1. Pickle Posy Senior Member

    Paris, France
    British English
    This is from a description by a man of his (now dead) father and grandfather, who restored the family home: je les rencontre partout : je les imagine debout, déterminés, entreprenants.
    "Debout" is stumping me. I know it literally means "standing up," which makes little sense. Having perused the WR forums, I wonder if he means "alive again" or perhaps "upright" in the sense of "dignified"...? What do people think?



     
  2. franc 91 Senior Member

    France
    English - GB
    active, dynamic
     
  3. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    I think it combines the ideas of "standing up" (i.e. alive and well and not in their graves) and "standing up to the world" (forming a triplet with déterminés, entreprenants).
     
  4. Pickle Posy Senior Member

    Paris, France
    British English
    Keith - thanks. Your suggestion of "standing up to the world" works well in this context.
     
  5. katt47 Member

    English-UK
    Sorry to go slightly off topic but is the word debout pronounced the same way as the word 'début' ?
     
  6. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Not at all. As a rough approximation:

    Debout rhymes with "the boo".
    Début is a rhyme halfway between "day boo" and with "day bee" *.

    * If you haven't learnt how to pronounce the French ü sound, purse your lips up as if you're going to say "oo" and then try to say "ee" instead. There are websites you can listen to to compare.
     
  7. moustic Senior Member

    near Limoges
    British English
    First reading, I thought:
    ... I imagine them standing there, determined ...

    but maybe not ...
     

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