Bonne continuation !

steverC

New Member
french
bonjour,
comment traduire le + fidèlement possible "bonne continuation" en anglais?
merci!
salut de bruxelles
 
  • mistletoe87

    New Member
    English (Canada)
    I'm a native English speaker and this is one I always have trouble trying to translate into English. I don't think there really is an English equivilant.

    I'd say that "Good luck for the future" or "All the best" would be good translations, depending on the context. "Keep up the good work," could work, too.

    C'est quoi le contexte, steverC?
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    As mistletoe says, the translation will vary greatly according to context.

    "Bonne continuation" is also used in a short-term context, perhaps referring to a present activity : "Keep up the good work" would come in here; ...

    ... or just generally to the next few hours, or the next day or so : "Have a good time" might fit some such situations (though that's more "Amusez-vous bien"). Otherwise we're into period-specific expressions such as "Have a good day" (but that's "Bonne journée").

    Then there's a whole bunch of colloquial expressions with the idea of 'continuation': "Keep it up", "Keep on truckin' ", "Hang in there", ... (but these also imply perseverance, which "bonne continuation" doesn't).

    :confused: ... I really think there's no universal equivalent — context is everything.

    Ws:)
     

    ilhooq

    New Member
    English - American
    How about roughly...

    "Enjoy the rest of whatever it is that you're doing/the rest of your day/the rest of your meal..."

    I hear this most frequently (in a high-register context) for my last proposed translation, when additional courses are presented with...

    "Bonne continuation!"

    It is one of those very specifically French things, though, that you'd very likely never get taught in a classroom setting.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I think you have it, ilhooq. As steverC wanted to traduire le plus fidèlement possible, "Enjoy the rest of ..." certainly does that, and it works for anything that has a 'continuation': "Enjoy the rest of your stay, ... your holidays/vacation, ... "

    Ws:)
     

    nouvellerin

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    If it's a permanant salutation for a friendly "good-bye" (between teacher and student at the end of the year, for example), "take care of yourself" is well received.
     

    jierbe31

    Senior Member
    French from France
    Then there's a whole bunch of colloquial expressions with the idea of 'continuation': "Keep it up", "Keep on truckin' ", "Hang in there", ... (but these also imply perseverance, which "bonne continuation" doesn't).
    Please allow me to disagree on this point.
    When I write "Bonne continuation" at the end of a paper I've just corrected and rated rather high, I do mean "Keep up the good work" in which perseverance is actually implied.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Point taken, JRB.

    I should have written: "but these always imply perseverance, whereas "bonne continuation" doesn't necessarily".

    Ws:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Icetrance

    Senior Member
    US English
    How you translate "bonne continuation" all depends on the context.

    When I was learning to speak French fluently, a person who evaluated my speaking ability said to me "Bonne continuation", which could be translated as "Best of luck as you continue on with French", or "Best of luck in your French" (the "as you continue on" part would be clearly implied).
     

    prinjon

    Senior Member
    French from Paris area
    Bonne continuation could be translated as simply "Good luck" if it has the meaning of Keep up the good work, with same meaning as "bien du courage pour la suite", usually when implying the fact that you won't see the person for at least a day or much more.
     

    Tacounet

    Member
    Cambodgia
    There is not exact translation for this phrase as most of these people said, it depends on the context actually.
    In France, when people tell you "Bonne continuation", they want you to "enjoy your lovely activity of the day/project for the future/tasks that you are doing".
    Take care about the context and you can say what they suggested you
     

    sean kelleher

    New Member
    english-ireland
    The only context in which I heard 'bonne continuation' was in a resturant
    when I had been served the second course. In that context it meant
    'enjoy the rest of your meal'
    Sean Kelleher
     

    prinjon

    Senior Member
    French from Paris area
    I would have never thought of saying that in the context of eating...
    Rather as said above continue to do what you had started, and usually implying some courage to finish task/will to finish the job or tour...
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Cool Jule

    Member
    French - France
    Regarding what Tosatel and sean Kelleher said, I presumed in your circumstances you had been talking about yourselves to the merchant or waiter, about your job and/or projects, in which case the person telling you "bonne continuation" probably meant "good luck with what you've just told me about yourself". However, some people just say it like that, sometimes because they don't know what else to say.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I usually mistrust one-size-fits-all translations. Perhaps the only single answer that would fit many of these is "Enjoy!"

    I've certainly heard Bonne continuation in the context of a meal, a walk, a play rehearsal... It means "I'm going away now but you're not, so enjoy yourself in what you're doing".
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    [...] However, some people just say it like that, sometimes because they don't know what else to say.
    Good point, Cool Jule. That made me reflect on when I use it, and I realise that sometimes it can indeed be a sort of default option. When "bonne chance", "bon courage", "bon retour", "bon appetit", "bonne soirée", "bonne pêche", etc, etc aren't appropriate, ... where I'm not necessarily referring to a particular event or project, but I want to say something more than just "au revoir" ... then out comes "bonne continuation". A bit like putting "Best wishes" at the end of a letter.

    Ws:)
     

    mistletoe87

    New Member
    English (Canada)
    I don't see "bonne continuation" as being the same as "Enjoy!". It could be, but I see it as being closer to "have a good day/week/month/etc". Maybe there's a finite distinction between the two, but I think there is one. Also, "bonne continuation" implies some sort of continuation not implied in "enjoy" (but implied in "enjoy the rest of..."). Anyhow, it seems that I responded to this thread two years ago saying that it depends on the context and I still feel the same way.

    I might translate it as "Best of luck" or "Enjoy the rest of..." but that, of course, depends on the context.
     

    sleiii

    New Member
    English (U.S.)
    The broad intent of «bonne continuation», an expression of good wishes for the future (usually addressed upon parting) remains the same in whatever way it adapts to a specific context. In English, it can yield many forms, as clearly shown in the thread above. Its oldest English cousin is simply "farewell" (or the now archaic "fare thee well"). Modern equivalents abound at every level from "Happy Trails" to "Hang Loose".
     

    Marchear

    New Member
    French
    Hello,

    As far as I've seen it used, "bonne continuation" is wished as a final farewell, for example when leaving a job or an internship, at the end of a contract, or even after you had a conversation with a stranger where you connected at some level but don't plan to meet again. To say "bonne continuation" at this moment means that you wish that person the best in whatever paths they take through life, their career, their family life, and whatever other projects they may have. The way I've used it and seen it used, it would be like saying "have a nice life!" except it's a bit more formal, or a least it lies in a higher language register.

    Therefore, I think "all the best" might be the most accurate translation if you want to maintain the same language register as the original text.

    All the best!

    A.M.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Welcome to the forum, Marchear.

    I wonder, from your comments, whether there's a regional variation in usage. I don't know where you're located, but where I am (the Sud-Ouest) "Bonne continuation" may, as you say, be for a final farewell — but it's also used between friends, colleagues, neighbours, as a sort of "I'll leave you to get on with what you're doing. Bye."

    Ws:)
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    Have a good meal/day/afternoon/time/weekend/bike ride.

    The trouble is people use "bonne continuation" in all those situations and in others. I only use it for someone who is working and/or selling and I've interupted them so "Bonne continuation" means "carry on and enjoy your good work". Someone has been training young waiters because I hear "bonne continuation" all the time when they bring the next course which means "Enjoy this next "plat"/dish".

    "Enjoy ..." and "Have a good ..." don't really work because they are already enjoying it and having a good time doing it and what you want to say is "Keep on enjoying what you were already enjoying before I interupted you." Even when I'm gardening and the post van delivers and I take the letters, she will say "Bonne continuation".

    IMHO no real English equivalent that covers all. It's a unique and very succinct and useful phrase.
     

    citoyennedumonde

    Senior Member
    france, french
    Hello,
    As far as I've seen it used, "bonne continuation" is wished as a final farewell, for example when leaving a job or an internship, at the end of a contract, or even after you had a conversation with a stranger where you connected at some level but don't plan to meet again. To say "bonne continuation" at this moment means that you wish that person the best in whatever paths they take through life, their career, their family life, and whatever other projects they may have. The way I've used it and seen it used, it would be like saying "have a nice life!" except it's a bit more formal, or a least it lies in a higher language register. Therefore, I think "all the best" might be the most accurate translation if you want to maintain the same language register as the original text.
    I totally agree with that. I also usually go for 'all the best', although there is something less personal and less particular about it, compared to "bonne continuation" which in some way implies that although you'll probably never see that person again you actually care.
    Also, "all the best" can only be written, whereas when leaving you can wave people and say "bonne continuation", ie. farewell and good luck/keep it up.
     

    citoyennedumonde

    Senior Member
    france, french
    Mmmm, interesting. I would have thought it sounds fine to say "All the best with your studies" ("bonne chance dans vos études"), but not a short "All the best" ("Bonne continuation").
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    humming-words

    New Member
    English - UK
    "Bonne continuation" has often been said to me, usually when ending a conversation with someone who is wishing me well in my studies etc. I always interpreted this as "good luck with it" or "keep up the good work".

    My question is - can I write this in an email to someone older and more experienced than I am, or does it sound condescending/patronising?

    As for "all the best", I have often heard and possibly said this when saying goodbye to a family member who I won't see for a long time - something like saying, "I wish you well in what you go on to do".

    But it's true that it's more commonly written than spoken.

    Thanks for the insights, all! :)
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    "Enjoy the rest of whatever it is that you're doing/the rest of your day/the rest of your meal..."
    I hear this most frequently (in a high-register context) for my last proposed translation, when additional courses are presented with...
    This is also when I've heard it most often, and in my opinion : Enjoy the rest of... fits perfectly well.
    To say "bonne continuation" at this moment means that you wish that person the best in whatever paths they take through life, their career, their family life, and whatever other projects they may have.
    I would never say bonne continuation in that specific sense. I'd rather say in French : Bonne route ! (figurative, similar to bon vent !).

    I like happy trails (link to the definition) which was suggested in this thread. Otherwise I might say : Fare well! / (I wish you) all the best! or simply Good luck!
    There is also this thread from the French only forum. And this one with English suggestions : Bon vent !

    Edited to add
    - I also like what nouvellerin suggested in 2009 (post 7) : Take care of yourself.
    But again, I wouldn't be likely to say bonne continuation in French in a good bye/so long context.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top