Et puis la voilà subitement comparée

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by sdray, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. sdray Member

    Hi there,

    I don't understand the structure - in particular where is the subject and verb of this phrase 'Et puis là voilà subitement comparée à des légendes'

    Here is the context from an article on Amy Winehouse:

    Ce qui est vraiment intéressant, c’est ce revirement rapide. Si on se souvient bien, il y a deux ou trois ans, un tabloïd affichait une grande photo d’Amy dans un piteux état en une avec ce titre : “s’il vous plaît, que quelqu’un lui vienne en aide !” Et puis là voilà subitement comparée à des légendes comme Billie Holliday ou Edith Piaf.

    I am thinking: ''And then suddenly here she is compared to legends like Billie Holiday or Edith Piaf"

    Is "puis lá" equal to "then"?

  2. Quaeitur

    Quaeitur Mod'elle

    Lille, France
    Hello sdray :)

    There's a typo in the sentence. It should be: Et puis la voilà subitement comparée à which is another way to write Et maintenant elle est subitement comparée à ...

    Is it clearer? ;)
  3. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Perhaps you can check your text again, because for me, " voilà" is a mistake. It should be "la voilà", I believe. "There she is. . ." I think in English we say something like, "Now all of a sudden she's being compared to. . ."

    [Quaeitur got in ahead of me, but I'm glad to have that confirmation.]
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  4. sdray Member

    Thanks for clarifying that that is a typo. I guess the confusion now is that "la comparée" can be used as the equivalent of "elle est comparée." Not sure how that works grammatically. In English I suppose if we were dropping the main verb "is" we might say "Then suddenly compared to Billie Holiday" - unlikely that we would drop "she's" though. I still am not clear on how 'la' can be "elle"....
  5. Quaeitur

    Quaeitur Mod'elle

    Lille, France
    Actually, you can't remove the voila from the sentence. The structure is la voilà + past participle and is equivalent to Elle est + past participle. The la refers to Amy Winehouse. For a male one would use le.
  6. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    "La voilà comparée" = "There she is compared". "Voilà" serves as a verb, and in fact the CNRTL lists it as such.

    "She" is "La" in this case because it is in effect a direct object. "Je la vois" = "I see her", so "La voilà" = "There she is". A bit odd, I suppose, until you get used to it. (That is, for us English speakers. French speakers don't seem to have any trouble with it.)

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