dont les activités se tenaient à l'étage

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by elle23, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. elle23 Member

    English - Canadian
    Hello all,

    I am wondering if the following phrase is a bit repetitive and can be omited (I usually never like to do this), or indeed important. I think that I am having trouble understanding the full meaning of it, however...Translation context: the description of how an old building was re-appropriated when a new business moved in.

    Original:
    Compagnie X faisait l’acquisition, en 2003, de son édifice, jusque là connu des Montréalais sous le nom de Marché X dont les activités se tenaient à l’étage.

    My try:

    Company X acquired its current locale in 2003 when it took over a space that Montrealer's had long known as the Market X, where related activities took place.

    My problem here is the meaning of "se tenaient à l'étage". It seems like its just describing the simple fact that related activities used to be held at the Market, and if thats true--I would consider this phrase superfluous. It seemd instinctive to translate the whole sentence as: "Company X acquired its current locale in 2003 when it took over a space that Montrealer's had long known as the Market X".

    What do you think? Is there a better way to describe this?

    Merci d'avance! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Seeda Banned

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    Hello, could you please give the following sentence? because all se tenaient à l'étage can make me think of is "were help upstairs", which I know doesn't help a lot... thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  3. elle23 Member

    English - Canadian
    Hi Seeda, Thanks for your reply...

    Here is the entire original paragraph (abridged version). I hope this helps :)

    Après huit années à occuper différents étages de l’édifice Z, situé sur la rue Sainte-Pierre, Compagnie X faisait l’acquisition, en 2003, de son édifice, jusque là connu des Montréalais sous le nom de Marché X dont les activités se tenaient à l’étage. Situé face à la porte Sud du Quartier des spectacles, notre édifice avait sérieusement besoin de travaux de mise aux normes de même que d’un agrandissement.

    Just out of curiosity-How do you get "was help upstairs" from that sentence? Maybe my confusion lies in my not understanding "se tenir" very well...

    (off to check dictionaries..)
     
  4. Seeda Banned

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    Well, it makes think of "une réception se tient / est tenue à l'étage / au premier étage" for instance = a reception is held upstairs / on the 2nd floor". Se tenir + [location] seems to mean "to be held [somewhere]"; that's why.
    Unfortunately, even with more context, I can't seem to think of anymore, I'm sorry :(
     
  5. Seeda Banned

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    Oops sorry, now I realize: typo. I meant to type "held", not "help" ... *frustration*
     
  6. elle23 Member

    English - Canadian
    Hi Seeda! No worries about the typo...

    Indeed, they are talking about activities that used to occur on the 2nd floor of their building (it was a popular local watering hole for many years). I guess the writer is trying to pay homage to the old institution...

    I am still having trouble with the "dont les activites" portion of the phrase. Frustration here too :)
     
  7. Seeda Banned

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    I suspect that these activités are those of the Market, but is that really your question?
     
  8. elle23 Member

    English - Canadian
    Yes, basically...it makes sense now, it just seems to awkward to me in French. Do you feel the same as a native French speaker? Sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing what is style and what is just plain awkward in my second language :)
     
  9. Seeda Banned

    Metz
    法语 / French (FR)
    Haha yeah I know what you mean, but this sentence sounds very natural, not awkward, not to me at least. It's just the word édifice that doesn't seem appropriate, but surely it's okay in Québec French :)
     

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