1. chenyao New Member

    Chinese
    I came cross this sentence when reading the book 'Bonjour Paresse":

    "Mais c'est a toi de te démerder pour que ça colle, mon vieux, pour quoi tu crois qu'on te paye?"

    What doese "se démerder" mean? Thanks in advance for your clarification.

    -Chen in California
     
  2. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    démerder (se)
    vpr
    Argot(a) (s'en sortir) to get out of the shit
    tu peux te démerder? can you cope or manage?
    (b) (se débrouiller) to cope, to manage, to get by
    elle est assez grande pour se démerder seule
    she's old enough to take care of or look after herself
    elle se démerde pas mal en cuisine/tennis
    she's not a bad cook/tennis player
    elle se démerde pas mal en anglais
    she gets by quite well in English
    la prochaine fois, tu te démerderas mieux et tu auras un billet à meilleur prix
    if you manage things better next time, you'll get a cheaper ticket
    se démerder pour obtenir quelque chose
    to wangle something

    Copyright © 2000, Harrap's Multimedia, © 2000, Havas Interactive
     
  3. chenyao New Member

    Chinese
    Gil: thanks!

    -Chen
     
  4. RODGER

    RODGER Senior Member

    France
    UK ENGLISH
    Don't forget Chen, that it's a horrible, vulgar term.

    Rodger:p
     
  5. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    hmmmmmmm. i wouldn't say that its super vulgaire, i suppose it depends on who you're talking to ;)
    and don't forget the system-D!
     
  6. RODGER

    RODGER Senior Member

    France
    UK ENGLISH
    Yeah, very coy, système-D ! No, it's just that it conjures up images of someone scraping shit off themselves to me and I thought Chen might like to know ! I realise the word merde is no big deal in french, but Imagine Chen walking into a reception at an Embassy in Paris and the Ambassadors wife asks him if he had no problems finding the way. "Oh non," he might cheerfully reply, "je me suis démerdé" !:D

    Like the unforgettable look on the face of a French generals wife I once winessed when an English colleague, a beginner in french, said to her "Madame, permettez-moi de vous introduire M. Jones " !!!!!!!!


    Rodger
     
  7. sophievm Senior Member

    Région parisienne
    France - français
    Je crois que le D de système D vient plutôt de "débrouille".
     
  8. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    tu as probablement tout à fait raison, n'empeche que si on se sert du système D c'est qu'on sais se démerder :D
     
  9. RODGER

    RODGER Senior Member

    France
    UK ENGLISH
    Tu te démerdes bien Benjy ! t'aimes bien ce mot, non ?

    Rodger
     
  10. sophievm Senior Member

    Région parisienne
    France - français
    Et d'ailleurs tu prouves avec cette phrase que "démerder" n'est pas si vulgaire que ça. C'est argotique, en effet, mais plutôt à la limite du familier.
     
  11. RODGER

    RODGER Senior Member

    France
    UK ENGLISH
    Oui, c'est vrai que l'exemple donné par chenyao était très argotique, mais est-ce que vraiment vous traduiriez, comme Harraps "She gets by quite well in English" par "Elle se démerde pas mal en anglais" ? Now do you see what I mean ?

    Rodger
     
  12. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec Rodger sur ce point. Je ne crois pas que quelqu'un donnerait bonne opinion de lui-même en employant "se démerder" devant une personne inconnue... surtout si le français n'est pas sa langue maternelle.
    Et ce terme dépasse pour moi très largement la limite du familier, n'en déplaise au Robert...
     
  13. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    haha.. i guess this is just one of those instances where french has spawned a word which lies in a vocal register when there isn't an equiv. in english. that reminds of a translation in the harraps slang wher it talks about having an <insert the f-bomb here> good time as such and its translated as "on a passé un weekend vraiment genial!". sometimes there just isnt something of the same level of language :s
     
  14. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    ben, je ne parle que de ma propre expérience.. il ya du vocabulaire en anglais que je n'employerais pas devant une personne inconnue, c'est pas pour autant que c'est de l'argot/du langage vulgaire..
     
  15. RODGER

    RODGER Senior Member

    France
    UK ENGLISH
    We'll be saying it's "untranslatable" next ! Oh là ! In english we have a phrase to describe someone "he falls in the shit and comes up smelling like roses !" Which is often truncated to "he comes up smelling like roses". Cultural difference all that stuff. Sorry, all that shit I should say in proper English !


    Rodger
     
  16. sophievm Senior Member

    Région parisienne
    France - français
    Non. Je traduirais par "Elle se débrouille pas mal en anglais" plutôt.
     
  17. tchev

    tchev Senior Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    France, French
    "démerder" IS vulgar. Not the most vulgar word ever but vulgar anyway. Not just slang/familiar/colloquial. However, when used properly, in an appropriate situation (generally friendly/jokey situation), it can sometimes sound not to vulgar, but I would not recommand to use it when your are not sure that it would be appropriate.

    edit: There was an ad some time ago using the expression "when the shit hit the fan", with a photo of a cow in front of a fan. There were posters around on the city walls. I suppose "démerder" is the same: it's alright when used *properly* in the jokey maner.
     
  18. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Hear! Hear!:thumbsup:
     
  19. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    This thread is proving that everyone has his/her own 'borders' between informel-familier-argot-vulgaire-péjoratif-juron-dégueulasse. (One man's meat is another's poison?).

    But I will generalise: 'Vulgarities' based on parts of the body or bodily functions are less shocking in French than in English. But if you really want to insult, provoke anger, lose teeth, ..., in French, just add a reference to someone's mother or sister!!

    .
     
  20. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    C'est vraiment une question d'appréciation personnelle, pour ma part je suis assez d'accord avec la classification du Robert en l'occurrence (non, "occurrence" n'est pas un gros mot!:D ).

    Edit: Merci, Fetchez, de m'avoir signalé cette faute.:)
     
  21. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    mais il s'écrit occurrence egueule... :eek:
     
  22. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    et m...ince!
     
  23. Nywoe Senior Member

    Canada: English and French
    Except that it would be:

    Elle ne se débrouille pas mal en anglais.

    Il faut compléter la négation!! :p

    However, I would much more readily say:

    Elle se débrouille assez bien en anglais.

    Gives it a positive spin.

    N. :)
     
  24. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    elle assure en anglais!
     
  25. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Were you aware that a translation was also used on some posters?
    "The excrement made physical contact with a hydro-electric powered oscillating air current distribution device":D
     
  26. chenyao New Member

    Chinese
    I read all the posts on this thread with great interest. After reading Gil's first post, I realized that it was a term that was slangy and on the vulgar side. I don't think I'll use it in the foreseeable future, but it's good to know the meaning of it and be able to move on with my reading of the book. Thanks to you all!
     
  27. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    Why is this a bad thing to say?

    "Madame, permettez-moi de vous introduire M. Jones"

    does "introduire" have a slange meaning that I need to know about?

    Gaer
     
  28. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French

    Hello Gaer, :)


    "To introduce" means here "présenter" in French.
    "Introduire" means "insert" and can never be used as "présenter quelqu'un" !
    So, just translate it into English, replacing "introduce" by "insert" :

    "Madame, may I insert Mr. Jones in you"... :eek:

    And then you get the joke !...
     
  29. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    Oops!

    From this site:

    introduire (présenter) v present (introduce)
    introduire (faire rentrer dans) v bring in

    Additional Translations:
    introduire v bring forth
    introduire v premise (introduce)
    introduire v merge in
    introduire v introduce (introduce)
    introduire (insérer) v introduce (insert)
    introduire (présenter) v acquaint (introduce)

    And another site was no more helpful. Another reason NOT to trust dictionaries. :(

    It would appear to me that this is VERY misleading!

    Many thanks!

    Gaer
     

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