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adieu aux armes

English translation: the Britsh army bid farewell at the handover ceremony

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06:59 Oct 18, 2001
French to English translations [PRO]
French term or phrase: adieu aux armes
Still on the database of press picture captions.

Two sets of pictures featuring the above term:

L'ADIEU AUX ARMES DE L'AMIRAL JL
L'ADIEU AUX ARMES DE L'ARMEE ANGLAISE A HONG KONG

Both sets of pictures depict military ceremonies/parades. The first is evidently the retirement of this Admiral, while the second is the last parade for the English army in HK.

I know this is the French title of Hemingway's 'A farewell to arms', but I don't think that's relevant here!

So the question is, what do we call this parade / ceremony in English. The term needs to be understood by a general readership, not just the military.

TIA

Mary
Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:57
English translation:the Britsh army bid farewell at the handover ceremony
Explanation:
The official term for the 'event' was the handover of Hong Kong to China -basically the lease ran out, so the British had to leave! The suggestion I have given is maybe a bit long for a photo caption though, so you could shorten it to:

The Britsh army at the handover ceremony.

P.S. I was living in Hong Kong at the time this happened (in fact, I still am), so believe me, this IS the appropriate term.
Selected response from:

BernieM
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:57
Grading comment
Thanks to all who answered. This was a tough one - especially as there were two different contexts the term had to fit into. All the answers had real merit, and there wasn't one I didn't like ... but I think the 'handover' is just going to win by a nose!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4Admiral JL's farewell to arms
Parrot
5 +1The British Army brings down the flagmckinnc
4 +1the Britsh army bid farewell at the handover ceremonyBernieM
4 +1Farwell ceremony
Maya Jurt
4the retiring of forcesaggeliki
4stand downmckinnc
4farewell salute
VBaby
4Admiral JL withdraws with honourmckinnc


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
The British Army brings down the flag


Explanation:
Important to say British here. I happen to know it was a Scottish regiment, the Black Watch, that were stationed there and took part in the ceremony in which the Union Jack was taken down.

Apart from that, the original does seem slightly inappropriate because the fact they were pulling out does not mean they were ceasing to fight or be soldiers.

Also, teerms such as laying down their weapons carry notions of surrender.

mckinnc
Local time: 10:57
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 922

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  pzulaica
7 mins
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
stand down


Explanation:
Another possibility because it suggests the end of a period of duty or an alert for soldiers.

mckinnc
Local time: 10:57
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 922
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Admiral JL withdraws with honour


Explanation:
Help, where's all this stuff coming from?

mckinnc
Local time: 10:57
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 922
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Farwell ceremony


Explanation:
See CNN report below


    Reference: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9704/11/hong.kong/
Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 10:57
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 412

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gilda Manara: A Farewell to Arms was the title of a famous book by E. Hemingway - the expression has become idiomatic since then
2 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the Britsh army bid farewell at the handover ceremony


Explanation:
The official term for the 'event' was the handover of Hong Kong to China -basically the lease ran out, so the British had to leave! The suggestion I have given is maybe a bit long for a photo caption though, so you could shorten it to:

The Britsh army at the handover ceremony.

P.S. I was living in Hong Kong at the time this happened (in fact, I still am), so believe me, this IS the appropriate term.

BernieM
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:57
PRO pts in pair: 244
Grading comment
Thanks to all who answered. This was a tough one - especially as there were two different contexts the term had to fit into. All the answers had real merit, and there wasn't one I didn't like ... but I think the 'handover' is just going to win by a nose!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: To shorten it "Brits bid farewell at hadnover ceremony"
20 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
farewell salute


Explanation:
Farewell salute can be used for both examples. Here is a mention of a farewell salute in a text about General Sir Charles Napier (link below):

"In 1847, his health failing, he tendered his resignation as
Governor of Sindh and sailed away home to England where he died in
1853. An obelisk of pink Aberdeen granite was raised in his
commemoration that year on the Napier Mole by the people of
Karachi. The inscription upon its plinth read : "From this spot on
1st October 1847 was fired the farewell salute to His Excellency Lt
General Sir Charles Napier GCB. On his retirement from the
Governorship of Sind being the extreme point from which at that
date wheel carriage had ever passed along this Bunder, a work
planned and executed under the Government of His Excellency and
thus far completed at the date of his departure from this
province."



    Reference: http://www.salon.com/july97/hongkong970701.html
    Reference: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials...
VBaby
Local time: 09:57
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 401
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Admiral JL's farewell to arms


Explanation:
While I agree Hemingway is not relevant to the ceremony, this seems to have been the intention of the writer of the French original, when he used a title known in every language.

Parrot
Spain
Local time: 10:57
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1861

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  lmr_transl: Hemingway comes into play because he 'established' the idiomatic phrase.
2 hrs

agree  TransHispania
3 hrs

agree  xxxAbu Amaal
8 hrs

agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne
18 hrs
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the retiring of forces


Explanation:
When articles of war are decomissioned, one speaks of them as being "retired". In this case we are speaking of the ushering out of armed forces.

aggeliki
Greece
Local time: 11:57
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
PRO pts in pair: 4
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