tout en ayant le sensibilité à fleur de peau

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by mainflag, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. mainflag Senior Member

    English
    "tout en ayant le sensibilite a fleur de peau"

    Can you suggest an English translation for this phrase?
     
  2. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    Avoir la sensibilité à fleur de peau means be very sensitive, be oversensitive, for example react strongly to a minor coment or question
     
  3. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    c'est toujours à connotation negative?
    merci d'avance :)
     
  4. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Mmmm, depends on what you mean by "negative"... it can be a compliment of sorts, like something you'd say about an artist.
    Cependant, ça implique que la personne en question est plus vulnérable qu'une autre à la souffrance.

    Edition
    J'ajoute la magnifique citation de Blaise CENDRARS dont le TLF se sert pour illustrer cette expression :
    Il était tout en vif-argent. Il était pur. Et sensible comme un thermomètre. La sensibilité à fleur de peau. Et par là, il était moderne.
     
  5. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    je demandais parce que je suis en train de relire ce forum depuis le début et de rajouter les mots/expressions pertinents au dico.. donc tu vois à quel point c'est important de bien capter le sens :) "oversensitive" on dit jamais ça en compliment ;) alors very sensitive? mais je trouve ça fort plat :[
     
  6. germinal

    germinal Senior Member

    Bradford, England
    England English
    Hello Benjy - What about hypersensitive? Ça va? Germinal.
     
  7. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Having read the explanations of this word, it seems to me that "highly-strung" is the most suitable English phrase. I don't think that you could describe anyone as "hyper" or "over" sensitive without it being negative, whereas if you are an artist it is almost expected for you to be highly-strung daaaahlings!
     
  8. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    highly strung! loving it. thanks tim + germinal :D:D
     
  9. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    How about highly sensitive, then?
    Also, I'm obviously not suggesting it as a translation, but I found Pope's* marvelous "die of a rose in aromatic pain".

    *Alexander, not Benedict! :D
     
  10. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    :)
    the only problem is its hard to get the idea of sensitivity across with out it being seen as negative. thats why i jumped on highly strung: the word doesnt appear in it ;)
     
  11. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    and you were quite right to jump too, IMO.
    Tim posted his highly strung message while I was still rummaging through Roget's Thesaurus. :)
     
  12. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Does anything seem appropriate from this Thesaurus list (I erased those wich seemed to have a negative connotation):
    impressionable
    Synonyms: delicate, easily affected, emotionable, emotional, high-strung, hung up, hypersensitive, impressible, keen, oversensitive, perceiving, perceptive, reactive, receptive, responsive, sensatory, sensile, sensorial, sensory, supersensitive, susceptible, touchy, touchy feely, tuned in,wired
     
  13. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    arg! too many choices!
    *head explodes*
     
  14. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Tsk tsk. Don't be so sensitive....;)
     
  15. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    i'm not even sure it has a negative connotation in english...

    sensibilité in that case can apply not only to how we react to events (making a mountain of a mole-hill) but also to how we react to any event/sensation (being prone to enjoy deeply the beauty of a sunset for instance).

    i agree that it's much more often used in the first sense, but i'm not too keen on 'high strung' who gives the impression of a person 'on edge'. that's not an impression that is conveyed by the french saying.

    i think we need more context.

    ps i hasten to add that reading only the title of the thread i had thought of 'thin-skinned', which goes to show that i too had the negative undertone in mind. but i don't know how we can translate it without knowing more context.
     
  16. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    nat, the context is a dictionary entry. thats the problem ;)
     
  17. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    so you'll need several different translations.
     
  18. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    yes. but which? :( i suddenly feel really lazy. anyone else want to pick a collection synonymes for me? =[[
     
  19. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    I'd go for
    highly-strung
    thin-skinned
    highly sensitive,
    and add the appropriate categories.
     
  20. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    thanks :)
    *tries to piece together the rest of his head*
     
  21. robotboy71 New Member

    Spanish / Canada
    I've heard this particular expression, but it seems to me that the most appropriate definition of "a fleur the peau" is "ready to surface" (as in, right beneath the skin). So "ayant la sensibilite a fleur de peau" means that your sensibilities come about easily (i.e. you are over-sensitive). But "a fleur de peau" in itself is just an expression used to denote something that is "at the ready" and could be ready to surface easily...love, fear, a smile...
     
  22. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    The ones in dark red all seem like possible synonyms, although others would be appropriate, depending on the context.

    "Highly-strung" can be negative if you're a "red-blooded American man." But it's not as negative as "hypersensitive" or "oversensitive."
     
  23. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    I have heard the expression: "S/he's a delicate flower." It's somewhat mocking.
     
  24. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    S/he's as delicate as a flower petal.
     
  25. roblecky Junior Member

    US english
    I think the point here is whether or not there's a similar negative connotation in french. If there's not, then the point is mute.
     
  26. zam

    zam Senior Member

    England
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    Also 'raw sensitivity', possible to use in some contexts, imo.

    e.g

     
  27. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English


    Could you give the link again, zam? It's usually rare sensitivity.
     
  28. zam

    zam Senior Member

    England
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    Here it is:

    Humanité. : (Bruno Dumont, 1999) A police detective who lives with his ... With astonishing and raw sensitivity, Pharaon agonizes over the evil he must ...
    www.cofc.edu/~french/movies/h.html - 8k - Cached - Similar pages
     
  29. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    Thanks, zam. It still seems strange. I've only seen raw sensitivity in a scientific context... but that doesn't mean anything.:)
     
  30. BabyButterBall New Member

    Canada
    English
    Hi all! My boyfriend is French and I just got a message from him today:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You touch me a lot. Difficult to explain exactly but in french i know one expression which match with one point of your personality which touch me: you are "a fleur de peau"..:)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I tried searching for the meaning of this and stumbled into this forum...He's obviously using the term "a fleur de peau" in a positive way, but any way I look at it, it sounds negative to me... >_<" Can anyone help me out???
     
  31. Aeg45 Junior Member

    United States, Northeast
    English - American
    This is just a guess...but perhaps, rather than "over sensitive" or "high strung" or "delicate" he means you are a very sensitive person, you are responsive, you are easily touched (emotionally), sort of like saying you are an understanding person??? Maybe delicate and sweet personality???
    but, again, that is just a guess
     
  32. BabyButterBall New Member

    Canada
    English

    Thanks for your reply~ Well...I asked my boyfriend and he gave me this answer:

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Fleur de peau, my translation is good..It is really difficult to translate..It is like very sensitive, like your responses are true, complex and full..I love this..
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    So, you were right with being "responsive"~ :D Once again, thanks for your help! I love this forum!!! <3
     

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