sentir le soufre

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Lafafe, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Lafafe Senior Member


    i need to translate the following sentence " certaines idées sentent le soufre " in English. Which is the best " some ideas are really bad", some ideas really suck"
    im afraid i can't find an English equivalent for the term " sentir le soufre"

    help please
  2. archijacq Senior Member

    french France
    l'odeur de soufre était censée révéler la présence du diable.
    Some high level language is necessary.
    "reek of heresy"
  3. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    some ideas are taboo?
  4. Lafafe Senior Member

    i think the author wants to insist on the fact that some ideas are really really bad, that they suck!!

    but i don't know how to translate it in correct English
  5. pheelineerie

    pheelineerie Senior Member

    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    American English
    Some ideas are distasters waiting to happen?
    Some ideas should just never be had?!
  6. Lafafe Senior Member

    is there an expression in English to they that something sucks, i mean "smells"?
  7. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    "some ideas stink", but it's too familiar. I agree you need something eloquent but I can't think of it.
  8. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Not quite sure why you think the author uses this very specific phrase to mean something as general as "really bad" but you could marry the two notions together and say "Some ideas are abominable" or "are abominations."

    It is used simple to mean "really bad" but its etymology suggests considering something "an evil omen."
  9. pheelineerie

    pheelineerie Senior Member

    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    American English
    Or maybe something like: Some ideas come from the devil himself
  10. Lafafe Senior Member

    the text i need to translate deals with an attempt to cool global warming by releasing sulphur in the atmosphere...the following sentence is " certaines idées sentent le soufre, dans tous les sens du terme.un éminent chimiste a proposé de larguer un million de tonnes de sulphure d'hydrogène dans la haute atmosphère "

    i must keep the idea " sentir le soufre " but i don't know how to translate it in English

    help please
  11. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    You can't, really. "Some ideas carry a sulfurous smell" might roughly imply they have a dangerous air about them, but doesn't really designate them as hellish in English.
  12. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Then I'll suggest something with fire and brimstone. Brimstone is another word for sulfur and fire and brimstone are supposed to represent thr torments of hell.
    My non-native try:
    Some ideas literally evoke fire and brimstone: a top chemist suggested...
  13. Monine Senior Member

    Some ideas literally raise a devilish stink; an eminent chemist has proposed...
  14. Monine Senior Member

    egueule pretty much got there before me!
  15. Lafafe Senior Member

    what about " Some ideas literally and figuratively evoke fire and brimstone", can it work in that context?
  16. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    In line with this one, Robert & Collins suggets "smack of heresy", to translate "sentir le soufre". Just thought I'd mention it, although it doesn't really work in context.

    I like egueule's suggestion, which reminded me of a previous thread, where soufre was (intentionally or not) spelled with 2 f. relents de souffre
  17. Lafafe Senior Member

    or some ideas get a whiff of sulphur, both literally and figuratively?

    i can't really translate it it's so hard
  18. Monine Senior Member

    Some ideas have a hellish stink, and literally so.
  19. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I quite liked archijacq's reek from way back in post #2. Given a little freedom, I might choose a different image to evoke hydrogen sulfide:

    Some ideas reek like rotten eggs, both literally and figuratively....
  20. Randisi. Senior Member

    Dalian, China
    American English; USA
    Synthesizing some of the previous suggestions, how about:

    Some ideas have a sulphurous reek.

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