faire le mal pour un bien

Charlotte1234

New Member
English - England
Hi there,

I'm trying to translate this phrase: La rue c’est un jeu : faire le mal pour un bien.

I would go for something like: The street is a game: do something bad for something good or in this context do something bad for some (money/food/etc)

Is this about right? Someone else suggested translating it as hurting for the sake of it, but I didn't think this was right.

Thanks all!
 
  • joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    there are different possible interpretations depending on the mutiple meaning of "good"
    good as opposed to evil
    good
    as in goods and services
    the most tempting one is" the street is a game: do something bad (evil) (like hurting someone) to get goods." but that's assuming that the play on words is intentional.
     

    Pix'n

    Member
    French - France
    I would go for "do something bad for some (money/food/etc)".
    "The street is a game: do something bad for something good"
    would be "la rue c’est un jeu : faire le mal pour le bien" but it doesn't really make sense in opinion.
     

    Nicomon

    Senior Member
    Français, Québec ♀
    Sorry for the late reply. I just found this thread...

    Googling the sentence gives only two results, namely this thread and this document. What follows is on p. 21
    Souvent, ces systèmes alternatifs « hors la loi » sont plus rapides, plus efficaces, et donc plus attrayants. La rue devient synonyme d’argent, de liberté, creusant davantage un fossé entre ces personnes marginalisées et le système en place.

    « La rue c’est un jeu : faire le mal pour un bien. Si quelqu’un fait un braquage c’est pour manger. »
    So yes, I think there is indeed a pun intended.
    The usual expressions being (C'est) un mal pour un bien = It's a blessing in disguise / every cloud has a silver lining.
    Or rendre le mal pour le bien / le bien pour le mal = to return evil (ill) for good / good for evil (ill).

    Doing evil for one's benefit ? Doing wrong for one's own good?
    Doing evil to secure (some) goods ?
     
    Last edited:

    petit1

    Senior Member
    français - France
    So I was wrong in my answer (4). Thank you Nico for finding the right document.
     
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