Casse-toi alors pauvre con!

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zenmanxpt

New Member
us, english
He said it to a person in the crowd as he was shaking hands. As far as I know it means "get lost". Is it really worse than that? I'm not allowed to post a link to the clip.

Moderator note: several threads on the same topic were merged. Please do not open a new thread on this topic, surely all you need to know about it is within this thread.This thread is closed.
 
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  • vanagreg

    Senior Member
    France, French
    I agree with you: "casse-toi" said to someone is an aggression... It is threatening: get lost or I will hit you....
    No, not necessarily. "Casse-toi" means "get lost", a rude way of telling somebody to go away.

    The context:
    - Visiteur : Ne me touche pas, tu me salis!
    - Sarkozy: Casse-toi alors pauvre con!

    - Don't touch me, you're making me dirty!
    - Get lost then, dumbass!
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Casse-toi (also "beat it") is quite vulgar and on " a scale from one to four", listing :
    1- va-t'en
    2-tire-toi
    3- fous le camp
    4-casse-toi
    would proudly get the best rating (4) for vulgarity ...
     

    Spleen

    Senior Member
    USA English
    On TV, I heard hims say right after that "quel con! ou "quelle bande de cons!" So I think "go away" is a little light for that tone in his voice. He was furious! That's why I suggested "Shove off" and agree with some of the early proposals (get lost followed by an insult (maybe not so much "poor cunt". Can someone tell me how to use the smileys?
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    I would rather say 'get lost, asshole' to translate this.
    'con' is really a strong vulgar but commonplace way of saying this, the kind of word some youngsters say in every sentence.
     

    Dan Badger

    Member
    UK English
    'con' is always a hard word to translate - I think it so much depends on the ferocity of the statement as others have pointed out. Given Mr Sarkozy's anger here, I think a good translation would be 'prick' - I think 'poor bastard' is good, too but would sound more British English to me as 'you sad bastard'.

    Dan
     

    lisbeth.feldspar

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would rather say 'get lost, asshole' to translate this.
    'con' is really a strong vulgar but commonplace way of saying this, the kind of word some youngsters say in every sentence.
    I would like to vote for "asshole" (my, what a strange sentence!). "C**t" is exremely, extremely vulgar (I am no prude, and even I can't quite bring myself to type it), whereas "con" is not quite as shocking, I think.

    Also, more swearing nuance: if it was a man he said it to, then "c**t" as a translation would be even stronger. To call a man that word is the height of insult, whereas to call a woman this word is more like a sexist/misogynist dismissal. (Still horrifying, though.) And even more interestingly: "asshole" is almost never used for women. I have no idea why, just something I've noticed. One would say "bitch" for a woman, "asshole" for a man.

    This was all a bit much before my morning coffee...! ;)

    lisbeth
     

    sam's mum

    Senior Member
    England English
    for con, I would recommend twat; in theory equally insulting (as cunt) but close enough to the mild twit to be in common use. Otherwise, wanker is getting very common these days, so is not such an insult as before
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Aren't we picky ...
    Prick is good, asshole may be too much ...
    The wide lexical covering of "con" can be discussed endlessly but I would say that in this particular case, it is nothing but a mild insult, not to be taken for more than what it is.
    This being said, for the sake of clarity and for those who may want to know, here is the actual context :
    the French President went about to shake hands with everybody close to him, in this "Salon de l'Agriculture", imitating his predecessor J. Chirac. He met with somebody not quite happy about shaking his hand, telling him :
    "touche-moi pas, tu me salis" (grammatically wrong for "ne me touche pas") = touch me not, you (will) dirty/soil me", hence the rest ...
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Langue française ♀
    The context:
    - Visiteur : Ne me touche pas, tu me salis!
    - Sarkozy: Casse-toi alors pauvre con!
    imho, in this specific context Casse-toi alors, pauvre con means nothing other than Déguerpis/fiche le camp alors, pauvre imbécile.

    My try :
    Well then scram, you sad moron / idiot!
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    Just to add something concerning the translation of this insult: I don't think we can translate it literally, so that indeed 'cunt' is out. What ought to be taken into account is how common the insult is - and 'con' is really very common these days. And what is conveyed : I would say what is meant here is that the person was considered as very stupid because of what he had previously said. Hence my suggestion of 'asshole' which conveys this idea of silliness.
    I like Nicomon's suggestion 'moron' but I think it is too nice a register for 'con'.
    imho.
     

    sam's mum

    Senior Member
    England English
    Just to add something concerning the translation of this insult: I don't think we can translate it literally, so that indeed 'cunt' is out. What ought to be taken into account is how common the insult is - and 'con' is really very common these days. And what is conveyed : I would say what is meant here is that the person was considered as very stupid because of what he had previously said. Hence my suggestion of 'asshole' which conveys this idea of silliness.
    I like Nicomon's suggestion 'moron' but I think it is too nice a register for 'con'.
    imho.
    I mostly agree, except that for me asshole sounds US English, not GB English. Dick or dickhead are other possibilities. In my opinion, cunt is far too rude - I would expect a bloke to get punched if he called anyone that.
     

    rathersane

    New Member
    US/English
    The Reuters story on the incident translated it as "Get lost, dumbass," which seems to jibe to what this discussion is getting at.

    If you haven't seen it yet, just go to YouTube and search for Sarkozy, it will be on top of the results. I liked the way he just kept that smile the whole time.
     

    Punky Zoé

    Senior Member
    Pau
    France - français
    Hi all

    IMHO, it is vain trying to graduate the offense and to measure it's depth in vulgarity. The context and who utters that words are more important than the words themselves. The same expression in another mouth and in another context would have had a different intensity.

    P.S. the smile is a kind of mask.
     

    Perhonorificus

    Senior Member
    Canada, French
    It is true this endeavor will probably turn out to be fruitless. Truth be told, the original uttering holds little interest, save for the fact that it came straight out of the French president's mouth. Nicomon and I have even wondered if the meaning of con changes (perhaps subtly) from one locality to another.
     

    lamoufette

    Member
    US English
    Je sais qu'on divague vers la definition du mot 'cunt' au lieu de parler de la phrase originale
    (la traduction en americain serait peut-etre 'well f*** off then loser')
    mais dit aux EU 'cunt' est assez rare et mille fois plus fort qu'en Angleterre, ou il se dit assez souvent.
     

    xtrasystole

    Senior Member
    France
    I would say what is meant here is that the person was considered as very stupid because of what he had previously said. Hence my suggestion of 'asshole' which conveys this idea of silliness
    I concur, 'asshole' sounds fine to me.

    Besides that, it seems to me that he said 'Casse-toi alors, pauvre con'.

    So, how about 'Get lost then, you jerk' ?
     

    lamoufette

    Member
    US English
    These translations are all soooo regional - In California, I can hear no one saying
    'get lost then you jerk.' It sounds humorous and quaint. The use of the tu form was what made me chose the term 'f-off, loser' I am giggling at the idea of an American Prez saying anything remotely like, 'get lost then you jerk' and they're probably too old to use the word loser, so I modify my original translation to the most likely to actually have been said by a head of state (D. Cheney, peut-etre) 'f-off, asshole'
     

    Padraig

    Senior Member
    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    Not only must one consider how it is nuanced in France, but one must also take account of how people in the English-speaking world react to the words that are offered as translations. Irish people, for the most part, are less offended by words like fuck and cunt than are Americans. I think the English fall about halfway between. I would be cautious about expressing a view about other English-speaking peoples.

    I would translate it (for my compatriots) as Fuck off, you pathetic cunt. I don't think that is a suitable translation for Americans.

    However you nuance it, I suspect that we would all agree that it is not language that a leading politician should use in public.
     

    marcheparche

    Member
    Spanish - English
    I just watched the video and I'd say that, without trying to be literal, the correct translation having heard his tone of voice would be:

    "get lost then, you loser"

    I don't think that Sarkozy meant to say asshol* or any of the other stronger connotations mentioned above, he knew he was being filmed.

    In any case, I think that "con" can have multiple meanings and it should be interpreted, in context, and also taking into account who said it and in what tone of voice.

    "Connard" always sounds stronger to me...
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    In idiomatic UK English of the same register, one might say: "Why don't you (just)sod off, you silly twat?!" Twit instead of twat iwould be milder and perhaps preferable in the mouth of such a distinguished personage.
     

    realteacher

    New Member
    Scotland - English
    Also, more swearing nuance: if it was a man he said it to, then "c**t" as a translation would be even stronger. To call a man that word is the height of insult, whereas to call a woman this word is more like a sexist/misogynist dismissal. (Still horrifying, though.)
    I can't agree with that one, I'm afraid. I suppose it very much depends on region and social setting, but I believe "cunt" is consistently the most taboo insult that can be directed at a woman, whereas I have lived social situations in which men use the term in a merely gently mocking, almost affectionate manner.

    However, I'm 100% behind you on the "asshole" thing.
    "Go to Hell, asshole", "Get out of here, asshole", or perhaps even, "Get bent, dumbass", might be my American English rendering.

    In British English, I would go for:
    "Well piss off then, you sad tosser"
    or "Piss off then, stupid prick"

    "Bloody idiot" captures the idea of "con", but only British people at least ten years older than Sarkozy would actually say that.
     

    lisbeth.feldspar

    Senior Member
    American English
    I can't agree with that one, I'm afraid. I suppose it very much depends on region and social setting, but I believe "cunt" is consistently the most taboo insult that can be directed at a woman
    Oh, I absolutely agree! I only meant that it might be even more insulting for a man than for a woman (because emasculating as well as mean), although I agree that it's just about the most insulting thing you can call anyone in North America, regardless of gender. :)

    I sometimes like to call women "assholes" as an insult (not to their faces, of course -- I hardly ever have occasion to insult someone to his/her face), because it sounds slightly funny and "off," therefore more humorous than insulting.

    lisbeth
     

    Padraig

    Senior Member
    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    The question of translating strong language is interesting.

    Further to my comment about nuancing for readers from different places, I have just read back through the thread, and find it interesting to note that American participants, even when discussing the use of words like fuck and cunt, cannot bring themselves to spell the words out fully. [The same goes for the N-word -- He used the N-word rather than He called her a nigger. Whether using the word with purpose, or discussing it as a word, American sensibilities seem more delicate than those of some other groups.]
     

    lisbeth.feldspar

    Senior Member
    American English
    The question of translating strong language is interesting.

    Further to my comment about nuancing for readers from different places, I have just read back through the thread, and find it interesting to note that American participants, even when discussing the use of words like fuck and cunt, cannot bring themselves to spell the words out fully. [The same goes for the N-word -- He used the N-word rather than He called her a nigger. Whether using the word with purpose, or discussing it as a word, American sensibilities seem more delicate than those of some other groups.]
    Hmmm.... interesting point, although I think each American has his or her own taboo words-that-must-not-be-uttered. I have no problem saying/writing fuck (in fact, it's one of my favorite adverbs!), but cannot say/write that c-word. ;) Dunno why. I can say that it's completely idiosyncratic. Twat? No prob. :) C**t? Can't go there.

    Surely in Ireland you have words equivalent to "the N-word," that are so loaded with horrifying history that no one wants to even say them anymore???

    lisbeth
     

    KaRiNe_Fr

    Senior Member
    Français, French - France
    Hello there,

    Be sure « Casse-toi, alors, pauvre con ! » is not a level of speech expected by a president. It is really bad, whatever your political opinion is!
    It is at least inelegant in everyone's mouth.
    It is disdainful: using the « tu » is even enough, not to mention the slang « casse-toi » and « pôv'con » said with a sufficient smile. The « pôv'con » (it's how it is pronounced) is here to stress how stupid and such a little thing (compared to the Big Character speaking) the other person is.
    So please, English speakers, don't try to put it mildly...
     

    roymail

    Senior Member
    french (belgian)
    Oh, I absolutely agree! I only meant that it might be even more insulting for a man than for a woman (because emasculating as well as mean), although I agree that it's just about the most insulting thing you can call anyone in North America, regardless of gender. :)

    lisbeth
    In french, when we say "con" to somebody, we don't thing specially of the real thing
     
    I think it's basically superstitious behavior. "Fuck" is a good example: supposedly, it is very vulgar because it refers to sexual intercourse, yet, "sexual intercourse" is not vulgar, and "fuck you" and "fuck off" don't really have anything to do with sexual intercourse. "Fuck" in such expressions is really a just magic formula, like a curse or hex.

    I see it as related to things like "G-d", "Celui-dont-le-nom-ne-doit-pas-être-prononcé" dans Harry Potter, and saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes. The superstitious magic and ritual of words.
     

    Padraig

    Senior Member
    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    Hmmm.... interesting point, although I think each American has his or her own taboo words-that-must-not-be-uttered. I have no problem saying/writing fuck (in fact, it's one of my favorite adverbs!), but cannot say/write that c-word. ;) Dunno why. I can say that it's completely idiosyncratic. Twat? No prob. :) C**t? Can't go there.

    Surely in Ireland you have words equivalent to "the N-word," that are so loaded with horrifying history that no one wants to even say them anymore???
    Of course we are all individuals when it comes to choice of vocabulary, whether it be strong language or otherwise, but there are also broad cultural differences which are worth noting.

    I don't actually use the word cunt (I don't think I ever have, even in banter), but I have no problem discussing it as a word or quoting somebody's utterance that includes the word or telling a joke that involves a pun on the word (I know a good one). In that, I think you and I might reflect the difference that we are discussing. If Jane Fonda used the word on television here, she might raise an eyebrow or two, but she wouldn't raise Cain as she seems to have done in the US -- and I understand that she was not using it pejoratively at the time.

    Translation involves cultural appreciation (among many other things). That is why attempting to translate what Sarkozy said is interesting: people from different language communities need different representations of what he said.

    Yes, we have words in Ireland that have become subject to restriction. But they are not being driven out of general discourse; rather their use is limited to their denotative meaning in appropriate circumstances. Spastic is an example. Relatively few people now use it as a term of abuse. It's part of the pattern: we are not quite as bothered by words as are Americans.
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Langue française ♀
    "Con" can also mean "stupid". Eg:"Ne sois pas con, " "C'est con de penser ceci ou cela". So it's not really that bad!!! It's used very often by everybody.
    My point exactly. And this is how I understand it here. As a Quebecer, I am not easily offended by words like asshole, fuck off or any religious swear, but I honestly don't think this is what Casse-toi alors, pauvre con! means. I think one can be stupid/idiot/moron, without being an asshole, which to me is trou de cul.

    Think for instance the movie, Le diner de cons. Nobody would translate con as asshole, prick, bastard, jerk or cunt, now would they? imho, Pôv con is demeaning, but more in the sense of, and as I suggested earlier (#29) pauvre imbécile. I see it as Punky Zoé : patronizing/condescending. Now I admit that my initial suggestion of Well then scram, sad moron... doesn't really "cut the mustard".

    Dans ce contexte, et en québécois, àma pauvre con se traduirait par (pauvre) épais/niaiseux.

    After reading the whole thread, I'm starting to believe that suggestions like Get lost /buzz off then, you pathetic moron/loser/dumbass are very close in meaning.
     

    roymail

    Senior Member
    french (belgian)
    Hello there,

    Be sure « Casse-toi, alors, pauvre con ! » is not a level of speech expected by a president. It is really bad, whatever your political opinion is!
    It is at least inelegant in everyone's mouth.
    It is disdainful: using the « tu » is even enough, not to mention the slang « casse-toi » and « pôv'con » said with a sufficient smile. The « pôv'con » (it's how it is pronounced) is here to stress how stupid and such a little thing (compared to the Big Character speaking) the other person is.
    So please, English speakers, don't try to put it mildly...
    I agree with Karinefr.
    The word is not so bad, but in that context, it is
     
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