I could shake you

Quantz

Senior Member
French
A dialog between two men.
One is sure they will find a solution to a family problem.
The other is not so sure.

— I could shake you, he said.

I see the general idea (je pourrais ébranler tes certitudes), but I'd like to find better
 
  • wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    We don't have enough context to tell, but if the person is very angry, his intention could well be literal:

    J'ai envie de te prendre par les épaules pour te secouer (pour te convaincre que tu as tort)

    Usually one hears it thus: "I could just shake you!"
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    I don't think so. There is more irony in this dialog, between two people who like each other.
    After that, the other character replies :
    — My wife often says that. But you cannot have two driven people in a marriage.
    — Yes, you can.
     

    Maîtreaupôle

    Senior Member
    anglais "Canada"
    I'm not sure if you're looking for another English expression using the verb "to shake" in the context you've given. If you are, I'd say "I could shake you" could be translated as either "Give your head a shake" or "I'd like to give you a good shake". Both suggest waking another to reality or shaking him out of a state of naïveté. I'd suggest "Give your head a shake" because the second implies physical aggression and is more like something someone would say, for example, to a child who has misbehaved. ("Give your head a shake" is, though, somewhat dismissive in tone.)
     

    Maîtreaupôle

    Senior Member
    anglais "Canada"
    I don't think so. There is more irony in this dialog, between two people who like each other.
    After that, the other character replies :
    — My wife often says that. But you cannot have two driven people in a marriage.
    — Yes, you can.
    I wrote before I saw the above. After seeing it, I see a possibility of fellow one saying to fellow two "I could shake you up about that."- (ébranler ta conviction) - with reference to fellow two's erroneous belief that you can't have two driven people in a marriage. "Give your head shake" would still work, though.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    I think wildan1 is on the mark: "I'm so angry and frustrated with you, I could grab you by the shoulders and shake you!" in this context; a criminal might say this to a to a cop meaning "If you tried to shadow/tail me, I could lose you (short for "I could shake you off)."
    The reply to this given in # 7 is logical. Another possibility (?) in English: "...I could hit you!"
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    I could shake your belief in God if I wanted to.
    I'll give you a good shake (to stop you doing something stupid) - actually "to give someone a good shaking" is more common I think.
    It'll take more than that to shake my belief in her.

    contexte!!!???

    It's obviously US american ("dialog" instead of "dialogue") and I think an English speaker would aggressively say "I'll give you a good shaking (to bring you down to earth = you're talking nonsense).

    "To shake someone off" is to lose them to stop them following you - as in #8

    "to shake up" is to surprise or shock "I'm all shook up!" -- Elvis for those under 20.

    You also shake a cocktail or some dice or a leg. but here I think it is physical: not "to shake someone's belief in something/someone" but to actually shake the person or (in British English) "to give them a hard shake/ a good shaking" = to bring them down to earth/ to bring them (back) to their senses.
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    No : the author is definitely british and the story is too — very much so.

    PS : "dialog" is my phrase, defining the scene, not one from the author.
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    I wrote before I saw the above. After seeing it, I see a possibility of fellow one saying to fellow two "I could shake you up about that."- (ébranler ta conviction) - with reference to fellow two's erroneous belief that you can't have two driven people in a marriage. "Give your head shake" would still work, though.
    Not "up" in British English - shake your conviction/ shake your belief = ébranler.

    And "driven people" must have some meaning in US American psychological argot - not in British use - I can just about see the meaning though,
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, Maître, For me, "give your head a shake" doesn't seem possible; the speaker is talking about doing something (metaphorically) to the other person. And, guillaume, I agree, not "up"; "to shake someone up" means "to upset them",And "driven people" - ?
     
    Last edited:

    archijacq

    Senior Member
    french France
    Le sens n'est clair pour personne car les rôles respectifs sont impossibles à cerner. Cela pourrait aussi bien signifier : Je pourrais me débarrasser de toi.
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    Yes, I will try, but it' not easy.
    These two characters are brothers and they're dealing qith a family crisis.
    Brother 1 is sure he could not sway their mother, Brother 2 is convinced they could.
    Hence he says :
    — I could shake you.

    I hope this is more clear, and my apology for being too elliptic.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    I could shake you = You're so frustrating! (Probably because he can't convince him).
    It makes sense with 'My wife often says that.'

    It seems more logical that if 'shake' meant 'convince, he would be using that wod when talking about convincing the mother... Normally, one would say, 'shake your convictions', not 'shake you'.
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    What makes you arrive at that conclusion!
    Your own reply :
    I could shake you = You're so frustrating! (Probably because he can't convince him).
    It makes sense with 'My wife often says that.'

    It seems more logical that if 'shake' meant 'convince, he would be using that wod when talking about convincing the mother... Normally, one would say, 'shake your convictions', not 'shake you'.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Idem.
    It is a very good translation for a meaning that a lot of us think is unlikely to be correct.

    I could shake you. :mad::rolleyes:
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    I'm totally lost.
    I don't understand how "ce que tu es agaçant" (You're so frustrating) fits with the dialog.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Well, we don't necessarily, either, but we don't have privilege of seeing the beginning of it.
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    The beginning is related to another question, disconnected, hence no explanation here.

    I'm also lost because of that phrase : — But you cannot have two driven people in a marriage.

    I don't get the link with the "I could shake you part".

    :(
     

    Quantz

    Senior Member
    French
    Thank you , Kelly. I wonder if "deux forts caractères" is not better suited here.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Quantz, in BE, "I could shake you" is a set expression used to express frustration, and refers to physically shaking the person. I add my weight to those who encourage you to accept that this is what it means. I would need really strong immediate context to make me think that it was not this set expression which was being used with this meaning.
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    Quantz, in BE, "I could shake you" is a set expression used to express frustration, and refers to physically shaking the person. I add my weight to those who encourage you to accept that this is what it means. I would need really strong immediate context to make me think that it was not this set expression which was being used with this meaning.
    I agree but .......

    It could be a set expression like the English : "I'd like to give you a real shaking" but the two brothers obviously have their own ideolect with this phrase abbreviated to "I could shake you". but that for me is not correct English and it is ambiguous as it could be short for "I'd like to shake your convictions/beliefs" which is metaphorical. Both those together with the psycho/pseudo babble of driven people mean that we'll never know what their meaning was.

    I would plump for the brothers intending to say that each is irritating the other with this family mini-feud and one wishes he could grab the other by the shoulders and shake him up a bit to make him see sense.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    the two brothers obviously have their own ideolect with this phrase abbreviated to "I could shake you". but that for me is not correct English and it is ambiguous as it could be short for "I'd like to shake your convictions/beliefs" which is metaphorical. Both those together with the psycho/pseudo babble of driven people mean that we'll never know what their meaning was.
    And it could be a secret code for "please pass me the sugar", but I'd venture to suggest that it would be pretty odd for an author to write dialogue which is incomprehensible to readers, and that it's far more likely that, unless this phrase has previously been used in the book to define this alternative meaning, it has the standard meaning.
     
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