Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by LôSi, Dec 6, 2007.
I would like to translated the French expression "cadeau empoisoné". Thank you for your help!
without the context, I'd say it sounds like a poisoned chalice
Thank you very much!
I am not sure if we can say" poisoning gift"
But it depends on the context! Do you have any?
It's in a quite specialised context. In welfare economics, there is a famous transfer paradox. Under some assumptions, the recipient of a gift can become worse off. I just wanted to say that such a gift was a ""poisoned gift". Does "poisoned chalice" seem to be appropriate?
I would say 'booby trap' is probably the best conceptual translation here.
Or maybe Trojan horse?
I'm still looking for an English equivalent of "cadeau empoisonné" in the case of an actual gift. Something that someone will give to you just so you are in their debt...
I'm not sure "poisoned chalice" fits that description, so if anyone else has any suggestion I'd be most grateful. "Ill-intentioned gift", maybe?
Something that someone will give to you just so you are in their debt... such a gift is a "gift debt".
One is then "under obligation" to someone else.
I was unaware that the term "gift debt" existed. Thanks for letting me know.
The problem with gift debt, is that it refers to the debt created by the gift, not the gift itself. As such, it relates to the same concept, but is not a direct translation of cadeau empoisonné. Unfortunately, I don't know of an equivalent english expression.
You could also say 'white elephant':
I agree with Wunibald poisoned chalice is the nearest in meaning. It is also the definition given in Harraps Shorter (Chambers) anglais/français - français/anglais, 2009.
These alternative phrases were suggested as appropriate translations for this phrase on ProZ : more of a curse than a blessing / hot potato.
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