1. sheasimon New Member

    How do you spell "menage twa" properly and what exactly does it translate into English?
  2. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    ménage à trois (ä trwä') [​IMG]
    n.A relationship in which three people, such as a married couple and a lover, live together and have sexual relations.
    [French : ménage, household + à, for + trois, three.]
  3. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    "menage à trois"

    It's a literary reference.

    In literature, it is when there is a man, a woman, and a lover (in various patterns, but the most common is that the lover is the woman's).

    A "love triangle", we'd call it now, but the French call it a "menage à trois".

    Most literally, it means something like "three in the house".

    The French, however, do not have the same connotation for "an orgy between three people" that it has in English. At least, the one that explained that to me had never heard of it.
  4. gm9617d Senior Member

    "A love triangle" and a "menage a trois" are not really the same thing. In "menage a trois", there is a note of complicity and awareness in the idea. Charles, Diana and Camilla had a love triangle, but I don't think it could be described as "menage a trois". The French term is used in English.
  5. James Stephens Senior Member

    Oklahoma, USA
    English, USA
    gm9618d has expressed my understanding of the term.
  6. Ruman

    Ruman Member

    UK, English
    ménage à trois = a threesome :p as far as I know, it has the same connotations for French people (or maybe my friends are just dirty minded lol)
  7. Sammo Senior Member

    But the term does not always have a sexual connotation.

    Here is a sentence that I am having problems translating that appears which definitely does not have such a context. It appeared in a trailer I saw a while ago in reference of three friends:

    Ils veulent fonder un ménage à trois

    Could someone please help me translate that above?

    They want to form/build a....what??
  8. Schmorgluck Senior Member

    Nantes, France
    French - France
    There's a word for "threesome" in French, it's "triolisme". By the way, for "foursome", it's "partie carrée" (I felt like saying it because it's kinda colorful).

    As far as I know, "ménage à trois", in English, is said by directly ripping the French phrase. So, to answer your question, Sammo, it would be "They want to form a ménage à trois."
  9. Sammo Senior Member

    But there is no other possible context in that sentence except a sexual one?
  10. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    Hi Sammo - I think it could well have a meaning that is not merely sexual. A 'partouze à trois' is a threesome and usually lasts up to a few hours. A 'ménage à trois' strikes me as being more of a continuing relationship. Both of these involve all three people being present at the same time.

    A love triangle is something quite different - here only two of the three are normally together at any time.
  11. Suehil

    Suehil Medemod

    Tillou, France
    British English
    I would say it just means that they want to set up house together.
  12. Sammo Senior Member

    Ok, so what's a good way to translate the phrase in the sentence I gave?
  13. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    They want to live as three.

    I've always thought "living as three" was the most proper "translation" of ménage à trois.
  14. Sammo Senior Member

    Ah...thank you so much mgarizona! That will go perfectly. :D

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