Did I do all right?

arielzeitoun

Senior Member
French
Bonjour,


Je suis en train de traduire ce passage émouvant d'un livre, et je cherche une façon de rendre le "did I do all right" final.
Le narrateur contemple sa bien aimée (T.), à l'agonie, percluse par la maladie, alors qu'ils regardent ensemble une vidéo datant de quelques mois auparavant où elle donnait un discours plein de force.

Le passage:
"I looked at T. I looked at that video. I saw both images together in my mind. The strong T., and then the T. crippled by this cruel disease. And then she said to me, through her great discomfort: “Did I do all right?”

J'ai pensé à "Est-ce que j'ai bien fait?" mais ça évoque plutôt, pour moi, "est-ce que j'ai bien fait de faire ce choix".
En fait je ne suis pas sûr de ce qu'elle veut dire ici: est-ce: "Est-ce que j'ai bien tout fait? " "est-ce que j'ai tout fait comme il fallait?" (en général)
ou bien: "Est-ce que j'étais bien dans cette vidéo?"

Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez?
Az
 
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  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Az,

    I'd say she was asking if she gave the lecture well. It's common in the very ill to think back to the time when they weren't sick, a time when they were valid, i.e. valid and valued members of the community. For me she wants to be reminded that in the past she could do things well; she's looking for congratulation on her past performance. After all they are looking at this video together. That's what makes the question moving; the insight it gives into the ways her mind is working.

    So I'd go for the simplest option - the English question is simple and direct - "Est-ce que j'ai bien fait?", or even "J'ai bien fait?" In fact I think I'd opt for this last suggestion.
     
    Bonjour Ariel,

    Deux questions, les personnages sont-ils d'expression BE ou AE ? Ca peut donner une piste pour l'esprit du "all right", sensiblement différent...

    T. dans son assertion finale, est-ce une réflexion sur son discours stricto sensu, ou plus générale sur le parcours (et donc le combat face à la maladie) et le temps passé entre les deux moments?

    En répondant à ça, on peut exactement capturer l'esprit, je pense.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It occurs to me that had the question been intended to refer directly to the whole performance, the lecture and the whole comportment during the illness, the question would be 'Have I done all right', and wouldn't be nearly as touching.

    The use of the past definite suggests to me that she was talking about the lecture alone.
     

    arielzeitoun

    Senior Member
    French
    It occurs to me that had the question been intended to refer directly to the whole performance, the lecture and the whole comportment during the illness, the question would be 'Have I done all right', and wouldn't be nearly as touching.

    The use of the past definite suggests to me that she was talking about the lecture alone.
    Thanks Thomas.
    Az.
     

    arielzeitoun

    Senior Member
    French
    I found Thomas' analysis very enlightening, and I came to understand her question as refering only to her performance on the video.

    So, it seems to me that "Est-ce que j'ai bien fait?" doesn't work here. It evokes a choice more than a performance, I think. It comes off more like, "Did I do the right thing?"

    So, I would go for something like: "J'étais bien?" (Was I good?), but still open to feedback...

    Anyway, thank you again Nathalie1963 for your curiosity that helps me clarify the sense of this passage, and thank you again Thomas for your sharp and helpful comments!

    Az;)
     
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