ainé, cadet, puîné, benjamin

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Jean-claude Jacquittie, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Jean-claude Jacquittie Junior Member

    UK, English
    I've seen quite a few posts in reference to this on the forums, but I'm still having a bit of trouble translating 'benjamin'.

    I think 'baby of the family' works quite well, however in the context I'm translating, said 'benjamine' is pregnant, so this could result in an unfortunate play on words...

    'le fils ainé dealer, le cadet suicidaire et la benjamine enceinte'

    At the moment I've got:
    'drug dealing older brother, suicidal youngster and...'

    I'm completely stuck what to use in english for the last!
    Any ideas?

    Jean Claude
  2. Rémile Junior Member

    French - France
    Ainé(e) : First born child
    Cadet(te) : following child(ren)
    Benjamin(e) : Last born child
  3. Jean-claude Jacquittie Junior Member

    UK, English
    I'm not really sure how well those phrases would fit in with the surrounding adjectives though.
    I'd rather not use a relative clause : the youngest of the family who is pregnant.
    Anyone know of slightly shorter maybe a one word phrase we use in english other than 'youngest child', 'last born child' etc.? Is Benjamin still commonly used in english any more?!
  4. Flynnzane Senior Member

    french, english
    there is a thread about : je suis le cadet / in this forum
    and a whole bunch of words, for benjamin, cadet,
    have a look, you may find ... Good luck!
  5. Jean-claude Jacquittie Junior Member

    UK, English
    I'll have another look.
    Thanks :)
  6. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    ...the eldest son dealing drugs, another suicidal and the youngest daughter pregnant ... ???
  7. Jean-claude Jacquittie Junior Member

    UK, English
    Ah, I like that! I think using the adjectives as verbs could work well with the rest of my sentence too.
    Thanks prof :)
  8. temple09 Senior Member

    English - British
    I am still very confused here, although I have looked at all of the other threads. Can anyone help to clarify things, by helping my with some (hypothetical examples).
    a) If there are only two siblings - a boy (aged 10) and a girl (aged 8), I know that the boy is l'aîné, but is the girl the cadette or the benjamine?
    b) In a large familly can one have lots of cadets? (i.e. six children - one aîné, one benjamin, and the rest are all cadets?), and in such a familly, who would be the puiné(s)? - and is this last word used often?
    c) Finally - can one use benjamin/aîné in the plural sense? I.e. - "Paul (30) and Claire (29) are the oldest of my six children" - ils sont les aînés? "... and Billy (18) and Sarah (17) are the two youngest" - ils sont les benjamins?
  9. RedHairFrenchGuy Senior Member

  10. MarcusK Senior Member

    a) The girl is the cadette. Technically speaking she could be the benjamine too, but I don't think one would say that, for the same reason why one wouldn't say "the last" if there are only 2 items.
    b) There can be several cadets. Puîné is basically the same as cadet, except that it's a bit obsolete. Another minor difference between the two terms is that cadet can also refer more specifically to the second among siblings, whereas puîné can refer to any older sibling (cadet can also have the latter meaning).
    c) Aînés can be in plural. I don't think benjamins would be used in plural, one would rather say les cadets.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  11. Chimel Senior Member

    Puîné is no longer current (oral) French, you only comme across it in official documents such as a legacy.

    Cadet used to be the second one in a large family, but nowadays nearly everybody would understand le cadet de la famille as the youngest child (as a matter of fact, most families have now one or two children...). So it tends to be just a synonym of benjamin, but I would say that benjamin is more used in the meaning of "le petit dernier", with a sort of smiling undertone. "C'est notre benjamin(e)" often implies that he/she is the last one after three, four, five... other children. In a family of two, I think the youngest child would rather be called "le cadet".
  12. temple09 Senior Member

    English - British
    Thank you very much for your help on this. It is all much clearer now. :)
  13. binhle410 Senior Member

    so, Can I sum them up like this
    From that page, should I udnerstand that
    frere aine = older brother = grand frere
    soeur ainee = older sister - grande soeur
    frere cadet = younger brother - petit frere
    soure cadette - younger sister - petite soeure

    frere benjamin - youngest broether - ....
    soeur benjamine - youngest sister - ...
  14. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)

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