la pénombre envahit la chambre

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by dawn2002, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    How would you translate the sentence "la pénombre envahit la pièce", and more precisely what is the word which corresponds to "envahir" in this context?
    I translated it "the room was being overrun by halflight", but I don't know if "overrun" is good here.
    Thanks
     
  2. highcs

    highcs Senior Member

    Germany
    English - U.S.
    How about:
    The room was bathed in shadows
    or
    A shadowy light filled the room
    or
    depending on the context maybe even...
    Shadows crept across the room

    Just a few ideas.... could you give some more context?
     
  3. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    The protagonist is in her room.: "Mathilde reste un long moment immobile, les coudes sur la table, le menton dans ses mains. La pénombre envahit la chambre. Elle pense aux lettres qu'elle vient de lire, des images qui l'ont frappé se bousculent. elle se promet de les relire le lendemain."
    My translation is not good?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  4. highcs

    highcs Senior Member

    Germany
    English - U.S.
    'overrun' is a little too violent in this context, for my taste. It doesn't quite capture the mood of the text - even though it is a possible translation of the word 'envahir'. In another situation 'overrun' could work quite well....
    I don't particularly like 'halflight' - but that might be AE vs BE.... it's not a word that I would ever use as an AE speaker....
     
  5. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    yes. I prefer darkness. but Halflight is more precise.
     
  6. highcs

    highcs Senior Member

    Germany
    English - U.S.
    New thought:
    if you don't like 'shadows' how about 'darkness' or 'evening' or 'dusk'.....
     
  7. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    darkness was filling the room? could it be possible?
     
  8. highcs

    highcs Senior Member

    Germany
    English - U.S.
    Actually, "pénombre" can be translated as any of the above... I don't think 'halflight' is any more precise....
     
  9. Merpero Senior Member

    Birmingham,England
    English-United Kingdom
    Highcs suggestion of "shadows crept across the room" sounds very good to me.
     
  10. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    so i don't need to use an ING form?
     
  11. highcs

    highcs Senior Member

    Germany
    English - U.S.
    Sorry... yes, it should be present (but not -ing)
    Shadows creep across the room....
     
  12. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    Thanks a lot! I translated it in the past tense, because It is not a contemporary text and when it is present in French we have to translate it in the past tense in English
     
  13. Ormston Senior Member

    Brittany
    British English
    As a Br E speaker I'd never come across 'halflight' before, but I see that it's the first entry in my Collins Robert dictionary for 'pénombre'.

    I thought this was from Un long dimanche de fiançailles, and checking my copy it's clear that the scene takes place during the evening.

    That being the case, I'd use 'twilight' as 'half-light' in my English dictionary is explained as 'dim light' which could be at any time of the day.

    She's just finished reading some letters and she sits for so long thinking of what she's read that the room starts to get dark. So how about "twilight crept into the room"?

    I don't this it's possible to use 'overrun' or 'invade' as darkness doesn't fall suddenly (except in the Tropics I suppose!)

    Great book, by the way, and great film too.
     
  14. Ormston Senior Member

    Brittany
    British English
    If you've translated the rest of the passage in the past, then "she was thinking" is OK or perhaps even better "she thought". How about this? -
    [...]Twilight crept across the room.[...]
    Just a quick attempt, but you should be able to polish it up a bit!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
  15. dawn2002 Junior Member

    french from france
    i translated it " she remained motionless, her elbows on her table, her chin in her hands. twilight crept across the room. she thought of the letters she had just read, her head was buzzing with pictures that had stricken her"

    what about "darkness was creeping the room"?

    Could you say "darkness was flooding the bedroom" for "la pénombre envahit la chambre"
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2009
  16. Merpero Senior Member

    Birmingham,England
    English-United Kingdom
    Hello Dawn,

    "darkness was creeping the room" sounds very good EXCEPT that you must put a preposition before "the room".

    You can either put "into" or "across"

    Thus:

    "Darkness was creeping across the room"
    or
    "Darkness was creeping into the room"
     
  17. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    My suggestion : darkness crept into the room
     
  18. Padraig Senior Member

    Ireland
    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    I think that has too timid a feel about it.

    I like the idea of darkness flooding a room (note: into, while not wrong, is not necessary). It's bad science, but nice prose.
     
  19. Bob240964 Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    Darkness falls across the room me semble plus correct. A mon avis, 'overflow' a une connotation plus réelle, physique, alors qu'ici, tu exprimes plus une image de l'esprit mais c'est affaire d'appréciation personnelle.
    Bonne nuit.
     
  20. hotpocket

    hotpocket Senior Member

    Douarnenez dans le Finistère
    American English / Boston
    I agree with you Bob240964
     

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