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deal of a good swimmer!

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by eliki, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Bonjour,
    Je ne comprends pas ce que veut dire cette phrase ici :
    C'est un garçon qui parle d'une fille avec laquelle il fait la course à la nage. A chaque fois, dit-il, nous arrivons ex-eaquo. Et il conclut par ces mots, qui doivent être ironiques, je pense, ou alors admiratifs : "Deal of a good swimmer !"
    Peut-être : "C'est ça quand on est un bon nageur !" (on veut toujours faire la course)
    ou alors "Une sacrée bonne nageuse !"
    Merci d'avance pour vos idées !
     
  2. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    So,yes; "Une sacrée bonne nageuse !"
     
  3. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Merci, CarlosRapido ! :)
     
  4. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    I'm curious as to where you came across "Deal of a good swimmer!"
    Although each word does mean something, strung together like that, the words mean nothing at all in AE.
    My guess is that it's probably BE.
     
  5. tombry New Member

    Avignon, France
    English (UK)
    ^Doesn't mean much in BE either
     
  6. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Je ne sais pas. J'ai trouvé cette phrase dans un roman américain censé se dérouler au XIXème siècle à New York, mais écrit aujourd'hui...
    Peut-être l'auteur a-t-il voulu faire rétro ?
     
  7. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    What is the name of the book, and who is the author?
     
  8. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    It is simply street language, with the elisions and grammatical inconsistencies that are usual in such cases.
     
  9. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    :confused:And how would you render it in correct English without "the elisions and grammatical inconsistencies"?
     
  10. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    It is impossible to render in 'proper' English without losing the street flavor of the expression, as is the case with most slang. One can only give a feeble approximation, which I won't even begin to attempt at it serves no real purpose.

    Again; the definition I am basing my call on;
    which, in my mind, elicits in French, "C'est une grande part d'une bonne nageuse", an idea hard to render well in either proper French or English.
     
  11. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    Sorry, but it's still gibberish to me no matter how you try to package it.
    I think that either the OP is mistaken or the book has a typo and that
    "Deal of a good swimmer!" is meant to be "Hell of a good swimmer!"
     
  12. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Cela me paraît être une bonne piste, si Hell of a good swimmer est une expression réelle en Anglais.
     
  13. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    Deal >>> Hell, j'y crois pas, trop énorme comme coquille...Bien que hell of a soit beaucoup plus facile à comprendre.
     
  14. eliki Senior Member

    French
    ça y est, je crois que j'ai compris. En fait, Deal of a good swimmer ne concerne pas la fille, mais le garçon, qui est un très bon nageur et qui ralentit pour que la fille soit ex-aequo avec lui. Dans ce cas, "deal" voudrait dire quelque chose comme "arrangement".
    Qu'en pensez-vous ?
     
  15. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    Possible que ce contexte manquant nous ait envoyé sur de fausses pistes, Mais si c'est un arrangement, qui en sont les partenaires? Une telle chose peut être faite pour augmenter la confiance en soi de la nageuse, mais ce doit être fait à son insu pour être efficace.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  16. emmsy

    emmsy Senior Member

    Orleans France
    UK English
    The sentence either side may help make some sense of it but really to me it makes no sense at all! Could it be seal of a good swimmer, ie the sign of a good swimmer perhaps?
     
  17. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Sachant que "not a big deal" veut dire "ce n'est pas un drame", peut-on imaginer que "deal for a good swimmer" voudrait dire : "un drame pour un bon nageur" ?
    (Je ne crois pas à la faute de frappe)
    Si c'est en revanche ce que j'ai appelé "arrangement", ce serait un arrangement avec lui-même, ou encore un "cadeau" de la part de la fille, qui, dit le texte, nage très bien.
    Il faudra que je tranche d'une manière ou d'une autre. Merci à tous, en tout cas, pour la discussion ! :cool:
     
  18. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    Your failure thus far to provide us with the name of the author and the title of the book or,
    at the very least, the sentences that precede and follow "Deal of a good swimmer!"
    does not help us to help you.

    Without further context, I stand by my assertion that "Deal of a good swimmer!"
    means absolutely nothing, neither in "street language" nor in proper English.

    While it might be hard for some, especially younger people, to imagine "deal"
    being a typo for "hell," I would like to state that, even in today's computer age,
    not everyone composes on the computer. I could very well picture this typo
    occurring if the author wrote the book the old-fashioned way and then gave the
    handwritten manuscript to a non-native speaker of English to type.

    If you are translating from a published copy of the English-language book,
    given no further context, I can only assume it was self-published.

    If, for confidentiality reasons, you are reluctant to divulge anything more,
    then I'd suggest you try to contact the author to verify that (s)he did indeed
    write "Deal of a good swimmer!"

    P.S. : (She's one) hell of a good swimmer! ​makes perfect sense to me in the very limited context you've provided.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  19. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Thank you very much for your explaination. As you say, I am not sure I am allowed to tell the name of the author, and it is a good idea to try to contact him and ask him the question !
    I will tell you if he gives me the answer !
    Thank you again !;)

    Ps I can very well give you the sentences that precede :
    "Too bad it's too cold to swim", I said then. Pellets of wind-blown sleet and sand blistered our skin. She did prove to be a regular otter later, in the hotel's salt-water pool. When the two of us swam races, we came up even. Deal of a good swimmer.

    That's all. If that helps, please tell me what you think !
     
  20. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    Thank you for providing the additional sentences.
    Unfortunately, I'm as much in the dark now as I was before!
    I really do think your best bet is to ask the author himself.
    Please do come back to let us know what he wrote and what he meant.
    And if "deal" is not a typo, please tell us what kind of English he speaks (what country he is from).
     
  21. eliki Senior Member

    French
    Merci Language Hound, vous portez bien votre nom !
    Oui, je m'occupe de poser la question à l'auteur et je vous tiendrai au courant, même si cela risque de prendre du temps...
     
  22. eliki Senior Member

    French
    I have asked the author, who says you should read :"A deal of a good swimmer !" He says it's slang, meaning : A really good swimmer !
    The author is from New York.
    Thank you, Language Hound, CarlosRapido and Emmsy for your contribution !
     
  23. emmsy

    emmsy Senior Member

    Orleans France
    UK English
    Who would have thought! I have learnt some new york slang :)
     
  24. guillaumedemanzac Senior Member

    English - standard UK variety
    A simple mistake: Hell of a good swimmer! makes sense but not deal. Even if you think it is deal for a good swimmer (which for some reason you changed it to in #17) neither deal of or deal for or deal with make sense.
    However if he said "I'm dealing with a good swimmer here!" that makes sense. Native speaker error would lead him to substitute Hell (which might offend some people) by Deal and then to use the wrong preposition.
     
  25. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    Thank you very much, Eliki, for getting back to us with the author's response.
    Unfortunately, I'm still not satisfied.

    The author, who is from New York, says "Deal of a good swimmer!" is slang, meaning "A really good swimmer!"
    Well, I lived in New York for years and never heard this. But perhaps he means it is 19th-century slang since:
    If that were the case, surely we would be able to find other examples of its use, which is not the case.

    I wouldn't be so sure, Emmsy.;)
     

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