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  1. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    Is this a common phrase? I heard it in a movie tonight but couldn't get the sense. Here is an extract from an article I found on the internet:
    On s’agite beaucoup aujourd’hui (nos lecteurs aussi) autour de la version officielle de l’attaque 9/11, dans le sens de sa contestation, on sen doute.
    "There is great excitement today (for our readers as well) surrounding the official version of the 9/11 attack, in the sense of its refutation, we suspect."
    I can't translate it literally. I am at a loss. Does on s'en doute just mean "one suspects." Merci d'avance.
     
  2. marcolo

    marcolo Senior Member

    Bordeaux, France
    France, french
    On s'en doute, c'est une figure de style. Quand on dit ca, on veut dire le contraire, c'est ce qu'on appelle une antiphrase.

    on s'en doute = ca ne faisait pas l'ombre d'un doute
    on s'en doute a en plus une connotation un peu ironique, a cause de cette antiphrase.

    There is great excitement today (for our readers as well) surrounding the official version of the 9/11 attack, in the sense of its refutation, of course !

    "of course" with an ironic tone seems a good translation. Maybe you have some similar constructions in english.
     
  3. lela105 Senior Member

    Ohio
    US/English
    I believe I've heard "no doubt" used in this manner (sarcastically, implying that the author really believes the opposite).
    Perhaps this would be a good translation (or at least something to think about)!
     
  4. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    On s'en doute signifie simplement ici bien entendu.
    Si la version officielle est source d'agitation, il est évident que c'est parce que des gens la contestent.
     
  5. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    Merci à tout le monde. Vos explications sont très utiles. Hier soir j'ai vu un film qui s'appelle Lucie Aubrac. Il était basé sur une vraie histoire de la résistance française contre les Nazis. À un moment donné, pendant un interrogatoire, un homme réplique « On s'en doute. » L'allemand lui donne immédiatement une gifle. D'où j'ai déduit un sens ironique.
     
  6. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    Here is another extract I found:
    Cela signifie (1) que le NYT, comme les autres, pratique la manipulation de l'information ; on s'en doutait parce que c'est une pratique très courante dans les médias “sérieux” et disons qu'on s'en doute encore un peu plus ;
    I'm glad that translation is only a hobby for me and not a profession. Let me offer my translation and invite criticism from members of the forum.
    "This means (1) that the New York Times, like the others, practises the manipulation of information; one suspected as much because this is a standard practice in the "serious" media and let us say that one suspects (this sort of manipulation) even a bit more (in this case)."
    I had to translate literally because I was at a loss. I don't think this is ironic here but refers rather to a suspicion of a tendency. I would be very grateful for any comments. Merci d'avance.
     
  7. witold bayer-quest Junior Member

    France - French / English (US Native)
    Yes it is common usage: "on s'en doute", "on s'en doutait un peu", "on s'en serait douté", "on s'en était douté", meaning "we might have guessed", "as we might have guessed", "as could have been expected", "unsurprisingly". In some cases you could translate it by "It will come as no surprise that... " (the exact equivalent in French would be : "comme on pouvait s'en douter...". In the context of the excerpt, it could be given by "There is great excitement today (for our readers as well) surrounding the official version of the 9/11 attack, in the sense of its refutation, obviously"

    It is not an antiphrase. "Se douter de quelque chose" simply doesn't have the same meaning as "douter de quelque chose". The latter means : "to doubt something", the former : "to suspect something". "J'en doute" = "I doubt it". "Je m'en doutais" = I suspected so much. "Je m'en doute", depending on context, can be translated by : "I'm not surprised" or even, as above, "obviously". As "on s'en doute", it is common usage.
     
  8. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    Thank you very much witold bayer-quest. That helps me a lot.
     

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