du bout des cordes vocales

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Mioche, Mar 14, 2019 at 9:07 AM.

  1. Mioche Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch
    In a short story by Régis Jauffret about a female office worker (secretary to the CEO probably), who also tells the story, there's this line:

    Il éjacule du bout des cordes vocales comme si l'orgasme lui tombait peu à peu sur la poitrine.

    I wonder if anyone can help me 1) how to interpret the phrase du bout des cordes vocales and 2) how to translate the sentence as a whole.

    Context: her boss calls her on the phone to check on her after he has left the office to go on a business trip.

    Earlier on in the story the woman describes her boss's enthusiasm to go on that trip like this:

    Cette perspective l'enchante, sa joie est si grande qu'il éjacule du regard et tamponne discrètement ses yeux avec un mouchoir en papier déjà soullié par de précédents orgasmes.
     
  2. Kecha Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France)
    He sure likes the words éjaculer and orgasme :rolleyes:

    I would expect "du bout des cordes vocales" to mean he makes a very faint barely audible sigh or groan of some sort.
     
  3. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    Do you just want to understand it, or do you have to translate it? Either are difficult!:eek:

    'from the end/tip of his vocal cords' (since elsewhere he ejaculates from his eyes), as if the orgasm were gradually falling on/descending onto on his chest

     
  4. Yendred Senior Member

    Paris
    Français - France
    I thought I would never have met this sentence anytime in my life :D
     
  5. Mioche Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch
    I actually have to translate it into Dutch. Your suggestion sounds alright, it's a quite literal translation. However I have a faint suspicion that the author probably plays a game here with either the expression du bout des lèvres (reluctantly) or du bout du doigt (very carefully), as @Kecha very appropriately suggested above. So I'm not sure, I still hesitate between those two interpretations.
     
  6. Mioche Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch
    Do you think Jauffret plays here on either one of the expressions du bout des dents / du bout des lèvres or du bout des doigts ?

    If so, would you interpret more towards avec réticence, or très délicatement ?
     
  7. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    Mioche, yes, it does makes one think of 'du bout des lèvres', of course, but then he mentions chest and eyes, and that's why I think the reference to the vocal cords should be there somehow...

    It all looks very tricky to translate :eek:!

    Yendred, yes, only here, on WR...:D
     
  8. Mioche Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch
    Do you think rather this expression than 'du bout des doigts' ?

    It's indeed quite tricky to translate!:confused:
     
  9. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    Well, the vocal cords are closer to the lips than to the fingers - if that means anything!
     
  10. Kecha Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France)
    My first thought was about "du bout des lèvres" too, but as you noted there are other expressions with "du bout de".
    Since he dabs his eyes"discrètement" I guess he is trying to be not too obvious about his emotional erm overflow...
     
  11. mehoul Senior Member

    french
    Ce qui est curieux c'est que l'emploi du verbe éjaculer pour parler ou dire évoque un discours énergique voire violent, alors que "du bout des cordes vocales" évoque plutôt la retenue. Bref, difficile de savoir ce que l'auteur a voulu signifier.
     
  12. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    Etant donné que la personne éjacule également du regard, je crois que ça ne compte pas...
     
  13. Mioche Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch
    De quoi désespérer le traducteur... :eek:
     
  14. Laurent2018 Senior Member

    french belgium
    Il a les yeux larmoyants quand il est ému
    Il salive quand il parle sous le coup de l'émotion ou de l'excitation (du bout des cordes vocales: quand il parle).
    A moins qu'on ait affaire à une séance de climaxing?:D
     
  15. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    La salive ne provient pas des cordes vocales.
     
  16. Laurent2018 Senior Member

    french belgium
    Remarque pertinente et opportune.
     

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