1. shumemire New Member

    San Francisco
    US, English
    In today's Libération, there is a quote about Sarkozy's packed schedule where the spokesperson says, "Il est à fond. Comme d'habitude." I'd be tempted to translate this as "up to his elbows as usual." What say you all?
  2. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    :) Bienvenue sur le forum! Je pense que oui. Attendons vérification.
  3. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    "His schedule is completely full." Up to his elbows is probably too loose of a translation, but it conveys a similar idea nonetheless.
  4. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    As usual, his schedule is chockablock
  5. tilywinn Senior Member

    Australia, English
    I would like to suggest;
    He’s flat-out, as always/usual.

    I got that idea from looking up ‘fond’ in the WordReference dictionary and finding ‘all-out’ as one possible definition.

    So yeah ‘flat-out’ is just my own guess/interpretation, free to be discussed ;)
  6. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    I agree--and I like flat-out here better than chockablock (my earlier suggestion), because it is just as direct as il est à fond, without the circumlocation my try requires.
  7. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    à fond doesn't mean that he's up to his neck in it (overwhelmed) but that he's 100% into it (engaged). Is that what flat-out means?
  8. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Yes, it is. But it means he doesn't have time to add even one more thing.
  9. tilywinn Senior Member

    Australia, English
    Thanks wildan1.

    According to Dictionary.com 'flat-out' means;
    So yes Amda, it means 'extremely busy' rather than 'overwhelmed.'
  10. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    in a different context, à fond can mean "really digging it" (or is that outdated?)

    somebody at a rave party dancing with his/her eyes closed, oblivious to surroundings, is "à fond"
  11. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    That's different--I would say "he's really/totally into it."
  12. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    How about: His schedule is completely full:)

    What's with all the attempts at creativity? This sounds more like what you'd read about a president in such a newspaper. Besides à fond = complètement / jusqu'à sa limite. One does not say his schedule is "flat-out busy." We might say HE is flat-out busy. Even so, it still sounds too colloquial and not very polished. And as usual, wherever I go, goeth wildan1:) Peace Bro!
  13. tilywinn Senior Member

    Australia, English
    Hehe, yes I just couldn’t help myself Verbivore :p

    I personally don’t think ‘flat-out’ is too colloquial to be used by the President’s spokesperson (though perhaps it is).

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with the meaning of ‘his schedule is completely full’ I guess I came up with my alternative by looking at the structure of the original "Il est à fond. Comme d'habitude."

    I think it depends what the sentence before said to determine whether ‘Il’ was referring to Sarkozy or to the schedule ;) I had figured it was referring to Sarkozy and I presume that you figured it was referring to the schedule. I had concluded that ‘Il’ was referring to Sarkozy because Shumemire’s translation "up to his elbows as usual" was referring to Sarkozy, not the schedule. (ah, the tricky ways of the masculine/feminine)

    I agree that one does not say ‘his schedule is flat-out busy.’ Firstly I don’t like the repetition created by adding ‘busy’ to the end of the sentence which makes it sound like “his schedule is extremely busy busy.” Secondly it doesn’t work because ‘flat-out’ is being said in relation to a thing rather than a person.
  14. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    Well that's exactly Sarkozy's idea of being an approachable, modern kind of guy. An all-American man of action. Before he jets off for a holiday on his tycoon friend's yacht.

    His spokesperson seems to be about 30.

    This is why I suspect that he was using "à fond" as much in the sense of "he's totally into it" as "his schedule is chockablock". Sarko can always take on more challenges, he's always only at 95% of his potential.
  15. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    Well, if referring to Sarko himself and not his schedule per se, then I will have to concur with the concensus: going all-out; pushing it to the limit; giving it his all, etc. Notwithstanding, a bit more context can always help things.

    Il est à fond, comme d'habitude. My translation: As usual, he is going all-out / giving it his all / pushing it to the limit.

    This makes sense for a spokesperson to say about the President. You know, he is going all out for the people and doing whatever it takes (and bear with me with the following) to be the superhero for France, kind of like Batman for Gothem City. :p
  16. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    Batkozy, that's him.

    Your suggestions sound right to me, verbivore, except that his spokesperson would never imply that Sarko has a limit. He can liberate Bulgarian nurses in Tripoli, go fishing with Bush, demand a softer monetary policy, organise an airlift to Darfur and plan new safety regulations for merry-go-rounds while he jogs past the camera crews. No issue is too small for him.

    So more context is needed, but I still suspect he was saying either: "He's super-busy" or "He's onto it" (speaking of a particular issue), but with no implication of nearing his limit.
  17. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    Pushing it to the limit does not mean he has a limit...it means he is giving it his all:)
  18. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    ok, I'll take your word for it :thumbsup:
  19. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    The race car driver was pushing his car to the limit = pushing his car to its limit, as hard as he could push it.

    The race car driver was pushing it to the limit = going balls to the wall = giving it his all = going all out to win!

    That's a subtle change of phrase, but a big difference in meaning, which goes to show that "pushing it to the limit" is a set phrase.

    HTH and makes better sense now. :)
  20. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    going balls to the wall!!!!

    I love it! Do people actually say that?
  21. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    If Sarkozy is now Batman, WHO is The Joker?!
  22. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    dunno, but I know who the joke is on...
  23. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    Re: Balls to the wall usage. The answer is a resounding Yes! But not everyone uses it of course; it takes a certain type of personality, one who likes to use colorful language ;) Also, it's probably uniquely American, but that's just a guess.

    I can imagine the image you might have gotten from that expression! I'm glad you liked it.
  24. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Yes, but it's a bit racy--I wouldn't use it unless I were very comfortable with the people I was saying it to! (Not in a professional setting nor with my grandmother, for example)
  25. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    So how could you use it?

    He's balls to the wall into surfing?

    That party was balls to the wall?
  26. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Not really the way it is used. FYI "balls" here do not refer to testicles, although many people assume so, which puts it into the "racy" category.

    So (off the record, in a private conversation) The president is balls to the wall every day.

    Urban Dictionary can enlighten you further.
  27. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    No, but you can use it in reference to an action in which one might be going all out to win a race our get somewhere/do something as fast as possible. If I think of other settings I'll let you know.

    to go balls to the wall Also = to go all out

    He is goes all out into surfing doesn't work BUT He goes all out WHILE/WHEN surfing does. So you can say He goes balls to wall when surfing.

    You can't say "The party goes all out." So therefore you can't say "The party was/goes balls to the wall." But you can say "He went all out for the party", which means he threw one hell of party, everything from food, drink, to entertainment was included. You could say :) He drove balls to wall to get the party on time :p

  28. Amda Zako Senior Member

    France / French
    muchas gracias wildan and verbivore!
  29. verbivore Banned

    USA, English
    I do not concur with Wildan1's use of "balls to the wall" in post #26; I cannot recall ever using it as an adjective phrase, but rather as a verbal phrase (restricted to meaning all out effort or speed as mentioned). So, Sarko goes balls to the wall everyday! works, but Sarko is balls to the wall everyday does not. Grammar grinding aside however, I do think that the Urban Dictionary is a good link. Thx Wildan1!
  30. ID_fX Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Français - Ch'ti (Valenciennes, France)
    Be careful because I'm sure there are 2 meanings. I'm ok with giving it his all, but...

    There is another idea, since french people always make fun of Sarkozy.
    I'm looking for a word which would say he's too full on, jumpy, as usual!
    (We are not surprise about that, stop moving, take a break man! That's what we feel when we read this title, even if we know that he's giving it his all)

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