1. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Dear Friends, I've come across the above expression and am not sure of its meaning. On another thread, I've learned that "mettre au placard" can mean "to sideline somebody" or "put them out to pasture", and it appears to me that the above might have a similar meaning, but I'm not sure. It's particularly the word "jaune" which is unclear to me. Why "jaune"?

    In context, concerning one of the American president's counselors (from a novel): "Il hocha la tête, souhaita bon week-end au Président, et regagna le placard jaune dans lequel les républicains l'entreposaient pour conserver les voix de la communauté scientifique, depuis son prix Nobel 2002 portant sur la reprogrammation du noyau somatique."

    If anyone can help out here, many thanks.
     
  2. Sebalo

    Sebalo Senior Member

    Madrid
    Français
    I would just say "A yellow cupboard". The problem is to know what they store in it (is it the narrator himself? In this case, we can imagine a very small office with yellow walls?)
     
  3. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Thanks for your reply. You may be right. I'll have to go back through the book now to look into that. Context is all important, of course, but when you're reading a book 400 pages long, it's hard to remember every little detail.
     
  4. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    At this point I can add that having researched the matter I have learned that there is in fact an office in the White House that is called "the yellow office." Why is uncertain.
     
  5. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    What I understand is that the counselor goes back to his office which may be yellow (whether the yellow office you mention or not, I have no idea), an office in which he is actually sidelined.
     
  6. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Yes, that's my understanding as well.
     
  7. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    Still, I can't think of a translation that would keep the double-meaning. :confused:
    I keep thinking.
     
  8. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    It's almost always very difficult to translate a double-meaning from one language to another. Often enough it's impossible. This may well be one of the impossible cases. I haven't come up with anything as yet. This one will require some thought.
     
  9. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    After some thinking and browsing through WR dictionnary, I've come up with an idea :

    "He came back into the yellow closet where the Republicans stored him...."

    I thought there might be a double-meaning here with "coming back into the closet" refering to its opposite "coming out (of the closet)". But, it's not the same double meaning, plus it's a bit far-fetched. And maybe nobody would ever say that in English...
    Yet I think "closet" might be the word since you can come out of them or store skeletons in them as we do in our French "placards".
     
  10. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    The most obvious way to attempt a play on words here is with the word "yellow", which in English commonly means "cowardly". However, I think if a play on words strays too far from the original, or if it gets a bit far-fetched, it's probably better just to drop it. A translation cannot possibly capture all of the original. In the end, if you really want to read a certain writer, you must learn his/her language.

    In this case, if we're talking about "the yellow office", it would not at all be obvious to an anglophone why we're talking about "a yellow closet". I suspect there are many anglophones who (like me until recently) have never heard of "the yellow office". If we want to convey the notion that this is where the Republicans have sidelined him, it may well be better just to say so, and give up the idea of reproducing a neat play on words.
     
  11. philosophia

    philosophia Senior Member

    Arcachon, France
    français (France)
    O.K. I'll just drop it.
     

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