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là où le bât blesse

English translation: where things heat up, is when we bring up citizen participation in the ...

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06:41 Nov 25, 2001
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: là où le bât blesse
Je me méfie un peu des traductions d'expressions dans les dictionnaires.
Le mien me donne : "that's where the shoe pinches". Does native English speakers use it? Are there any different solution to translate it?

Thanks
Yannick MARCHEGAY
France
Local time: 05:30
English translation:where things heat up, is when we bring up citizen participation in the ...
Explanation:
This is not the same language register of course, but if the tone of your document allows it, I think this would translate the feelings conveyed.

Selected response from:

Sylvie Brideau
Canada
Local time: 23:30
Grading comment
Le problème de cette expression est que, dans ce contexte, elle n'était pas utilisée dans le sens auquel on est habitué.
Je pense que le plus simple et le plus compréhensible était cette réponse.

Merci à tous pour vos réponses.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1There's the rub
Roddy Tannahill
5where things heat up, is when we bring up citizen participation in the ...Sylvie Brideau
4 +1...where the shoe pinches/where it hurtsCarole Muller
4there where the difficulty(ies) lie
lefoque
4that's the weak spot/Achilles' heelxxxblomguib
4là où le bât blesse
Sheila Hardie
4là où le bât blesse
Sheila Hardie
4right where it hurtscarpman22
3The problem is... / The downside is... (?)David Sirett
4 -1THAT'S THE WEAK LINK
Maya Jurt


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
right where it hurts


Explanation:
generic, I know...but it might work

carpman22
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:30
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
There's the rub


Explanation:
Je traduirais "Là où le bât blesse" as "there's the rub". "The rub" est l'endroit où il y a de la friction entre deux objets.... HTH.

Roddy Tannahill
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:30
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 41

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheila Hardie
18 mins

agree  sjpereira
19 hrs

disagree  Carole Muller: I don't think this term is appropriate given the context. There's no friction/disagreement,there's a malfunction
1 day 5 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
The problem is... / The downside is... (?)


Explanation:
IMO 'that's where the shoe pinches' (given by my Larousse) is little used in English, though 'know where the shoe pinches' is given in the Chambers dictionary. However, this means 'to know by direct experience what the trouble or difficulty is' (as in 'only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches'), which is not quite the same as the French. For the latter, Le Petit Robert gives 'c'est le défaut de sa cuirasse, c'est son point sensible'.

David Sirett
Local time: 05:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2045
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
THAT'S THE WEAK LINK


Explanation:
Tout dépend du contexte. La traduction est exact, mais...

Voir:
www.kootchoo.com/da.htm

Et voilà un exemple, mais comme j'ai dit,tout dépend du contexte.
HTH

Mais cela suppose que les pays membres sont bien en mesure d’analyser et de comprendre les propositions visant à changer les règles commerciales. C'EST LA OÙ LE BÂT BLESSE. L’écart sur le plan du savoir entre les pays en développement et les pays industrialisés désavantage les premiers en ce qui a trait aux négociations mondiales sur le commerce et l’environnement. Nous entendons donc appuyer davantage les recherches axées sur les domaines liés aux sphères de compétence de l’OMC, et cela englobe à peu près tout, de la culture à l’agriculture.



But that assumes member countries are actually able to analyze and understand proposals for changing trade rules. THAT'S THE WEEK LINK. The knowledge gap between developing and industrialized countries puts the former at a disadvantage in terms of global negotiations on trade and the environment. So we anticipate that our support for research is going to concentrate more on WTO-related areas, and that means just about everything, from culture to agriculture.


Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 05:30
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 412

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Roddy Tannahill: In this situation, I think 'that's where the problem lies' would have been more appropriate. The same goes for Yannick's text, I guess. HTH :)
4 mins

disagree  sjpereira: Not very English, sorry to disagree.
19 hrs
  -> Insiduous comment ,sort of 'know-it-all' Well, a lot of that from NATIVES on proZ.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
...where the shoe pinches/where it hurts


Explanation:
Hi Yannick,

the entire proverb in French is: "Seulement l'âne sait où le bât blesse" [ref: Robert] (transl.:the donkey is the only one to know where the saddle hurts) so the entire meaning is best rendered by:

[only XXX knows/know] ...where the shoe pinches/where it hurts.

But depending on your context, there's something to put before that...like in the[..] above:

"only XXX knows where it hurts/where the shoe pinches."

And why not ..."where the shoe hurts?"

By the way "where the shoe pinches" is very common in Danish (hvor skoen trykker), so maybe it's not that outdated in English?


    experience
Carole Muller
Denmark
Local time: 05:30
PRO pts in pair: 75

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Sheila Hardie: I wouldn't say 'where the shoe pinches' is very common in English,at least not in my experience:)
52 mins

agree  xxx& Associates: "Where the show pinches" is definitely the most commonly used translation for "c'est la ou le bat blesse".Check any "Dictionnaire francais-anglais des expressions et locutions".
1 day 3 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
where things heat up, is when we bring up citizen participation in the ...


Explanation:
This is not the same language register of course, but if the tone of your document allows it, I think this would translate the feelings conveyed.



Sylvie Brideau
Canada
Local time: 23:30
PRO pts in pair: 37
Grading comment
Le problème de cette expression est que, dans ce contexte, elle n'était pas utilisée dans le sens auquel on est habitué.
Je pense que le plus simple et le plus compréhensible était cette réponse.

Merci à tous pour vos réponses.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
là où le bât blesse


Explanation:
I think there are several ways of rendering this in English and in French. It really depends on the context. The original phrase may have been related to the l'âne in French and shoes in English, but I certainly wouldn't translate it as 'where the shoe pinches' in many cases. If, for example, I were to translate 'C'est précisement là où le bât blesse...' I think Rodent's suggestion of 'There's the rub' would be the best and most natural translation. But, in some cases 'Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches' could be used too. I have just seen your note about the participation of citizens etc. I don't know, It would also depend on the exact sentence.

Well, I hope this helps, Yannick!

Sheila


Here are a few variants of this expression in both languages:

Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches (Irish proverb)

Chacun sait où le bât blesse.

c'est là que le bât blesse // savoir où le bât blesse connaître les peines cachées, les ennuis secretsde qqn

Nul ne sait mieux que l'âne où le bât blesse.

C'est précisément là où le bât blesse


Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 05:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 679
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
là où le bât blesse


Explanation:
I think there are several ways of rendering this in English and in French. It really depends on the context. The original phrase may have been related to the l'âne in French and shoes in English, but I certainly wouldn't translate it as 'where the shoe pinches' in many cases. If, for example, I were to translate 'C'est précisement là où le bât blesse...' I think Rodent's suggestion of 'There's the rub' would be the best and most natural translation. But, in some cases 'Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches' could be used too. I have just seen your note about the participation of citizens etc. I don't know, It would also depend on the exact sentence.

Well, I hope this helps, Yannick!

Sheila


Here are a few variants of this expression in both languages:

Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches (Irish proverb)

Chacun sait où le bât blesse.

c'est là que le bât blesse // savoir où le bât blesse connaître les peines cachées, les ennuis secretsde qqn

Nul ne sait mieux que l'âne où le bât blesse.

C'est précisément là où le bât blesse


Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 05:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 679
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day 10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
there where the difficulty(ies) lie


Explanation:
I think this could work since were talking about getting citizens involved in the constructing of a new Europe

lefoque
United States
Local time: 23:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 209
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1 day 19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
that's the weak spot/Achilles' heel


Explanation:
I would translate "c'est là que le bât le blesse" as "that's his weak spot" or that's his Achilles' heel", which is perhaps a bit too strong.Anyway....

xxxblomguib
Local time: 02:30
Native speaker of: Native in FlemishFlemish, Native in DutchDutch
PRO pts in pair: 39
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