ça vole pas haut

gracelandmansion

Senior Member
FRANCE
bonsoir , comment pourrait-on traduire cette expression en anglais svp ?

" Je ne pouvais me forcer à rire à ses blagues stupides et tendancieuses. Je pensais intérieurement :" ça vole pas haut là dedans !"
 
  • floise

    Senior Member
    U.S.;English
    Hi David314,

    I think that the 'la-dedans' is 'in his brain'. So the guy telling jokes is not very bright, according to the observer.

    floise
     

    StefKE

    Senior Member
    French - Belgium
    Là-dedans means the place where the speaker is.

    As for "Ca ne vole pas haut" my dictionnary says "It's pretty low-level".

    So the sentence should mean: I couldn't force myself to laugh at his stupid and tendentious jokes. I thought inwardly: 'it's pretty low-level in here !'
     

    floise

    Senior Member
    U.S.;English
    StefKE and David,

    Both your suggestions (low-level and lowbrow) are good and incorporate nicely the high/low altitude metaphor that is part of the original French expression!

    Here's the definition of lowbrow:

    : of, relating to, or suitable for a person with little taste or intellectual interest

    floise
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    You could say:

    It's not flying very high in there.
    Broff, that is a very literal translation, which really doesn't mean anything figurative in English the way it does in French (voler bas).

    Maybe better could be: He has a pretty silly/juvenile/neanderthal mind. The right word would really depend on context.

    Lowbrow is the sense of the expression voler bas (ou ne pas voler haut), but a somewhat outdated term in my opinion. Other more current synonyms could be crass, common, uncouth, etc.
     

    Broff

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi wildan1,

    Literal or not, it is an expression that my teenage California-born nephews use quite often to describe rather dumb, earthy humor. Not a textbook referrence. :)
     

    gracelandmansion

    Senior Member
    FRANCE
    merci à vous , " ça vole pas haut " est souvent employé en français pour dire que le niveau (intellectuel) est vraiment bas. si quelqu'un fait une blague pourri ou qu'une soirée est remplie de "bêtas" et qu'on pense qu'intellectuellement c'est pauvre on dit " ça vole pas haut" ,
     
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