dormir dans un cabaret

ruthlin

New Member
English - United States
Hi -

I am working with an eighteenth-century text and I've come across a usage of the word cabaret that I have not seen before. In a (fictional) letter, a mother is describing how traveling will serve to erase her daughter's excessive délicatesse, and she writes:

"she will fear neither the sea nor bad roads, she will know how to sleep in a cabaret equally as well asin her bedroom..."
"elle ne craindra ni la mer ni les mauvais chemins, elle saura dormir dans un cabaret aussi bien que dans sa chambre..."

I appreciate your help!

~Ruth
 
  • laurent1513

    Senior Member
    French from France
    Hi,
    The word "cabaret" has known a slip of meaning since the eighteenth century. According to the Larousse dictionnary, a cabaret is a "débit de boisson", i.e a bar. Eventually, in the twenty-first century french, it means a place where one can drink, eat, dance, where shows take place... Maybe in the context of the eighteenth century, a cabaret is a honky-tonk. At the very least, it seems to be a place where one can sleep, a kind of hotel - but this is not the case in the french of the twenty-first century.
     
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    laurent1513

    Senior Member
    French from France
    Hi,
    "Inn" could be a good solution... The french word "auberge" is not quite accurate because it does not imply the same thing than "honky-tonk" ; now the sentence you quote implies the place where the character is supposed to sleep is a dirty and shady one. The fittest french word could be "une gargotte" or "un bouge". Maybe the english "honky-tonk" sound weird because of the eigtheenth century context... But if you have to use "inn", try to add some adjective to your translation to make understand to the reader the place is a shady one.
     
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