encadré par des gros bras de la CGT

whomadeamark

Senior Member
English (UK)
J'ai du mal à traduire cette phrase:

Ce Chirac est jeune, beau et adroit. Il y en a d’autres. Mais il a un talent rare : il raconte aux hommes comme on parle aux femmes. On ne se lasse pas, dans les ministeres, du recit canaille de ses entrevues secretes avec Krasucki, dans des bouges de Pigalle, le pistolet a la ceinture et encadré par des gros bras de la CGT.

My attempt:
Chirac is young, handsome and astute. There are others like him. But he has a rare talent: he talks to men as if they were women. We do not grow tired, in the ministries, of the roguish tales of his secret interviews with Krasucki, in the dives of Pigalle, with pistol in belt surrounded by big arms of the workers union.


Merci d'avance!
 
  • Biglake

    Senior Member
    English
    Elaborating a bit on vanagreg's response: a "strong arm" is a tough guy, often a thug or a bully, i.e. A Mafia strong arm is the guy who does the dirty work like breaking someone's legs, bodyguard, etc.

    "Surrounded by the strong arms of the CGT." In this case: Surrounded by the "tough guys" of the CGT.
     

    Zyprexa

    Senior Member
    Hi, Biglake,
    Welcome to the forum.

    I keep feeling it should be encadré par les gros bras

    I think the tough guys is too concrete for des gros bras These gros bras are more likely to wield a pen than a tire iron.

    If I had another shot at translating that whole phrase I'd offer:

    with gun in holster and protected by union muscle

    moving up the scale of concreteness, towards the tire-iron, you could have union heavies,>> union enforcers

     

    Biglake

    Senior Member
    English
    Yes, much better Zyprexa and Wopsy! Union heavies is perfect.
    (However Henri Krasucki was the one who kept a gun in his belt, not Chirac, so I don't think these "gros bras" wielded pens!)
     

    eljuno

    New Member
    French
    When you translate "comme on parle aux femmes" simply by "as if they were women", you don't include the connotation of flirting that commes with this expression. It means that Chirac talks to the crowd with the same sensitivity you would use when flirting with a girl. This is one of his characteristics of his speeches, and his (former) politics.
    But I don't know if there is an expression in English that would render this meaning.
     

    Carcassonnaise

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, much better Zyprexa and Wopsy! Union heavies is perfect.
    (However Henri Krasucki was the one who kept a gun in his belt, not Chirac, so I don't think these "gros bras" wielded pens!)
    This is all water under the bridge now, for a thread dating from 2008, but in fact it was Chirac who took the gun, on the advice of Georges Pompidou who was worried about Chirac being kidnapped during this secret meeting with the CGT during the May 1968 riots.
     
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