Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
11:15 Nov 27, 2008
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Answer found elsewhere
French to English translations [PRO] Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
French term or phrase:Vingt fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage
From l'Art poétique by Boileau
He means that you must work and work again on the task at hand in order to perfect it (using the loom image)
This has been translated "A hundred times consider what you’ve said" by Sir William Soame but I find it rather unpoetic and very remote from the original.
Any better ideas?
I need this as a quote in a speech.
My next question: "polissez-le sans cesse, et repolissez-le" comes from the same context
I wasn't suggesting you didn't know what it means. I just thought it interesting that the phrase was actually in the dictionary - a sign that it is part of everyday language and not just a famous quote. I thought that might make a difference to the way you translated it.
remettre [quelque chose] sur le métier (littéraire) : to make some improvements to [something]
■ vingt fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage : you should keep going back to your work and improving it