1. cathy Junior Member

    Australia - English
    Moderator Note: several threads have been merged to create this one.

    Hi, I'm translating a passage about Vietnamese politics. Can anyone help with the following phrase?

    l’ampleur du chômage avaient permis aux entreprises d’avoir facilement raison de la défense ouvrière.

    The unemployment rate had allowed businesses to ...[...]

    Thanks for your help :)

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  2. xav

    xav Senior Member

    ...not exactly, I think...
    "avoir raison de" means here "l'emporter sur", "gagner face à". We can say too "amener à la raison", which gave the naval term "arraisonner", which means the same. The "raison" has not much to do with all that, which is a pure matter of force...

    "la défense ouvrière" probably means "the working forces (defending their interests)".
  3. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    'avoir raison de' can often be translated as 'get the better of'.

    The high level of unemployment allowed businesses easily to get the better of the workers(' protections).

    You might also consider 'do away with' or 'see off' in this context (or something better that's escaping me).
  4. haggis New Member

    scotland english
    Aupick- another way to put it ...easily weaken the power of the unions.
  5. xav

    xav Senior Member

    Thanks, Aupick

    What does "get the better of" mean ? It should be added in the WR Dictionary. I understood "get the best of", which is very common - but I think it hasn't the same meaning.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  6. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    'Get the better of' means 'defeat' or 'gain an advantage over' or 'gain the upper hand'. It usually suggests that the success is due more to skill or cunning than to physical force. Example:

    In Les Liaisons dangereuses, Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil each try to get the better of the other, but in the end it is their obsessive vanity that gets the better of both of them.
  7. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Aupick has perfectly caught the meaning of the phrase, which can also be described in French as prendre le pas sur, prendre le dessus sur.

    Just for info. ;)
  8. toriana Junior Member

    Polish, Poland

    Happy New Year to all!

    How would you translate "avoir raison de" in the following context (press article)?:

    "C'est qu'au bout de 6 mois l'invasion de boue, l'opacité de la compagnie pétrolière et l'impuissance de l'État finissent par avoir raison de la légendaire résignation javanaise. Des manifestations s'organisent. (...)"

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    [...] Can it be something like: "... finally make the Javanese people take an action"?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  9. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Yes, toriana, that's the idea.

    It means that the Javanese finally overcame their traditional fatalism and began to organise demonstrations.
  10. PPP Senior Member

    I was reading an article in Le Monde today about poor youth in the surburbs, in which it says,
    "Le chomage et les discriminations ont eu raison de leur confiance."

    Does this mean "Unemployment and discrimination were right in their view?" I'm really unsure. Thank you!
  11. Nil-the-Frogg

    Nil-the-Frogg Senior Member

    Français (France)
    No, it means that "Unemployment and discrimination brought their trust down"

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  12. martingerard06 New Member

    Belgium French
    A cause du chômage et des discriminations, ces jeunes n'ont plus confiance.

    Avoir raison de = triumph over = beat sth
  13. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    Perhaps: x & y overpowered/vanquished their confidence.

    If I may, I'd like to add (the very common): xyz won out over their confidence.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  14. Skye142 Junior Member

    Leeds, UK
    English (UK)
    Hello all,

    I have the following sentence to translate and I really don't understand 'avoir raison de notre bonne volonte'.

    'Malheureusement, des difficulties d’approvisionnement en carburant puis la fermeture de la piste d'Agadez pour travaux ont eu, en 2003, raison de notre bonne volonté.

    I've translated the beginning as

    'Unfortunately, problems with fuel supplies and then the closure of the Agadez runway for repairs ...' but I don't know what to do with the rest.

    Any help woud be greatly appreciated!

  15. madolo Senior Member

    "avoir raison de" is to overcome, to defeat, something along those lines
  16. kieran75 Senior Member

    France, Spain
    I think the meaning is that it got the better of us.
    but I would translate this way:
    Because of xxxx we were forced to give up.
  17. ladlab Senior Member

    J'ai bien consulté le dictionnaire, les miens et celui de WR mais je n'arrive pas à trouver de traduction de "la révolution aura raison de l'édifice qui sera vendu comme bien national"
    On donne souvent l'expression "get the better of something "mais ça me paraît bizarre dans ce contexte.
    Could we say "Because of the revolution the building was sold as a national property;"?
    Thank you
  18. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Are we talking about the Revolution of 1789? Does it mean that the building was confiscated (nationalised)?
  19. WJNM New Member

    <avoir raison de> is similar to but much stronger than the "got the better of". It means to "dismantle", "destroy" or "end resistance" ...rather than just to end up relatively better off. The context may be helpful. For example <l'edifice> in question may have been a formerly impregnable building of some kind...?
  20. ladlab Senior Member

    I think that means that because of the revolution in 1789 the building could not belong to the royals any more, it belonged to the nation.
    Sorry for answering so late whereas both of you gave me a very quick answer, but I couldn't use my computer.Thank you so much.
  21. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Ah - in that case I would say "The revolutionaries seized the building and later sold it to generate public funds" - or something of that sort.
  22. ladlab Senior Member

    Thank you so much. I wouldn't have found this sentence myself.
  23. mortrose New Member

    I'm wondering if 'avoir raison de' can be only translated into 'to be right', because I've been struggling with this sentence from André Gide's Les Faux-Monneyeurs, which is

    'car il reste un être moral, et le diable n'aura raison de lui, qu'en lui fournissant des raisons de s'approver.'.

    I can get the 'because he remains as a moral being' part, but for the rest of this sentence I've got no clue:( 'The demon won't be right about him?' I would very appreciate if somebody could help me translate this French sentence into English.
  24. Juan Jacob Vilalta

    Juan Jacob Vilalta Banned

    Avoir raison de veut dire battre, gagner, vaincre.
    Le diable ne pourra pas le battre...
  25. Wopsy

    Wopsy Senior Member

    The garden of Ireland
    English - Ireland
    The devil won't get the better of him; won't get the upper hand.

    And welcome to the forum!

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