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En le voyant au loin s'abattre sur les eaux

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by lp_lover1990, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. lp_lover1990 Junior Member

    canada/english
    i have the literal meaning of the following sentence but it doesnt seem to make much sense as the words, in english would be all out of order so can i get some help?

    En le voyant au loin s'abattre sur les eaux
     
  2. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    Hi lp_lover1990,

    There is only a literal meaning to this sentence. :) Unless you haven't shared all the text and something in the context makes you think there's a hidden metaphor... What have you got so far?
     
  3. Paf le chien

    Paf le chien Senior Member

    Soissons
    France-French (Paris)
    Litterally :

    "By seeing it/him/her crashing/falling onto the water in the farway".

    It is certainly not good English, but it gives you a starter...
     
  4. namyls Senior Member

    Brazil
    France
    Some more context would help ! At least, the whole sentence. I think there are different way to interpret it.
    A possibility could be:

    "Seeing him/it being destroyed on the water, [...]"
     
  5. lp_lover1990 Junior Member

    canada/english
    well its a stanza of a poem mill give he whole thing

    Lorsque le pélican, lassé-d'un long voyage,
    Dans les brouillards du soir retourne à ses roseaux,
    Ses petits affamés courent sur le rivage
    En le voyant au loin s'abattre sur les eaux
     
  6. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    Could swoop down fit? when they see him/it swoop down on the water?
     
  7. lp_lover1990 Junior Member

    canada/english
    i could try that thanks geve :)
     
  8. Paf le chien

    Paf le chien Senior Member

    Soissons
    France-French (Paris)
    Musset : Allégorie du Pélican

    Absolument superbe !

    Je n'oserais même pas m'essayer une seule seconde à le traduire ;)
     
  9. nhat Senior Member

    France
    france
    oui ca a l'air bien
    il y a aussi "land on the water" je crois
     
  10. Paf le chien

    Paf le chien Senior Member

    Soissons
    France-French (Paris)
    As I said, I won't try to even think to translate Musset...

    But as I can understand, it plunges to get fishes. So wouldn't it be rather :

    "when they see him/it swoop down into the water?"
     
  11. nhat Senior Member

    France
    france
    et "au loin" on le rend comment ?

    when they see him swoop down into the water in the distance ?
     
  12. timboleicester

    timboleicester Senior Member

    Paris
    English - UK
    I agree, beautiful poem which has given me the desire to read some more.

    The pelican is returning to it's young after a day away...you can see it's huge wings thrashing the water as it comes in to land (on the water) So I would use that for "s'abattre"

    Gives the flavour of a struggle at least.
     
  13. Paf le chien

    Paf le chien Senior Member

    Soissons
    France-French (Paris)
    Now that you say, I remember it better.

    The Pelican comes back with no food, hurt and tired. The youg think it is back with food, but it has nothing to eat, so it will give them his own body... Both beautiful and awful :(

    So you are perfectly right : it just lands onto the water, not into it.

    But as it is very tired, it does it very suddenly and quickly, which is well rendered by "s'abattre", which is sudden.

    You know, I learnt this poem at school, so it's a little bit old in my memory :)
     

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