Dark accuracy of the road


Senior Member

I am translating a Welsh short story by Leslie Norris: a Roman Spring.

In the passage, the narrator and his neighbour are talking about an old Roman road crossing their fields and passing near a little cottage.

About the road he says:

"A discernible track fainter green than the land around [...] Generations of farmers, finding that little would grow above the stones, had left its surface untilled so that the road, covered with a thin scrub of tenacious blackthorn, went stubbornly on. [...]
Here is the passage i have problems with:
The old cottage sat firmly next to the dark accuracy of the traceable road, its position suddenly relevant"

So, with everything that has been said before, i understand what he means in general, but i have no idea of how to translate this sentence into french, the word "accuracy" especially giving me problems!

would "la démarcation exacte du tracé sombre de la route" be a correct translation though, i find it clumsy and very "lourd" ??

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  • Glaire

    Senior Member
    Hi Glaire,
    How about dark meaning here obscure, gloomy?
    La précision morne/lugubre du tracé de la route?

    Hummm i dont know, it could be a solution but what makes me hesitate is the very light tone of the text, the road is not at all a bad omen as would "lugubre" suggests (to me anyway). Correct me if i'm wrong, but I thought the road was dark, because of the blackthorn growing on it and the faint difference of color between the road and the land around it. What do you think??

    (of course you havent read the text so it is difficult for you to know with those 3lines extract and i know it)


    Senior Member
    This is interesting as accuracy means precision, exactness etc....
    not easy....I'm not sure what to think, to be honest with this ''dark''


    Senior Member
    Hi Glaire :)

    I am surely astray, but that "black" does create a poetic "contrast colour" ompared to the general colours in the landscape:

    A discernible track fainter green than the land around
    that little would grow above the stones
    surface untilled

    Could that "black" simply mean "le noir soigné" de la route": à savoir, "un noir continu" "total" "sans imperfections" ?

    Hope it helps :)
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    Jasmine tea

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Dans mon esprit "dark accuracy" est rapproché de "suddenly relevant".

    "Dark", ou obscur, veut dire alors "inconnu", "oublié", etc.

    Je pense que je traduirais par "cette lointaine exactitude de..... qui s'avérait soudainement si approprié..."