France Supporting the Wounded Soldier

Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
"France Supporting the Wounded Soldier" is apparently the title of a memorial sculpture by Émile Antoine Bourdelle. Does this title mean "France in support of the wounded soldiers"? And does this "support" mean that the monument has been constructed as a support for the soldiers or does it mean that the monument is depicting a scene of support?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Without looking for a picture of it - just going on the words - it's more likely that it's literal. France is personified (the woman Marianne with her Phrygian cap, probably) and is holding up one wounded soldier in her arms. This of course is then figurative for the nation supporting (financially, emotionally etc.) all its soldiers.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks.

    Google translates the title as 'France receiving in his arms a wounded soldier'. I think it should be 'her arms', but either way it is more literal and easier to understand than the title given in the OP.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Thanks.

    Google translates the title as 'France receiving in his arms a wounded soldier'. I think it should be 'her arms', but either way it is more literal and easier to understand than the title given in the OP.
    In French, possessive pronouns use the gender of the item possessed, not of the possessor*. Since the soldier is male, French uses a masculine possessive pronoun. It was automatically translated to the English masculine possessive pronoun, "his," without considering that English possessive pronouns match the gender of the possessor. I think a human translator would have noticed this - as heypresto did - and used "her."

    _____________________
    *Native English speakers often find this confusing when they first learn French. I'm sure native French speakers also find the English approach confusing when they first learn English, though I think the English approach is more common in other languages.
     

    Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    @Egmont The item possessed is actually the arms (Marianne's arms), not the soldier. Arms is a masculine word in French but here it is plural and our plural articles are always gender-neutral (unlike in Spanish, where los and las are distinct). French grammar is like pulling teeth!
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    _____________________
    *Native English speakers often find this confusing when they first learn French. I'm sure native French speakers also find the English approach confusing when they first learn English, though I think the English approach is more common in other languages.
    Italian is the same as French , except that the plural articles are gender-specific.
     
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