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contresens

English translation: contrary meaning

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20:30 Jan 15, 2003
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: contresens
contexte voir questions et commentaire récents, en fait je ne sais pas comment on dit ça en anglais, une bonne occasion de m'instruire, mais ne vous cassez pas trop la tête, c'est pour ma culture perso, pas pour un job
cjohnstone
France
Local time: 03:35
English translation:contrary meaning
Explanation:
there is no exact word for it in English, in my opinion, the gloss is above.

So, yes, it can be a mistake; but it's a particular kind of mistake. it's like berries in English for which you have no word in French. You say fraise, framboise etc. when we often will say berry. A contresense is not just a translation mistake by the way. You can have a contresense with no translation ie in one language.

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Note added at 2003-01-15 22:20:10 (GMT)
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erreur de traduction, contresense, il y en a bien d\'autres mais je ne vais pas faire tout un cours ici...je suis sure que cela generait...
Selected response from:

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Grading comment
THANKS EVERYBODY
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7misinterpretation, mistranslation
Francis MARC
5 +1contrary meaning
Jane Lamb-Ruiz
3 +2opposite meaning
NancyLynn
5Interprétation contraire au sens véritable d'un texte
lien
4 +1mistranslating
Fernando Muela
5mistake in translation / (to be guilty of a) mistranslation
Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ
3 +1a paradox
Pascale Dahan
3mistake
Arthur Borges


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
misinterpretation, mistranslation


Explanation:
but for a flow, it is "against the current of traffic"

Francis MARC
Lithuania
Local time: 04:35
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 6500

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gayle Wallimann: It can also be nonsense.
2 mins

agree  Peter Coles: Tout ce que Francis a écrit et, selon le contexte, « aberration ».
7 mins

agree  Michael Bastin: nonsense, doesnt' have any sense, while a "contresens" has a meaning, but the wrong one... my 2 cents
8 mins

neutral  Therese Nichols: misinterpretation, mistranslation, o.k. the wrong way, o.k. In sewing, against the grain!!!!
45 mins

agree  Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ
1 hr

agree  Anna Taylor: agree with Michael. It is the opposite meaning of what is said. Oxymorons are a sort of "contresens"
1 hr

agree  Sarah Walls
2 hrs

agree  Rachel Vanarsdall
17 hrs
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
mistranslating


Explanation:
Je crois que c'est ça.

Bonne chance!



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Note added at 2003-01-15 20:35:48 (GMT)
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Misinterpretation (faux-sens): It is when one takes one word for another. It can be in the same lexical field (e.g. maison = mansion, where house was expected) or completely change categories (e.g. foyer = home, where hearth was expected). The mistake will therefore be more or less important depending on the result.

Mistranslation (contresens): As the French word clearly puts it, a contresens (i.e. counter-meaning) leads to a translation that means the contrary of the idea that was expressed in the first place. This mistake is more or less important whether the mistranslation concerns a whole paragraph or a simple sentence, but it can be very serious. Just imagine a diplomatic context in which the sentence \"he wants to conclude peace\" should be translated by \"il veut faire la guerre\". At best, the translator would be fired. At worst, the consequence would be a tragedy.

http://www.llsh.univ-savoie.fr/lea/Perdrieau/advice.htm

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Note added at 2003-01-15 20:37:12 (GMT)
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C\'est \"mistranslatTION\", bien sûr!

Fernando Muela
Spain
Local time: 03:35
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 58

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ: mistranslation, yes
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
mistake in translation / (to be guilty of a) mistranslation


Explanation:
voici ce que "robert & collins" propose:
"Le traducteur a fait un contresens." = "The translator has made a mistake in translation. / The translator has been guilty of a mistranslation."

:-)

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ
Belgium
Local time: 03:35
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in BosnianBosnian
PRO pts in pair: 35
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
mistake


Explanation:
"mistranslation" is surely, uh, correcter, but it feels too euphemistic - I'd almost be embarrassed to use it in public.

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 10:35
PRO pts in pair: 404
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
contrary meaning


Explanation:
there is no exact word for it in English, in my opinion, the gloss is above.

So, yes, it can be a mistake; but it's a particular kind of mistake. it's like berries in English for which you have no word in French. You say fraise, framboise etc. when we often will say berry. A contresense is not just a translation mistake by the way. You can have a contresense with no translation ie in one language.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-15 22:20:10 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

erreur de traduction, contresense, il y en a bien d\'autres mais je ne vais pas faire tout un cours ici...je suis sure que cela generait...

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 8576
Grading comment
THANKS EVERYBODY

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Pascale Dahan: can be within one language, does'nt have to involve translation
11 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
opposite meaning


Explanation:
that's what happens when a (poor) translator gets it backwards
anyway that's what I always thought

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 21:35
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 715

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER: exactly my thoughts :-)
44 mins

agree  Michael Bastin: it happens to all translators, remember Traduttore, Traditore
3 hrs
  -> or comprehensive, comprehensif ;-)
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
a paradox


Explanation:
Is what it means.
A suggestion

Pascale Dahan
United States
Local time: 18:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 81

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hermeneutica: Yep. But there's no accounting for taste ... however I would have trusted the Lady of the Camargue to choose better.
672 days
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22 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Interprétation contraire au sens véritable d'un texte


Explanation:
C'est la meilleure definition que j'ai trouvee, parce qu'on peut aussi faire un contresens dans une langue.
Les mots cles ici c'est "sens veritable", l'idee exprimee.



lien
Netherlands
Local time: 03:35
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 80
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