Page images
PDF
EPUB

better say, d'une dinde qui était très-dodue, or with a circumlocution d'une dinde il y avait de quoi manger, literally of a turkey on which there was plenty to eat.

§ 51. It is also better not to repeat pour twice if it can be avoided; for example, we came in town to buy a bracelet FOR the bride, ought not to be translated, nous sommes venus en ville POUR acheter un bracelet POUR la fiancée, but nous sommes venus en ville AFIN D'acheter un bracelet POUR la fiancée.

§ 52. We also give a few examples of reduplication of sounds which should be carefully avoided, by modifying the construction of the sentence :

1. Il vint en ville à peu près une heure après nous

He came to town about an hour after us

2. Nous allâmes à Anvers

We went to Antwerp 3. Il a été très-têtu

He has been very obstinate 4. Voilà un artiste qui, quoiqu'il croie qu'il est grand peintre, ne

sera jamais connu There is an artist who, though he believes himself a great

painter, will never be known 5. Ma main sera donnée demain

My hand will be given away to-morrow 6. Les bons bonbons que ma bonne m'a donnés

The good sweetmeats my nurse has given me 7. Ta tante est toute tremblante

Thy aunt is quite trembling 8. On offre de l'or à l'orphelin

They offer gold to the orphan

§ 53. For the sake of euphony we also suppress the adverb

y before the future of the verb aller, and instead

of saying j'y irai, I will go there, we only use j'irai. But when verbs of the first conjugation are employed in the second person singular of the imperative mood, a euphonic s is used, as vas-y, go there ; parles-en, speak of it; ra-y, parle-en would be wrong.

VII.—OF IDIOMATIC PHRASES.

$ 54. The value of the expression and the construction adopted by the English author should always be observed ; but the genius of the French language must not be sinned against. Every language has its own features, which depend on the peculiarities, origin, and habits of a nation, as well as on their different views, feelings, and ways of expression. Thus spring up untranslatable forms, arising from a complex association of several of these causes, and deviating from general and common rules so completely that they can only be translated by equivalents. These

forms, which often defy analysis, and against which - the translator would struggle in vain, are called Idioms.

They are very numerous in English, and it would be impossible to give a complete list of them ; but students can find them in dictionaries, and above all by perusing the best writers. We cannot conclude without giving a certain number of Idioms, with their translation, so that the importance and difficulty of this particular subject may be better understood :

1. He was by himself.

Il était seul

2. It is all over

C'en est fait

3. We should do it but for hurting him

Nous le ferions si nous ne craignions de le blesser

4. It happened three years ago

Cela est arrivé il y a trois ans

5. It is five years since

Il y a cinq ans de cela

6. What will become of me?

Que deviendrai-je ?

7. She was wet through

Elle fut mouillée jusqu'aux os 8. I was looking for you

Je vous cherchais 9. He sent for you

Il vous a envoyé chercher 10. He is in my debt for six pounds

Il me doit six livres

11. I put out the candle

Je souffle la chandelle

12. The fire is going out

Le feu va s'éteindre

13. I must leave you

Il faut que je vous quitte 14. She is twelve

Elle a douze ans

15. What o'clock is it by your watch?

Quelle heure est-il à votre montre ?

16. It is seven minutes past five

Il est cinq heures sept minutes 17. It is eight minutes to four

Il est quatre heures moins huit minutes 18. They are all one with me

Ils sont tous du même sentiment que moi

19. They frightened him out of the drawing-room

Ils lui firent quitter le salon en l'effrayant 20. The rain pours down

La pluie tombe à verse 21. At these words the prisoner turned very pale

A ces mots, l'accusé devint très-pâle

22. He has been run over

Une voiture lui a passé sur le corps

23. The old man shook his stick at her

Le vieillard la menaça de son bâton

24. How will you meet such an expense ?

Comment ferez-vous face à une pareille dépense ?

25. What is the matter?

Qu'y a-t-il ?

26. What is the matter with you?

Qu'avez-vous ?

27. He walked up and down the room

Il se promenait de long en large dans la chambre
Or, ll allait et venait dans la chambre

28. It is a matter of course

Cela va sans dire

29. To show somebody in

Faire entrer quelqu'un 30. He looks very ill

Il a l'air très-malade

31. I pretend to be deaf

Je fais semblant d'être sourd
Or, Je fais le sourd

32. She was dressed up

Elle était en grande toilette

33. We are glad to have a carriage of our own

Nous sommes contents d'avoir une voiture à nous

34. He frowned at him

Il le regarda de travers

35. We do not question his honoui

Nous ne doutons pas de son honneur
Or, Nous ne mettons pas son honneur en question

36. She was taken ill

Elle tomba malade

37. The enemies fled for their lives

Les ennemis cherchèrent leur salut dans la fuite

38. They helped me out

Ils m'ont tiré d'affaire

39. That boy does not know how to read

Ce garçon ne sait pas lire

40. Our interests are at stake

Il y va de nos intérêts

41. Go and call your father

Allez appeler votre père

42. I am hungry, thirsty, cold

J'ai faim, soif, froid

43. His shoes let in water

Ses souliers prennent l'eau

44. They put the inhabitants to the sword

Ils passèrent les habitants au fil de l'épée

« PreviousContinue »