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I was reading an article about the Parisian metro accident. There were

English translation: You are right!

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16:28 Aug 31, 2000
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: I was reading an article about the Parisian metro accident. There were
two things that gave me difficulty.
one of the problems I had was answered sufficiently. Thanks. This next sentence is: Le ministre de l'interieur s'est rendu sur les lieux de l'accident ainsi que (a man's name who's big shot for the Paris Police Department)pour qui le catastrophe a ete evite de peu: >>Si le train se serait couche en fin de course, on aurait eu un vertitable catastrophe>> What does "pour qui le catastrophe a ete evite de peu" mean. In other words, who or what does it refer to. It can't be the guy who works for the Parisian police. The sentence seems awkward because I am not a native French speaker. Pour qui is... "for whom the tragedy was just missed." Does it mean perhaps "according to the policeman, a catastrophe had barely been avoided?" I am translating for a portfolio. Thanks.
steve
English translation:You are right!
Explanation:
I don't understand how this could have been published in a French paper (as I assume is the case?) It is very bad French. The sentence should read:
"Le ministre de l'interieur s'est rendu sur les lieux de l'accident ainsi que (big shot) pour qui la catastrophe a été évitée de peu. Si le train s'était couché en fin de course, on aurait eu une véritable catastrophe."

"Si le train se serait" is an unforgivable grammatical mistake. Also, catastrophe is a feminine noun, not masculine.

I also think that the author really means "(big shot.) qui est d'avis que la catastrophe a étée évitée de peu"

I would translate by something similar to what you said "(big shot) in whose opinion a catastrophe had barely been avoided"
Selected response from:

Louise Atfield
Grading comment
You did a great job! You caught an error. It was my error though;I made a typo (S'il le train s'etait couche). My error! C'est bien evident que vous etes serieuse et passionee pour la traduction. Il me semble vous vous derangez dan vos explications pour m'aider a mieux comprendre un certain aspect linguistique ou culturelle. Cela seul m'encourage enormement a continuer ce parcours difficile vers une carriere en traduction/interpretation. Merci pour votre gentillesse et comprehension.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
nasee below
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
nasee below
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
naYou are right!Louise Atfield
naThe Minister of the Interior (or Minister of Home Affairs, GB)
Parrot
napour qui = according to who, in whose opiniongeo1mar2


  

Answers


14 mins
pour qui = according to who, in whose opinion


Explanation:
He expresses an opinion, and, according to him the accident could have been worse. Once again the wording is correct but could have been made less ambivalent, although no French speaker will have misunderstood the author.

geo1mar2
Local time: 08:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench, Native in DutchDutch
PRO pts in pair: 22

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

Heathcliff

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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17 mins
The Minister of the Interior (or Minister of Home Affairs, GB)


Explanation:
went to the site of the accident, as well as X, in whose opinion "a catastrophe has been narrowly avoided".

Parrot
Spain
Local time: 14:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1861

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

Heathcliff

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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1 hr
You are right!


Explanation:
I don't understand how this could have been published in a French paper (as I assume is the case?) It is very bad French. The sentence should read:
"Le ministre de l'interieur s'est rendu sur les lieux de l'accident ainsi que (big shot) pour qui la catastrophe a été évitée de peu. Si le train s'était couché en fin de course, on aurait eu une véritable catastrophe."

"Si le train se serait" is an unforgivable grammatical mistake. Also, catastrophe is a feminine noun, not masculine.

I also think that the author really means "(big shot.) qui est d'avis que la catastrophe a étée évitée de peu"

I would translate by something similar to what you said "(big shot) in whose opinion a catastrophe had barely been avoided"

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 300
Grading comment
You did a great job! You caught an error. It was my error though;I made a typo (S'il le train s'etait couche). My error! C'est bien evident que vous etes serieuse et passionee pour la traduction. Il me semble vous vous derangez dan vos explications pour m'aider a mieux comprendre un certain aspect linguistique ou culturelle. Cela seul m'encourage enormement a continuer ce parcours difficile vers une carriere en traduction/interpretation. Merci pour votre gentillesse et comprehension.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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14 hrs
see below


Explanation:
"... pour qui le catastrophe a été évité de peu".

In whose opinion / Who considers that the siutation came close to being a catasrophe. Perhaps a correct rendering of this sentence would read "according to whom a catastrophe was only just avoided".

Another expression used very frequently here is "froler le catastrophe" = come close to + noun (ou + verb in the -ing form)


    Robert & Collins
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 14:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4412

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Heathcliff
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3 days14 hrs
see below


Explanation:
About "ministre de l'Intérieur" (I think I am right in saying that in French the title of the position does not take a capital although the name of the department does. When English people are referring to another country's minister, then we may well use the term Minister of the Interior (with capital letters on both function and department). However, in referring to the British minister, you ought to use the term 'Home Secretary' (the department is knwon as the 'Home Office'. Cf. 'Foreign Secretary' and 'Foreign Office'). To describe the US officeholder, then I believe the term if 'Secretary of the Interior'. To conclude, I think anything other than Minister of the Interior in the above extract would be wrong as reference is very specifically to the French minister.




    Robert & Collins
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 14:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4412
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