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vols de cigognes

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23:22 Feb 23, 2006
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - History / Communist Russia
French term or phrase: vols de cigognes
Les années 20 furent remplies d’évènements impétueux comme des vols de cigognes. Le pouvoir soviétique devenait de plus en plus fort, ainsi que l’union du prolétariat avec la paysannerie la plus pauvre. Sous domination puissante de la ville, les restes de la structure économique patriarcale tombaient en ruine. Une nouvelle vie perçait dans les campagnes, mais la propriété privée ne lâchait toujours pas sa prise. L’année 1926 céda place à l’année 1927, celle des revirements brusques dans la vie paysanne qui ont laissé une trace profonde dans ma mémoire.

"Impetuous as a flock of storks"? - I haven't come across this expression in French or English. I imagine that this was translated from Russian into French, so maybe it's a Russian saying. Any suggestions welcome.
Mark Nathan
France
Local time: 21:10
English translation:comment
Explanation:
However you translate it, "flight of storks" is more melodious to my ears, more 'uplifting' than "flock" ...

Do you think it is :

"Les années 20 furent remplies d’évènements (impétueux comme des vols de cigognes)" or

"Les années 20 furent remplies (d’évènements impétueux) comme des vols de cigognes)".

I know zilch about storks but imagine them and their flight to be anything but impetuous. Since I imagine a flight of storks to comprise a large number of birds, I can well imagine the image to be "remplie ... comme des vols de cigognes". Maybe. Not the use of "imagine".

Note too that Google comes up with all sorts of things for "impétueux comme un", but NEVER with "vol de cigognes".

However, as you say, it might be a translation from the Russian. Have you tried posting in the Russian section?

Google also suggests that the simile with "impetuous" is restricted to "as a mountain stream", "as a child", and similar.

"As impulsive as" gets a little more variety: a dog, a cat, a thief, a female ...

Bearing in mind the "thief" connection, maybe STEALING storks is an impulsive act!!!!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days5 hrs (2006-02-27 04:59:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

More on the "sheer numbers" theme:

For the Gulf states, François Mitterrand’s regime was an incarnation of two devils -- the communists (who had four ministers in the government of Pierre Mauroy) and the Zionists. “There was a kind of panic in the Arab world”, recalls Jean-Pierre Filliu, who worked as an analyst for the international secretariat of the French Socialist Party.
“So many emissaries were sent to Paris from the Arab capitals that Claude Cheysson, the foreign minister, spoke of a “flight of storks”.
http://chris-kutschera.com/A/Mitterrand.htm


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Note added at 3 days5 hrs (2006-02-27 05:03:17 GMT)
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And:
On regarde les nouveaux arrivants s’abattre au hasard des banquettes comme un vol de cigognes. Sauf les plus harassés, chacun engage sans préliminaires la ...
www.humanite.presse.fr/ journal/1997-03-31/1997-03-31-775645

quelques mois plus tard, comme de bien-entendu, les bébés sangs-mêlés pleuvent sur les WQM comme un vol de cigognes sur les étang de Bet-Shehan pendant la ...
www.sden.org/forums/posting.php?mode=quote& p=411284&sid=344c6978e0578f57fe3f6db8cc93d59a



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days5 hrs (2006-02-27 05:17:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Backing it up again we have:

However, the most spectacular migration in the world is the flight of storks down the Bosphorus in Istanbul in spring and autumn. Over a quarter million storks fly in clouds over the city in the course of a few weeks.
http://www.allaboutturkey.com/turkfauna.htm

They fly in such numbers over the Bosphorus because they cannot overfly large bodies of water, so go over the Straits of Gibraltar and the Bosphorus on their way to Europe from Africa and vice versa. They may well still be in flights of large numbers while over parts of Russia ...


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Note added at 3 days6 hrs (2006-02-27 05:26:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My French book on birds shows that black storks are summer visitors in eastern Europe and southern Russia, with a narrow finger sticking across Germany into Alsace, while white storks are summer vistors to eastern and central Europe - with a narrow finger across to southern Normandy-, Benelux, Germany, Denmark, south-eastern Soviet Union (Ukraine, Georgia, etc.), Turkey, and also southern Spain.

With the exception of the latter contingent in Spain and those in Turkey, their route to and from Africa would take them over the Bosphorus - hence large numbers.

Their flight is described as "vol lent sur des ailes larges et puissantes ; en migration, plane sans effort" (cigogne noire) and "vol lent et majestueux sur des ailes larges et puissantes. Plane sans effort" (cigogne blanche). Hardly "impétueux".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days6 hrs (2006-02-27 05:29:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Since we don't get storks in the English-speaking world, you might have to make do with something smaller and blacker like a "flock of starlings", if you want to stay in the avian register, or "herd of caribou/reindeer", maybe, which retains a Russian note.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days12 hrs (2006-02-27 12:11:43 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

If it's a Russian flavour you want, how about "crates of vodka"????
Selected response from:

xxxBourth
Local time: 21:10
Grading comment
Thanks everyone. I think Bourth has it in that it must be impetuous events that occurred in great numbers - like flights of storks. So an expression suggesting large numbers and ideally with a Russian flavour should do it.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1The Roaring Twenties
Debbie Tacium Ladry
4 +1flight of cranesJennifer White
4impetuous as storks taking off in flightBarbara Cochran, MFA
4swan song
LBMas
3commentxxxBourth
1please see explanationEJP


  

Answers


3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
The Roaring Twenties


Explanation:
Although the Roaring Twenties is a term that's usually applied to events in North America, i.e. the energy of the postwar generation and the stock market bubble that preceded the Great Depression - from the paragraph here it appears that the 1920s were equally full of energy and impetuousness in the newly founded Soviet Union...
I get the image of a roaring train, going full speed ahead.

Debbie Tacium Ladry
Local time: 15:10
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  emiledgar: I don't disagree; however, how impetuous is the flight of storks? Their lift-off is pretty ungainly...
3 hrs
  -> I'm thinking of the noise that a group cranes would make as they lift off and during flight - I haven't ever heard it up close, but I'm quite sure it would be impressive, probably roaring sound!
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
please see explanation


Explanation:
Could this not be literal rather than figurative as storks catch thermals to enable them to soar (impetuous flight)?

EJP
Local time: 20:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
flight of cranes


Explanation:
This may refer to the classic soviet film "The cranes are flying" which won many awards. No-one knew when to expect the cranes. Many hits for this on Google.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs (2006-02-24 11:26:35 GMT)
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or "cranes in flight" here

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 hrs (2006-02-24 11:27:55 GMT)
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or "unpredictable as a flight of cranes"

Jennifer White
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxBourth: I like "unpredictable as a flight ...", tho' I have no special reason to think it might be this!
2 days17 hrs
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56 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
swan song


Explanation:
It's a different image, but very well known in English to signify a "last act" before dying...It seems to fit your context quite well here.

(People were acting in defiance of all of the evidence mounting around them.)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 16 hrs (2006-02-24 16:21:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Totally different thought: Cranes are known for their fantastic dancing displays. This could be thought of as impetuous (but not their flight...that's simply a marvel of nature.)

And, as for Russian sayings, I only found, "You can tell a bird by its flight." Not too applicable here.

LBMas
Local time: 15:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Denise DeVries
4 hrs
  -> thanks

disagree  Theodora OB: it should describe impetuous events not dying ones...
10 hrs
  -> I see your point, it's just that a lot of historians say that the "roaring 20s" (and the impetuous acts described here) were a means to squeeze as much fun or as much "daring-do" before reality sunk in...before "dying." Just my take.
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1 day13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
impetuous as storks taking off in flight


Explanation:
A more literary attempt.

Barbara Cochran, MFA
United States
Local time: 15:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 days5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
comment


Explanation:
However you translate it, "flight of storks" is more melodious to my ears, more 'uplifting' than "flock" ...

Do you think it is :

"Les années 20 furent remplies d’évènements (impétueux comme des vols de cigognes)" or

"Les années 20 furent remplies (d’évènements impétueux) comme des vols de cigognes)".

I know zilch about storks but imagine them and their flight to be anything but impetuous. Since I imagine a flight of storks to comprise a large number of birds, I can well imagine the image to be "remplie ... comme des vols de cigognes". Maybe. Not the use of "imagine".

Note too that Google comes up with all sorts of things for "impétueux comme un", but NEVER with "vol de cigognes".

However, as you say, it might be a translation from the Russian. Have you tried posting in the Russian section?

Google also suggests that the simile with "impetuous" is restricted to "as a mountain stream", "as a child", and similar.

"As impulsive as" gets a little more variety: a dog, a cat, a thief, a female ...

Bearing in mind the "thief" connection, maybe STEALING storks is an impulsive act!!!!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days5 hrs (2006-02-27 04:59:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

More on the "sheer numbers" theme:

For the Gulf states, François Mitterrand’s regime was an incarnation of two devils -- the communists (who had four ministers in the government of Pierre Mauroy) and the Zionists. “There was a kind of panic in the Arab world”, recalls Jean-Pierre Filliu, who worked as an analyst for the international secretariat of the French Socialist Party.
“So many emissaries were sent to Paris from the Arab capitals that Claude Cheysson, the foreign minister, spoke of a “flight of storks”.
http://chris-kutschera.com/A/Mitterrand.htm


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days5 hrs (2006-02-27 05:03:17 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And:
On regarde les nouveaux arrivants s’abattre au hasard des banquettes comme un vol de cigognes. Sauf les plus harassés, chacun engage sans préliminaires la ...
www.humanite.presse.fr/ journal/1997-03-31/1997-03-31-775645

quelques mois plus tard, comme de bien-entendu, les bébés sangs-mêlés pleuvent sur les WQM comme un vol de cigognes sur les étang de Bet-Shehan pendant la ...
www.sden.org/forums/posting.php?mode=quote& p=411284&sid=344c6978e0578f57fe3f6db8cc93d59a



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days5 hrs (2006-02-27 05:17:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Backing it up again we have:

However, the most spectacular migration in the world is the flight of storks down the Bosphorus in Istanbul in spring and autumn. Over a quarter million storks fly in clouds over the city in the course of a few weeks.
http://www.allaboutturkey.com/turkfauna.htm

They fly in such numbers over the Bosphorus because they cannot overfly large bodies of water, so go over the Straits of Gibraltar and the Bosphorus on their way to Europe from Africa and vice versa. They may well still be in flights of large numbers while over parts of Russia ...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days6 hrs (2006-02-27 05:26:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My French book on birds shows that black storks are summer visitors in eastern Europe and southern Russia, with a narrow finger sticking across Germany into Alsace, while white storks are summer vistors to eastern and central Europe - with a narrow finger across to southern Normandy-, Benelux, Germany, Denmark, south-eastern Soviet Union (Ukraine, Georgia, etc.), Turkey, and also southern Spain.

With the exception of the latter contingent in Spain and those in Turkey, their route to and from Africa would take them over the Bosphorus - hence large numbers.

Their flight is described as "vol lent sur des ailes larges et puissantes ; en migration, plane sans effort" (cigogne noire) and "vol lent et majestueux sur des ailes larges et puissantes. Plane sans effort" (cigogne blanche). Hardly "impétueux".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days6 hrs (2006-02-27 05:29:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Since we don't get storks in the English-speaking world, you might have to make do with something smaller and blacker like a "flock of starlings", if you want to stay in the avian register, or "herd of caribou/reindeer", maybe, which retains a Russian note.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days12 hrs (2006-02-27 12:11:43 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

If it's a Russian flavour you want, how about "crates of vodka"????

xxxBourth
Local time: 21:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 154
Grading comment
Thanks everyone. I think Bourth has it in that it must be impetuous events that occurred in great numbers - like flights of storks. So an expression suggesting large numbers and ideally with a Russian flavour should do it.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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