30 mins (2006-08-10 12:16:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

swallowed in the swamp of short-termism.
marooned in the marshland of myopia

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 14:19
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: that was my other "un" question....


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Veronica Coquard: :-) Excellent
1 hr

agree  Dr Sue Levy: lovely... squelch squelch
3 hrs

agree  Sarah Walls: Nice!
10 hrs

agree  French Foodie: I just love quagmire! How often do you get to write that?!
1 day38 mins
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36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
fall into oblivion


Explanation:
never heard the phrase before, how can something dissolve in anything but water anyway?

xxxsarahl
Local time: 06:19
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 40
Notes to answerer
Asker: that is indeed the intellectual challenge - how to reflect two disparate images


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Terry Richards: Lots of things are solvents - paint dissolves into white spirit. And even more things can dissolve INTO something! I.e. they BECOME something.
6 mins
  -> Right. I just meant the French phrase doesn't make sense.

agree  xxxBourth: will have been in vain
2 hrs
  -> thanks Alex
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
fall by the way-side


Explanation:
or turn to dust

juliebarba
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 19
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30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
turn sour, turn to vinegar, go pear-shaped, turn to custard


Explanation:
Again, since I hardly think this is an established expression, we would really need to have fuller context to come to grips with an interpretation, but these are my understanding on the strength of the little we've got.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2006-08-10 15:10:17 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As you say, it is an interesting challenge!

With fuller context, I take back my proposals above.

I now see two (at least) interpretations:

1) the work carried out previously will have been in vain; the "land" (drained, improved, and turned over to productive agriculture, or potentially so, by previous generations, will revert to bog), and the situation will return to the starting point;

2) or, worse, the work carried out previously will have been in vain and, to boot, will have produced a quagmire (with credit to Charlie) of previous legislation and thinking which will, for years to come, bog down any future efforts to improve the situation. As if the new bog the land has reverted to is a worse bog than the previous one, through human intervention, and is now (unlike previously) infested with malaria mosquitos etc.

"will dissipate into wasteland"?
"will fade into the desert" (the "entrepreneurs politiques" having been "prophets in the desert"?).
"will die the death of mammoths in the quagmire/tundra"
"will go as mammoths into the depths of the bog"
"will be blown away on the winds of the desert/of time"
"will sink/be sucked into the bogs of time"
...


xxxBourth
Local time: 15:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 73

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsarahl: I like the death of the mammoths best, as clumsy as the source LOL
10 hrs
  -> Thanks for reading that far!
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