gagner

hotjava

Senior Member
English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese
I saw the following sentence in a grammar exercise book. Does gagner here mean to win or to earn (make money)?

Je gagnais pourtant à être connue!
I had won (had earned money) but to be known!

Either case, I still cannot understand the meaning of the whole sentence.
 
  • Gérard Napalinex

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Hi hotjava - may I have a cup ? ;),

    The core phrase is "gagner à être connu(e)(s)".
    Only paraphrasing Micia's explanation: you use this when talking about something or someone whom first contact is not promising, but who reveals interesting if you try to know more about them.
     

    BAlfson

    Senior Member
    USA - anglais
    Alors, par exemple:
    "Je me suis fait écrasé par Rafael Nadal à Roland-Gaross, mais je gagnais pourtant à être connue!"

    "Rafael Nadal crushed me at the tennis tournament, but I won renown."

    Cheers - Bob
     

    Gérard Napalinex

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Non, désolé: il ne s'agit pas de gagner de la renommée (ce que je comprends de to win renown).
    En fait, personne ne gagne rien, ou alors un peu d'estime.
    1. Tu rencontres quelqu'un au marché, un gars au regard timide, voûté, avec un visage austère - pas marrant.
    2. De prime abord, tu penses que c'est un quidam, et qu'il n'y a pas a priori d'intérêt à t'en faire un ami
    3. En l'entendant commander son poisson devant toi, tu remarques qu'il semble connaître très bien les poissons halieutiques et leur cycles de reproduction.
    4. Il se trouve que c'est ton dada aussi: tu l'invites à prendre un café, la discussion est palpitante et vous ne vous quittez plus.
    5. Ton opinion initiale ("ce mec ne ressemble à rien, aucun intérêt") est balayée maintenant que tu le connais mieux

    Tu diras alors: malgré son air timide et peu engageant, il gagne à être connu.

    Got the picure ?
     

    BAlfson

    Senior Member
    USA - anglais
    OK, I agree that "renown" is a little strong. I used it like that because that was the comment made about me when I lost a fencing bout 4-5 in 1976 to Christian Noël. I also lost 4-5 that day to Harald Hein who won the gold at the Jeux Olympiques that year. It was one of my best days ever in fencing.

    Cheers - Bob
     

    hotjava

    Senior Member
    English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese
    Hey, guys, your discussion is too abstract for my understanding. Could someone explain the expression in simple English. I know it is idiomatic, and thus hard to translate word for word. But is there an equivalent English expression or idiom.
    To win fame, celebrity.
    To court fame??
     

    BAlfson

    Senior Member
    USA - anglais
    No, none of those. It simply implies that he got to be known, that someone was aware that he existed.

    John sees a girl sitting alone. He sits down across from her, and they briefly seem to have a pleasant conversation. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she sees her boyfriend approaching, and says loudly, "Go away! Quit bothering me! Who do you think you are?"

    John stands up and walks back over to sit with his buddy who says, "Man, she really shot you down!"

    "That's possible," John says, "Je gagnais pourtant à être connue!"

    Cheers - Bob
    PS In my story about fencing in post #6, it was Noël and Hein that knew my name after that day (although I trained at the same club as Noël, he knew my name in a different way after that :)).
     
    Last edited:

    Micia93

    Senior Member
    France French
    sorry Balfson,
    but your example is a bit confusing :(
    it's much more simple than that : it is only the idea that, at first sight, somebody doesn't appear to be very interesting, but when you know him better, you realize that he is actually worth to know
    badly expressed maybe ?
     

    BAlfson

    Senior Member
    USA - anglais
    I don't think I disagree. In my sports examples, the champions certainly had seen the pretenders before, but were not conscious of them. Even though the pretenders were unsuccessful, the champions now recognized them. I've already admitted that I'm not much of a story-teller, so I think I'll forego future attempts at invention and just stick with reality. ;)

    Cheers - Bob
     

    hotjava

    Senior Member
    English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese
    OK, I got the idea from the examples given. But let me rephrase my original question, how do you translate this expression simply into English. Assume you are the simultaneous intrepreter for Obama when he meets Sarkorzy. Then Sarkorzy uses this French idiom. How do you translate this for Obama? No time to give elaborate examples of fencing, dating, etc.
     

    Roman Age

    Senior Member
    French - France
    If you I was an official interpretor, it would still depend on the context, however in most cases I would translate it as:
    It is worth knowing him/her.
    or:
    It is worth getting to know him/her.
     

    Micia93

    Senior Member
    France French
    I don't think I disagree. In my sports examples, the champions certainly had seen the pretenders before, but were not conscious of them. Even though the pretenders were unsuccessful, the champions now recognized them. I've already admitted that I'm not much of a story-teller, so I think I'll forego future attempts at invention and just stick with reality. ;)

    Cheers - Bob
    yes of course, I didn't intend to hurt your feelings you know :)
     

    hotjava

    Senior Member
    English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese
    OK, I think Obama will understand Roman Age's elegant "It is worth knowing him" :))

    Merci beaucoup
     

    hotjava

    Senior Member
    English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese
    Pardon, Roman Age, shouldn't it be 'it is worth knowing me'. From Je gagnais pourtant à être connue!, the 'Je' seemed to indicate me, and not him. Just in case, Obama knows the word 'Je' actually refer to I or me.
     

    BAlfson

    Senior Member
    USA - anglais
    micia93 said:
    yes of course, I didn't intend to hurt your feelings you know
    Not at all, but thanks for your concern. :) I reread my little creative gem and realized that it spoke the right message only to me at the moment I wrote it. A day later, it was clear to me that the feeling of "at least, now he knows who I am" was lost.

    Cheers - Bob
     

    egremoq

    Senior Member
    England / English
    I improve on further acquaintance (altough usually referring to someone else, not yourself).
     

    BAlfson

    Senior Member
    USA - anglais
    It's clear to me now that I never understood this construction before today, and that the several times I heard it, I completely misinterpreted what was meant. Thanks, Gérard, Micia93, mgarizona, Roman Age and egremoq for countering my misunderstanding.

    I was unaware that gagner à être is used in the sense of improves with. I'll start another thread to explore this in depth.

    Cheers - Bob
     
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