hamstring (n.)

Rob625

Senior Member
English - England
How do you say hamstring (the big muscle at the back of the leg) in French?

The dictionary only gives 'paralyser' for 'hamstring (v.)', the metaphorical verb.
 
  • Adamastor77

    Member
    Switzerland (french) & Portugal
    in a very precise and scientific way, those muscles are "les muscles jumeaux du mollet" (twin muscles).

    However, in a less scientific way, you can say "les muscles du mollet" or even "le mollet", which is the generic name for this part of the human body (rear part of the leg between the knee and the ankle)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Sudden said:
    Hi,

    You are looking for 'muscles ischio-jambiers', otherwise referred to simply as the 'ischio-jambiers'.

    Is this the name commonly used in conversation? If a French person pulled a hamstring while jogging or running, this is the word they would use to describe the injury to a friend? It seems very long and technical-sounding to my ears.
     

    balaam

    Senior Member
    french (belgium)
    only if your friend is a kinesitherapeute.

    the rest of the universe would say "j'ai mal [à] la/ma cuisse"
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    JamesM said:
    Is this the name commonly used in conversation? If a French person pulled a hamstring while jogging or running, this is the word they would use to describe the injury to a friend? It seems very long and technical-sounding to my ears.
    I must say I never heard it before, but sports specialists might well use it.
    What would I say ?
    Je crois que je me suis fait une déchirure musculaire, là (en mettant le doigt sur le muscle en question).:eek: :eek: :eek:
    Pardon, je ne suis pas vraiment d'un grand secours.
     

    balaam

    Senior Member
    french (belgium)
    voilà qui ne nous aide pas. les biceps sont associé dans l'imagerie populaire aux bras musclés des bodybuilders et autres forts des hall. l'existence de muscles triceps est généralement considéré comme une invraisemblance basée sur un mauvais jeu de mot.
     

    Sudden

    Member
    INDIA English, Hindi, French
    balaam said:
    voilà qui ne nous aide pas. les biceps sont associé dans l'imagerie populaire aux bras musclés des bodybuilders et autres forts des hall. l'existence de muscles triceps est généralement considéré comme une invraisemblance basée sur un mauvais jeu de mot.

    Je reprends du même site "Ischio-jambiers (composé du biceps fémoral, du demi-tendineux et du demi-membraneux) ont une action couplée sur la hanche et le genou. Ils commencent au dessus de l'articulation de la hanche et finissent sous l'articulation du genoux. Les ishios-jambiers interviennent dans le mouvement du genoux, agissent dans l’action de la marche et de la posture debout."
    The point here is to know the term that correctly designates the hamstrings. I agree with Egueule. Popular notions of biology are sketchy at best ;)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    I find this thread astonishing, because pulling a hamstring is a very common injury for British sportsmen, yet the French contributors here talk as though it's very rare. Un muscle derrière le genou sound terribly vague. I'm not clear that a hamstring is a muscle rather than a tendon either. Le tendon du jarret seems much likelier.
     

    sylvbarrier

    Member
    French (France)
    Well, so, if I understand correctly "to pull one's hamstring" is a common expression and "hamstring" is the muscle behind the thigh, right?
    "To pull one's hamstring" would therefore be "se faire un claquage à la cuisse", huh?
    Cheers,
    S.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Well, so, if I understand correctly "to pull one's hamstring" is a common expression and "hamstring" is the muscle behind the thigh, right?
    "To pull one's hamstring" would therefore be "se faire un claquage à la cuisse", huh?
    Cheers,
    S.
    Hi Sylvbarrier,

    Thank you for this. I have doubts:

    1. I'm not sure it's a muscle. I thought it was a tendon. I must admit to not being entirely sure of the difference.

    2. Se faire un claquage à la cuisse doesn't sound like a common injury to me, but I may just be wrong about this. Wouldn't that be the French for the more vague, I've pulled something in my thigh? Pulling one's hamstring is a precise injury. I've done it myself several times, and it takes about three weeks to get better.

    3. I'm still not entirely sure about the French for the hamstring. Tendon du jarret has been suggested; does that sound right to you?
     
    Last edited:

    sylvbarrier

    Member
    French (France)
    Hi Sylvbarrier,

    Thank you for this. I have doubts:

    1. I'm not sure it's a muscle. I thought it was a tendon. I must admit to not being entirely sure of the difference.

    2. Se faire un claquage à la cuisse doesn't sound like a common injury to me, but I may just be wrong about this. Wouldn't that be the French for the more vague, I've pulled something in my thigh? Pulling one's hamstring is a precise injury. I've done it myself several times, and it takes about three weeks to get better.

    3. I'm still not entirely sure about the French for the hamstring. Tendon du jarret has been suggested; does that sound right to you?

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Well, strictly speaking "hamstrings" are indeed tendons and not muscles, those two tendons on each side of the back of the knee, "les tendons du jarret". [Tendons being the strings that link the muscles to the bones.]
    "Jarret" refers to the back of the knee. "Coupe-jarret" is an old (or funny) word for "hitman". "Couper le jarret" corresponds to the figurative meaning of "to hamstring".
    But nowadays "jarret" tends to have a butchery connotation (at least to my ear) : e.g. the calf's calf is sold under the name "jarret de veau" (ideal for a veal osso-bucco dish).

    2. One generally doesn't pull a tendon (that would be a very serious injury, certainly not as common as pulling one's muscle). Therefore "to pull one's hamstring" can only refer to the "hamstring muscles", which are a group of three muscles (Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus and Biceps femoris) at the back of the thigh. They have no colloquial name in French (no equivalent to hamstring). To name them, one must use the medical term : "muscles ischio-jambiers".

    3. "To pull one's muscle" (colloquial phrase for "to strain one's muscle") is the exact equivalent of the French "se faire un claquage" or "se claquer un muscle" (colloquial equivalent for "se faire une déchirure musculaire" or "se déchirer un muscle"). Since we, French, do not commonly name the hamstring muscles, we cannot be as precise as English is without sounding very medical. Consequently, a French sportman would say : "Je me suis claqué la cuisse" or "Je me suis fait un claquage au genou." And it would be clear enough.
    It wouldn't be I've pulled something in my thigh but rather "I've pulled one of my thigh's muscle." That's why maybe one would say "genou" rather than "cuisse", since there are no muscle in front of the knee, that would make things perfectly clear.

    Hope that helps!
    Cheers,
    S.
     

    Arishem

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    SI ce sont des tendons, cela n'a-t-il pas un rapport avec les ligaments croisés que nos chers footballeurs se rompent si souvent ????
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    SI ce sont des tendons, cela n'a-t-il pas un rapport avec les ligaments croisés que nos chers footballeurs se rompent si souvent ????
    Footballers are very prone to the injury, and we are talking about something at the back of the thigh, rather than behind the knee.

    Also I think we only have one hamstring in each leg.

    Pulling or tearing a hamstring musn't be confused with damaging cruciate ligaments, which is a much more serious long-lasting injury, usually involving surgery. Pulled hamstrings cure themselves in three weeks or so, as long as you rest. I even remember being told by the PE master at school that if you pulled a hamstring, you did best to pull it really badly, because a complete internal reconstruction by the body was likely to produce a stronger result than a partial repair. I don't know if he was right about this.
     
    Last edited:

    sylvbarrier

    Member
    French (France)
    Aucun rapport. D'un point de vue anatomique, il existe trois types de fibres collagènes dans le corps humain :
    1. le tendon (en anglais "tendon" or "sinew") relie un muscle et un os ;
    2. le ligament ("ligament") relie deux os ;
    3. la fascia ("fascia") relie deux muscles.
    (On peut ajouter l'aponévrose ["aponeurose"] qui couvre certains muscles, mais ne forme pas des 'fils'.)
    Les ligaments croisés ("anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments") relient le tibia et le fémur.
    Les tendons du jarret ("hamstrings") servent à fixer les muscles de la cuisse ("hamstring muscles") aux os de la jambe, autour de la fosse poplitée.

    Cheers,
    S.

    PS : Je ne suis pas certain que ce soit l'endroit pour un cours d'anatomie.
    PPS : There are three hamstring muscles per thigh and therefore three hamstring sinews behind each knee.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    This diagram and the discussion of hamstring injuries on the following pages are both helpful. They suggest, what I have long suspected, that Sylvbarrier knows a lot more about this than I do.

    The hamstrings are the tendons that attach the large muscles at the back of the thigh to bone. The hamstring muscles are the large muscles that pull on these tendons. It has become common in layman's terminology (and by some medical personnel) to refer to the long muscles at the back of the thigh as the "hamstrings" or "hamstring muscles." Academic anatomists refer to them as the posterior thigh muscles, and more specifically as the semimembranosis, the semitendinosis, and the biceps femoris muscles.

    These four sentences explain some of the confusion. The hamstrings of layman's terminology are often the muscles rather than the tendons themselves.
     

    Kecha

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    My sport teachers would always talk about "ischio-jambier" to us so I don't find the word to technical, but I would keep it to people with good knowledge of sports and anatomy.

    "se faire un claquage" does sound like a common injury, sports commentator always mention it, or joggers when they're warming up to avoid it.
     
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