Ils ne perdent pas le nord

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fabfab

Senior Member
French - France
Bonjour à tous!

Pour vous aujourd'hui une nouvelle expression:

ne pas perdre le nord

Le sens figuré est proche du sens propre. Cette expression veut dire "savoir ce que l'on veut, et faire son possible pour arriver à ses fins".

Par exemple:
"Les opérateurs téléphoniques proposent des appareils à bas prix pour vendre des abonnements longue durée. Ils ne perdent pas le nord !"

Auriez-vous une expression anglais équivalente à proposer?
 
  • wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    They are really on top of things!

    Another expression for this (but it doesn't match your context) is They don't miss a trick:
    Jenny is only 4 but I when she heard me spell out some plans for her party on the phone, she asked "am I going to have a birthday party?"--she doesn't miss a trick.

    Ne pourrait-on pas dire Elle ne perd pas le nord dans ce cas aussi ?
     

    carolineR

    Senior Member
    France
    "ils savent de quel côté leur tartine est beurrée" would be a synonym to this particular use of "Ils ne perdent pas le nord !"
    Note that "Ils ne perdent pas le nord." doesn't necessarily have this meaning, which is a tongue in the cheek sort of statement here (note the exclamation mark).
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    "ils savent de quel côté leur tartine est beurrée" would be a synonym to this particular use of "Ils ne perdent pas le nord !"
    They know on which side their bread is buttered works in English as well.

    Another possible way to describe this obvious opportunity (basketball term)
    Offering this was a slam-dunk.
     

    fabfab

    Senior Member
    French - France
    They are really on top of things!

    Another expression for this (but it doesn't match your context) is They don't miss a trick:
    Jenny is only 4 but I when she heard me spell out some plans for her party on the phone, she asked "am I going to have a birthday party?"--she doesn't miss a trick.

    Ne pourrait-on pas dire Elle ne perd pas le nord dans ce cas aussi ?
    In my opinion, not to miss a trick could be translated as ne pas perdre le nord in your example but I would rather simply say elle est maligne.

    Does to be on top of things have the meaning of "to master things, to understand very well how to deal with things"?
     

    Jean-Michel Carrère

    Senior Member
    French from France
    The North in this phrase refers to the ultimate objective their minds are constantly set on behind this outward show of kindness, generosity, etc., i.e. hooking you.
     

    Annecy Richard

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Would anyone have any suggestions for the translation of this phrase where there is actual reference to the North and therefore a joke made?

    As in the case of the promotion of "Bienvenue chez les ch'tis" where the spoof news channel "Ch'tiNN" was nicknamed "le chaîne qui ne perd pas le Nord".

    I'm having great difficulty rendering this idea into English


    Thanks in advance for your comments
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Jab'

    Senior Member
    Belgium - French
    Ici, l'auteur se base sur le jeu de mot "perdre le nord" qui fait évidemment référence au "département du Nord" en France.

    Je pense qu'il faudra trouver un autre jeu de mot...mais ca ne sera pas possible de traduire celui-la
     

    Annecy Richard

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Je sais bien qu'il s'agit d'un jeu de mot mais J'ai du mal à trouver une expression similaire en anglais concernant "le Nord", c'est trop difficile à mon avis.
    Merci
     

    Jab'

    Senior Member
    Belgium - French
    D'ou le fait que je parlais de trouver un autre jeu de mot :)

    Par exemple, je ne sais pas moi, parler d'une télévision "on which you will be sticked" si tu parles de "Welcome to the Sticks"....bon, c'est nul comme jeu de mot, mais c'est l'idée que je veux donner quoi :)
     

    david314

    Senior Member
    American English
    After considering your well thought out words, perhaps: 'The station which never loses sight of its bearings.' :rolleyes:

    to lose sight of one's bearings / être désorienté(e) -selon Harrap's.

    Which way is up! (north/nord), bof :p
     
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    Annecy Richard

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Yeah that could work, or even "that knows which way North is" or something. That's a great suggestion actually, thanks very much David.
     
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