Il a lâché du lest

mmabellah

New Member
English
Could anyone assist in translating this French phrase into English - Il a lâché du lest pour quelques publics ciblés:2,6 milliards d'euros ?

Mmabellah
 
  • DaiSmallcoal

    Senior Member
    English (UK) Wales U.K.
    mmabellah

    please forgive a 'guess' - while waiting for an 'informed' answer..

    (I'm thinking here of 'lest' / lester ' (ballast) but sometimes in the sense of filling pockets)


    He released a bit of 'pocket money' for some targetted groups: 2.6 million euros
     

    DaiSmallcoal

    Senior Member
    English (UK) Wales U.K.
    "En gros, cela veut dire qu’on fait des concessions,.. D’où vient cette expression ? Son origine est étonnante : il s’agit des techniques utilisées quand on voyage en ballon.
    On s’embarque avec un certain poids, en général des sacs de sable. Si le ballon a trop de mal à s’élever, ou à rester en l’air, il suffit d’alléger la nacelle, la corbeille dans laquelle sont les passagers. On jette des sacs de sable par-dessus bord, on lâche du lest" les Mots de l'Actu. ( I didn't realise how useful 'Google' is !)
     

    mmabellah

    New Member
    English
    Hi everyone,

    Just to say thank you for all your contributions, I now have an idea of the meaning of the phrase.
    I must not hide my sincere feelings about this forum: I have been using this forum for almost one year, what I have learnt from the forum have been wonderful. I have always seen this forum as a community of intellectuals. Thus, I am glad to be part of it.
    Than you.

    mmabellah :)
     

    ExpectoPatronum

    New Member
    England - English
    I'm assuming the context is in politics? I'm sure it means "He has made cut-backs in the public sector: 2.6 million euros"
     

    Budd

    Senior Member
    American English
    Here's a sentence from Le Fig en ligne (25 août 2014); it's about pink school bags for girls and blue ones for boys: "De plus, les cartables et les trousses sont des articles sur lesquels les parents lâchent un peu de lest." That is, parents decide not to get to excited about boy-girl stereotypes. Given that lest means "ballast" in English, a useful and idiomatic translation could be "lighten up"—that is, don't take is so very seriously.
     

    Kecha

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Here's a sentence from Le Fig en ligne (25 août 2014); it's about pink school bags for girls and blue ones for boys: "De plus, les cartables et les trousses sont des articles sur lesquels les parents lâchent un peu de lest." That is, parents decide not to get to excited about boy-girl stereotypes. Given that lest means "ballast" in English, a useful and idiomatic translation could be "lighten up"—that is, don't take is so very seriously.
    I think they meant as "lâcher la bride": they let the kids choose the school bag, while for other items (pens, notebooks), they choose themselves (and they pick cheaper no brand generic stuff rather than spiderman/barbie stuff).
     

    Budd

    Senior Member
    American English
    Perhaps, Kecha, but the article (take a look) seems to me to suggest that at least some parents are worried about being sexist or bringing up their little darlings to be the same. This, it goes on, seems to be an area where they don't seem to get so glum about it. Thus, lighten up.
     

    Kecha

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    In this article, it's not parents that are worried, it's Laurence Rossignol (a politician).
    Then they stress how the back to school cost is important and it's the crisis, so stores are more focused on cheaper deal for parents than about genre issues.
    Parents are looking for cheaper stuff. Except for the school bag, where they "lâche du lest":they let the kid pick the expensive stuff. It's more about money than genre.
     

    Budd

    Senior Member
    American English
    [Note: the French "genre" is the English "gender."]

    Yes, Kecha, it is Laurence Rossignol who is getting worked up about sexist school bags (evidently, she does not have enough to do), but is she not speaking for at least a notional public of parents who are on her side? When the spokeman for a department store chain says parents don't care about the gender of school bags, he seems to be implying that they may care about it in other things. Agreed, hard to tell. And certainly, you are right that the kids get to chose the over-priced, branded, boy-or-girl stuff if the parents can afford it. And, if it really means lâcher la bride, as you suggest, lighten up might still be a useful translation. ("Give them free rein" would be more nearly literal, but it is a bit outmoded in English now.)
     

    Kecha

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Sorry about my mispelling/gallicism!
    I'm not sure how most parents feel, really. As the "ABCD de l'égalité" mentioned in the article shows, some are strongly opposing the idea of stopping gender stereotypes.
    But I guess the sense of "lâcher la bride" can be taken in a lot of senses here. Maybe they just "give up" because it's getting late and they're tired of their shopping day! :D
     
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