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Voici enfin presentes sur un pied d\'egalite le francais dit standard

English translation: At long last, the French words and expressions really used... [see below]

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13:35 Aug 25, 2000
French to English translations [PRO]
French term or phrase: Voici enfin presentes sur un pied d\'egalite le francais dit standard
et les mots et les expressions du francais tel qu'on parle sur les cinq continents. This, I know is a little long, but I am finding this extremely difficult to put into English. The context is an introduction to an international French dictionary found on its cover. The syntax of this sentence seems a little awkward to me. I know French sometimes uses different syntaxical structure than English, particularly in formal French for parallelism reasons. Please help me translate this into good American English. Any explications to help me understand break up and syntaxically analyze this sentence would be greatly appreciated
Nicolas
English translation:At long last, the French words and expressions really used... [see below]
Explanation:
Voici enfin presentes sur un pied d\'egalite le francais dit standard et les mots et les expressions du francais tel qu'on parle sur les cinq continents.

At long last, the French words and expressions really used around the world are presented on an even footing with so-called standard French.

Have you seen the dict.? Does it look like it really lives up to its promise? If so, I'd like to know more about it.

Note that *cinq continents* is not translated literally into English. Rather, use "around the world" or some such...

ybroad@microserve.com
Selected response from:

Yolanda Broad
United States
Local time: 07:56
Grading comment
Thanks for your input. This was by far the best translation I've come across. In another question, Did you agree with my translation of "le fond et la form" as "principle and process?" You're translation was "content and form." That's seems a little anglicized. I did not fully understand your answer. Thanks again.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naSee my note, below:
Yolanda Broad
na"Finally, in one comprehensive dictionary, standard French - both words and expressions - as used wh
Debora Blake
nasee belowLouise Atfield
nasee below
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
naAt long last, the French words and expressions really used... [see below]
Yolanda Broad


  

Answers


18 mins
At long last, the French words and expressions really used... [see below]


Explanation:
Voici enfin presentes sur un pied d\'egalite le francais dit standard et les mots et les expressions du francais tel qu'on parle sur les cinq continents.

At long last, the French words and expressions really used around the world are presented on an even footing with so-called standard French.

Have you seen the dict.? Does it look like it really lives up to its promise? If so, I'd like to know more about it.

Note that *cinq continents* is not translated literally into English. Rather, use "around the world" or some such...

ybroad@microserve.com

Yolanda Broad
United States
Local time: 07:56
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1551
Grading comment
Thanks for your input. This was by far the best translation I've come across. In another question, Did you agree with my translation of "le fond et la form" as "principle and process?" You're translation was "content and form." That's seems a little anglicized. I did not fully understand your answer. Thanks again.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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28 mins
see below


Explanation:
Voici enfin présentés :
past participle, without auxiliary BE which here would be "sont", so it has to agree, masculin plural, "présenter" being a regular "er" verb so past participle ends in "é" plus the "s". Used a bit like an adjective...

sur un pied d'égalité :
on an equal footing

le français dit standard :
the French (language, obviously given the context and the fact that the "f" is lower case, the use of the upper case in French here would indicate that it meant "Frenchman"

et les mots et les expressions du français tel qu'on parle sur les cinq continents.
and the words and expressions of French such as [it] is spoken on the five continents.

The subject of this sentence is two-fold, namely the "français dit standard" and the "mots et expressions", hence the masculine pluiral form, "présentés". French uses a lot more commas than English. If you put commas in as below, then it wil start to make sense. Modern French does rather like short clauses and sub-clauses, all put in a bag, shaken (not stirred) and then put back down onto paper with lots of commas!

Try reading it out aloud, pausing where I have stuck a hyphen in and it will probably come clear :

Voici enfin présentés - sur un pied d'égalité - le français dit standard - et les mots et expressions du français tel qu'on parle sur les cinq continents.

A translation of that might read :

Here at last, on an equal footing, what is referred to as standard French is presented alongside the words and expressions as they are spoken on the five continents.

I am afraid that I can only "do" British English. Blame my parents, they are Scottish. Others may have an American eye and ear tuned in to give you an American version.


Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 13:56
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4412

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff

Fr?d?rique
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3 hrs
see below


Explanation:
First of all, there seems to be a mistake in the French sentence. "le francais tel qu'on parle sur les cinq continents" should really read "le francais tel qu'on LE parle sur les cinq continents" or "le francais tel que parlé sur les cinq continents".

I would have written the French sentence this way:
"Voici enfin, présentés sur un pied d'égalité, le français dit standard ainsi que les mots et expressions du français tel qu'on le parle sur les cinq continents."

I have some kind of feeling that what is throwing you in this sentence might be the use of "dit" in "le francais dit standard". Dit is the past participle of the verb "dire", and "le francais dit standard" is the equivalent of "le francais appelé standard", "French which is called standard".

Also, "présentés" is plural because it refers to both "français standard" and "mots" and "expressions". All three are presented in this dictionary.

If I translate the sentence more or less word for word, you might be able to understand its structure better. Here it is:

"Here at last, presented on an equal footing, are what is called "standard French", plus the words and expressions from the French language as it is spoken on all five continents." Does that help you understand the grammar of the French version better?

Since this is an introduction found on the cover of a dictionary, and therefore is meant to attract people's attention, I would suggest a translation of the sort:

"Here it is at last: A dictionary that presents "standard French" together with all those French words and expressions from every country in the world where French is spoken. " or "(...) all the French words and expressions found ( or spoken) throughout the world." or "all the French words and expressions you may find (are likely to hear) anywhere on the planet."

Does this help?

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 300

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff

Moli?re

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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12 hrs
"Finally, in one comprehensive dictionary, standard French - both words and expressions - as used wh


Explanation:
Hi, Nicolas.

Since this text is supposed to be on the cover of a dictionary, as I was translating it, I was imagining the words on a label, and how the text might be broken up with commas and dashes since we are limited in space.

As for the grammar, when you have the "et…et…" construction in French, this is generally used to convey the idea of "both … and …" which I chose to keep in my translation.

However, as for the "pied d'égalité", I took this to mean that all the terms and definitions, wherever they may come from, are presented as completely as possible so this makes the dictionary "comprehensive". Somehow, and again this text is on a small label on the cover, trying to say "words and expressions given equal treatment", or "treated fairly" etc just seems out of place. That's why I went for the angle of a comprehensive dictionary.

Ok, as a native American speaker, here is what I can suggest. Hope it helps.

"Finally, in one comprehensive dictionary, standard French - both words and expressions - as used wherever French is spoken throughout the world."

Good Luck,
Deb


Debora Blake
France
Local time: 13:56
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 95

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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6 days
See my note, below:


Explanation:
Hello Nicolas,

In reply to your question concerning "form et fond":

"Did you agree with my translation of "le fond et la form" as "principle and process?" You're translation was "content and form." That's seems a little anglicized. I did not fully understand your answer. Thanks again."

Yes, I will insist on *form and content [or substance]*. You're asking for the history of French structuralism/post-structuralism! I'll try to be as brief as possible (I wrote my Ph.D. comprehensives on this topic, as it applies to theatre, which I have since been drafting into a book, so I could go on and on)...

In a nutshell, in discussions of culture (philosophy, literature, art, anthropology, psychiatry, sociology, linguistics, history, etc.), French critics and scholars, starting with Saussure, have used "contenu" and "fond" interchangeably, in their discussion of the dichotomy of meaning. It is this dichotomy of meaning that is at the heart of structuralist thought. Some of the major players, besides Saussure: Jakobson, **Benveniste** (he was the grammarian proper of structuralism, in my view very reductive, and definitely focused on form vs content...), Barthes, Greimas, Todorov, Lévi-Strauss, Lacan...

"Fond"/"contenu" has been one of those problem areas for translators, along with some other terms from French thought: Saussure's langue/parole; Derrida's coined word, la différance (an attempt to reconcile synchrony and diachrony...), etc. I have seen both *content* and *substance* as renderings. It has also, less successfully, been rendered as "essence." Form, on the other hand, presents no such problem: English incorporated that term into its intellectual discourse a long time ago. The same kind of problem arises for translators of German philosophers–the solution has usually been *not* to translate those German terms (i.e., sein) but, instead, provide explanations of the German terms. Such has not been the case with translations of the French.

To get a picture of content, here is a quote from Gerald Prince's Dictionary of Narratology, on *substance*/*content*:

Following Hjelmslev [Danish linguist], and as opposed to FORM, the (material or
semantic) reality constitutive of two planes of a semiotic system (the EXRESSION plane
and the CONTENT plane). In the case of narrative, the substance of expression can be
said to be equivalent to the medium of narrative MANIFESTATION (language, film,
etc.) And the substance of the content to the set of possible entities and events that can be
represented by a narrative. Chatman 1978, Ducrot and Todorov 1979; Hjelmslev 1954,
1961.

My main quarrel with French thinkers is in their unquestioning acceptance of the necessary separation of form and content/substance. The expressive variety of substance, by the way, is largely overlooked by those folks. Even Derrida, whose project is to question everything, fails to bring dichotomy itself into question.

Now, to *Process*. In brief, this corresponds more closely to the French structuralist/Russian formalist notion of *fonction*, but also is one of those areas where English-based thought diverges from the French, perhaps due to intrinsic differences in language usage: whereas *process* is dynamic, *fonction* is static. This parallels a French language preference for nominalization vs the English language preference for verbalization.

For a discussion of the angst (another one of those German untranslatables...) that dichotomization has caused French thinkers, you might take a look at Frederic Jameson's A Prison House of Language. For a brief overview of how French critical thought has affected literary studies, see Selden and Widdowson (in earlier editions, just Selden).




    A Dictionary of Narratology. Gerald Prince. U. of Nebraska, 1987; A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory,
    Third Ed. Raman Selden and Peter Widdowson. U. of Kentucky, 1993; The Prison House of Lang. Jameson. Princeton, 1972
Yolanda Broad
United States
Local time: 07:56
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1551

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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