1. mouthfulofmoths New Member

    salut, tout le monde. j'ai du mal à comprendre cette phrase qui vient de L'enfance d'un Chef de Sartre. le narrateur, un enfant, parle d'être parmi les grandes personnes:

    "et jamais on n'a envie de penser qu'elles s'oublient au lit toutes ces choses que font les petits garçons."

    "one never wants to think that they forget themselves in bed all that makes little boys"


    franchement c'est ouf.

    merci beaucoup!

  2. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Salut mouthfulofmoths (amusant, ce pseudo) et bienvenue sur le forum :)

    Il semble manquer un « à » dans la citation originale. Trouvé en googlant:
    Alors, l'expression à traduire est « s'oublient (au lit) à toutes ces choses ».

    Cela dit, je donne ces renseignements pour faire avancer le fil, en espérant que quelqu'un puisse t'aider à le traduire vers l'anglais.
    Comme j'ai un peu de mal à saisir la prose de Sartre, même en français, je n'ose pas une tentative. :eek:
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  3. manofthehoff Member

    Mons, Belgium
    American English
    Be careful with the relative pronoun que. The noun that que modifies is always the object of the verb that follows, regardless of the word order, which the writers in French often switch around for poetic effect. In English we cannot do this; the phrases "these things that little boys do" and "these things that do (or make) little boys" have very different meanings!

    So, although more context would help, I would translate the phrase like this:
    "Never does one want to think that in bed they forget about all these things that little boys do."
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  4. pointvirgule

    pointvirgule Senior Member

    Mtl, QC
    En fait, la citation de Nico (salut :)) est tirée d'un commentaire. Le vrai passage se lit ainsi :
    It must be pointed out that the meaning of the pronominal verb s'oublier + à is se laisser aller à.

    Basically, it says that one does not want to think that grown-ups would allow themselves, when in bed, to do the things that little boys do.
  5. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Sartre isn't easy reading, let alone translate his writing. :eek:

    I unfortunatelly can't think of the right translation, but I can confirm that while "these things that little boys do" is fine... the middle part
    "in bed they forget about" isn't correct.

    In the original, the verb is pronominal and followed by à.
    oublier au lit à toutes ces choses is different from oublier au lit toutes ces choses.

    What needs to be translated is « s'oublier à toutes ces choses » while specifying « au lit ».

    The expression s'oublier à isn't very common in 2012, at least not in my neck of the woods. Hence the difficulty.

    As found on this page :

    Edit : Boy ! Am I ever slow. I just read pv's (salut :)) perfect reply. Oh well... at least I was right about the missing à in the OP.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  6. ce que est est Senior Member

    United States, English
    Just for kicks, 's'oublient au lit à' translates pretty directly to 'forget themselves in bed'; Generally speaking, he liked being around grownups because they were so respectable - far be it for one to think that they could forget themselves in bed and do those things that little boys do.
  7. archijacq Senior Member

    french France
    imagine the things grown-ups would indulge in (when in bed)
  8. manofthehoff Member

    Mons, Belgium
    American English
    According to my Oxford Dictionary, "to forget oneself" can mean "to act improperly or unbecomingly." Ce que has come up with the best translation yet, in my opinion!
  9. mouthfulofmoths New Member

    many thanks for all your work! i was very impressed to see such a discussion arrive so promptly.

    it makes much more sense now. manofthehoff - i'm not sure how i didn't observe the word order more carefully. long day i suppose.

    thanks again!

  10. YvDa Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    I am not sure the same holds in English, "s'oublier au lit" is an idiom to denote nightly incontinence.
  11. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Ce n'est pas faux... ce qui se traduirait à peu près comme "to wet one's bed". Extrait de la page mise en lien au post 5.
    Sauf qu'ici, le contexte est différent, c'est : s'oublier (au lit) à toutes ces choses... `
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  12. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    ... that (when/while) in bed they forget all the things little boys do.

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