à guerre ambigüe, paix ambigüe

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Marina Urquidi

Senior Member
English-USA / Español de México / Fran
Hello fellow translators around the world,

I have this French idiomatic turn twice in a text, and I need to find a good equivalent in English.

In French, the sentence is:
À guerre ambigüe, paix ambigüe.

One paragraph later, the authors writes:
À situation indédite, remèdes inédits.

Obviously the author intended that "turn of phrase" to show twice, and I have found a completely unsatisfactory way of reproducing it, which is:

Ambiguous war brings ambiguous peace.


Unprecedented situation brings unprecedented remedies.

which is of course no good, as while "brings" works in the first, it is practically a mistranslation in the second, where "requires" would be the better verb, but "requires" would not work in the first.

I've been racking my brains for two days, but I'm drawing nothing but blanks (for the same verb for both sentences), so if anyone has a great idea, I'm interested!

Thanks in advance...
  • Marina Urquidi

    Senior Member
    English-USA / Español de México / Fran
    Could this be simply:
    "To an ambiguous war, ambiguous peace."
    "To an unprecedented situation, unprecedented remedies."?

    I can't discern at the moment whether this proper English, or my English is being influenced by the French.
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