coûter , gagner la bagatelle de + somme

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
Bonjour,

Je me demande comment dire « coûter la bagatelle de » en anglais ?
Voilà la phrase exemplifiant l’usage de la tournure :
London River aurait coûté la bagatelle de trois millions de dollars américains.
http://www.algeria.com/forums/history-histoire/24982.htm
On emploie souvent l’expression ironiquement pour dire que quelque chose a coûté très cher, voire trop cher. De ce que j’ai vu c’est une expression toute faite en français, utilisée assez fréquemment dans la presse. Y a-t-il quelque chose de pareil en anglais ?

Quant à ma tentative, je pense qu’on peut dire :
London River would have cost only $3 million.
Mais je me demande s'il y a une expression plus idiomatique.

Merci d’avance
T.
 
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  • Randisi.

    Senior Member
    American English; USA
    A construction like the following with "mere" is usually meant ironically:

    "The London River cost a mere $3,000,000"

    Sometimes the word "piddling" is used instead of "mere."

    I'm sure there are others, but it is late and I'm tired.
     

    monkeymoo1905

    Member
    English- England
    Moderator note: This new discussion has been merged into an existing discussion on the same topic.
    =====


    Hi,

    I am working on a promotional text and have come across this term and at first glance I interpreted it as a good thing but now I am not so sure after reading it can be ironic?

    the context is the promotion of a Wine exhibition and publication.

    Ce n'est pas un simple relookage: c'est une révolution! Le Guide vert de La RVF, numéro un des guides d'auteur sur le vin, passe cette année au format double-magnum et gagne la bagatelle de 130 pages supplémentaires.

    my translation:
    It’s not a simple case of rebranding: it’s a revolution! The Green Guide of La RVF, the number one author of guide books on wine, spent this year in a double magnum format and earnt an immense 130 additional pages.

    After looking back to explain some of my decisions I am not confused about this term "la bagatelle"

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Hi,

    usually, "gagne la bagatelle de" = "earns the trifling sum of".

    Here, as it's not about money, can you say "adds up a trifling 130 additional pages (to his length)" ? Or "earnt a mere 130 additional pages"?
     

    monkeymoo1905

    Member
    English- England
    I was just confused as I thought it was conveying a huge victory of earning more pages but not I see that may not be the case?
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Well, it means that the author thinks that, 130 additional pages, it's a lot, it's not nothing, even perhaps it's too much. (Not sure for "too much", it has to be confirmed by the context).

    bagatelle = triffles, but in the expression "la bagatelle de" it's used like an understatement.
     

    monkeymoo1905

    Member
    English- England
    TH
    Well, it means that the author thinks that, 130 additional pages, it's a lot, it's not nothing, even perhaps it's too much. (Not sure for "too much", it has to be confirmed by the context).

    bagatelle = triffles, but in the expression "la bagatelle de" it's used like an understatement.

    Thank you for your help! I'm not sure I understand it in this particular context, especially because it's a promotional text but do think I need to change my word choice! :)
     

    Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    It is more often used ironically. For exemple, in your context, I assume 130 extra pages are a lot.
     

    monkeymoo1905

    Member
    English- England
    Okay thank you. What would you suggest for my context? It's funny because I took it at face value as meaning a lot until I went to do a back translation to justify my decisions!
     
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