1. aucomptoir

    aucomptoir Senior Member

    Anglet
    Australia/ English
    Can anyone give me a 'real' translation of this expression: "mine de rien"?

    Moderator's note: several threads have been merged to create this one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2012
  2. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    You may not have noticed, but...
    or
    It's hardly noticeable, but...
    or any expression to that effect :
    "Mine de rien, trente kilomètres à pied, ça fait une trotte"
    "I'd never realized it, but 30 kilometres is a fair walk".
    It has to be adjusted to context, but that's the gist of it.
     
  3. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    there is also 'faire mine de rien' = 'faire comme si de rien n'était' = to stay unruffled, as if nothing had happened.
     
  4. aucomptoir

    aucomptoir Senior Member

    Anglet
    Australia/ English
    Thanks. I forgot to give some context, but those explanations are v. useful.
     
  5. I found this thread, but didn't find a fitting idea for "mine de rien"

    Here the context is:

    "soucieuses de ne pas attirer l'attention de la police, elles font le trottoir mine de rien, avec l'air de se promener "

    Any suggestions for a translation? I was considering "innocently"?
     
  6. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
    perhaps casually
     
  7. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Innocently? Why not? But it implies that girls doing this sort of activity are guilty... ?
     
  8. kertek

    kertek Senior Member

    Brussels
    UK English
    Nonchalantly? (although as an adverb this is a little ugly - if you can rework the sentence to use "nonchalant" it's much more aesthetically pleasing...)
     
  9. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    I would go with casually or with a casual air.
     
  10. Thank you both!

    In fact they are "guilty", it's for a documentary about Chinese prostitues working in Paris.

    Here's what I came up with for the sentence, but it's not as smooth as I'd like. Any suggestions? (I find the French version poorly written)

    "People call them “walkers”: Careful not to draw attention from the police, they walk Paris sidewalks innocently, as if out on a stroll. "

    or perhaps:

    "They're called "walkers": Careful not to draw attention from the police, they casually stroll the streets of Paris, as if out on a walk..."
     
  11. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    I understood it was for prostitute... But my point is I'm not sure those girls are guilty doing this activity. They are rather victims. The guilt goes to the pimp imho... But your documentary is maybe already partisan...
     
  12. It's not partisan, it's a story about how the reality of these women's life. It's not a judgement on them, this IS their reality. It's about how they survive and try to support their families back home. That's why I put "guilty" in parenthesis, because it is a fact that they are prostitutes, they talk about their lives... but the report doesn't aim to judge, simply to bring to light their difficult situation. :)
     
  13. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    I understand. Thanks for your explanation. :)
     
  14. frenchlufbra Junior Member

    English, England
    mine de rien, nous aurions deux publics que nous gérons du mieux possible.

    does this mean:

    no facial expressions, we will have two types of people that can manage the best best possible.

    The context is....
    facial expressions when using the mobile phone
     
  15. nhat Senior Member

    France
    france
    mine de rien = after all
    il est pas si bete mine de rien = he's not that stupid after all
    but your sentence is a bit weird what do you mean by "deux publics"?
     
  16. heydzatsmi Senior Member

    france
    Francais
    "Mine de rien" is an expression that means something like "you know,"
    to show that in spite of everything (in spite of people opinion or something like that), ......we will have .....
     
  17. frenchlufbra Junior Member

    English, England
    thanks heydzatsmi... that makes more sense to me now. however i am still struggling with the final part of the sentence:

    deux public que nous gerons du mieux possible

    two types of people to best manage?
     
  18. heydzatsmi Senior Member

    france
    Francais
    Something like :
    "2 audiences that we manage in the best way that we could do."
     
  19. Renault Junior Member

    England French
    Le bus, par example, qui mine de rien, fête aujourd'hui ses 100 ans -
    miner - to eat, the translation in Wordreference, does not make sense, does it mean, "which has changed beyond all recognition"?
     
  20. Bostonien Senior Member

    USA - English
    The definition of "mine" here is "appearance". Mine de rien is an expression that means something along the lines of "even though it doesn't seem like it" or "you wouldn't guess it".
     
  21. niko Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France)
    Hello,

    "mine de rien" is an expression which can be translated more or less here by "though, you would'nt think so by looking at it".
     
  22. Renault Junior Member

    England French
    Thank you for your help with this one - I was looking up the verb miner rather than the noun - hence my confusion - so I suppose it translates as "despite appearances"
     
  23. eleannor Senior Member

    Warsaw
    Polish
    I've seen the [posts above] on "mine de rien", but none of the expressions I found there seems to fit "mine de rien" in this context:

    Elle savait aussi que sa mère l'aimait follement. Mine de rien, la conscience de cet amour lui servait de colonne vertébrale.

    We're talking about an anorexic girl here, who finds support in her mother, so the meaning is rather heavy and wicked (the biggest support in killing herself she found in her mother).
    I don't think mine de rien in this context can be substituted by "it is hardly noticeable", nor "innocently", "casually" or "despite appearances" (but I could be wrong, I've no idea, really).

    Maybe "after all"? But would that actually make any sense? :confused:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2012
  24. LaBalbe Junior Member

    English & French
    In this context, I would translate this more idiomatically; perhaps "In the end,..."
     
  25. eleannor Senior Member

    Warsaw
    Polish
    thank you very much, LaBalbe :)
     
  26. Donaldos

    Donaldos Senior Member

    French - France
    mine de rien suggests that you might not have guessed how important her mother's love really was to her.

    I think you could find a way to express that in English.
     
  27. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member

    France
    French
    Peut-être although it didn't show (up) ou although it was hardly visible/noticeable ? :)
     
  28. eleannor Senior Member

    Warsaw
    Polish
    but that's precisely the thing - in the book it was clearly visible that her mother's love was the only thing that supported her and pushed her even harder.
    That's why I'm confused about the most basic meaning of "mine de rien", because it just doesn't seem to fit in here :<
    and so I'm having problems with this diabolic expression ;)
     
  29. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    Oddly enough ?
     
  30. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Remember that a mine is literally a (human) face, so the literal idea behind mine de rien is that of a pokerface, when the truth of the matter cannot be read from a person's facial expression. Perhaps they make something look very easy when it in fact requires great effort. Perhaps they look very innocent while they're actually doing something quite manipulative. Etc. The figurative meanings extend from this idea of something hidden under an unremarkable exterior.

    This sentence seems to come from the novel Robert des noms propres, which I have not read.

    However, I suspect that the idea here is as follows: the anorexic girl knows that her mother adores her... but she does not fully realize that the knowledge of her mother's love is in fact what supports her; she is not aware of the extent to which her mother's love is important. Like her spine, its presence is essential, and yet she doesn't even think about it.

    Do you need to translate mine de rien here, or just to understand its usage? :)
     
  31. eleannor Senior Member

    Warsaw
    Polish
    in fact I need to explain what it means in French, so I need to understand either the usage or translation, whichever is more clear in the context :)

    I like that suggestion, it makes a lot of sense. I think that if the professor asks, I'll provide all the possible meanings - after all, the matter is free to interpretation (or so I fervently hope :D )

    Thank you for your input :)
    (and for merging the threads, sorry I didn't think about it)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  32. Santana2002 Senior Member

    France
    English, from Ireland
    This is a very detailed thread with some great insight into the diverses translations possible for this ever so useful expression.

    I think in your example, Eleanor, I would be tempted to translate the phrase as:

    She also knew how much/how stongly her mother loved her. Her subconscious knowledge of this love (is what) supported her/gave her strength ...

     
  33. phenren Senior Member

    Francais
    Hi,

    I'm not totally comfortable with your translation. Subconscious do not (imo) really fit here. I'd translate that sentence :" She also knew how much/how stongly her mother loved her. And despite any other appearance this love supported her/gave her strength
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  34. Santana2002 Senior Member

    France
    English, from Ireland
    Perhaps to accurately translate Eleanor's original phrase, we need to include both 'mine de rien' and 'la conscience de': ;)

    She also knew how much/how stongly her mother loved her. And despite appearances to the contrary, subconsciously this love supported her/gave her strength.
     
  35. phenren Senior Member

    Francais
    Yes, but it is precisely the word "subconsciously" which confuse me. The fact that her mother loved her insn't subconscious because she know it. Right ? I'd replace "subconsciously this love" by "the knowledge of this love". But again i'm not totally comfortable by this translation. Is knowledge appropriate here ?
     
  36. Donaldos

    Donaldos Senior Member

    French - France
    mine de rien stresses an apparent contradiction : as important as her mother's love (or knowledge therefof...) may have been to her, it was a fact that the girl was presumably quick to forget.

    Since her awareness was occasional at best, I might suggest a slight change of perspective. For instance : when you/she (really) thought about it, ...
     
  37. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    the awareness of that love only gave her more backbone
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  38. WME Senior Member

    French-France
    Imperceptibly comes to mind as a proper translation
     
  39. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    and in a way, the awareness of that love only gave her more backbone.
     

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