1. Kajeetah

    Kajeetah Senior Member

    French - France
    je suis un peu perplexe

    "he turned to that banquet captain and in his own words he said "Thank you. I didn't know that I can make a difference."

    J'ai l'impression que "in his own words" ici implique que la personne ne s'exprime pas bien.
    Est-ce que c'est parce qu'il dit "can" et pas "could" à la fin?
    Si c'est ça, je peux traduire par "avec ses mots à lui"
    Mais si c'est correct (je ne suis pas très forte en concordance des temps :eek:) est-ce que "in his own words" peut vouloir dire qu'il parle avec sincérité, du fond du coeur?

  2. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    I'm a little confused as well!
    The use of "in his own words" here makes me wonder if he had just finished giving a prepared speech, which was written for him...???
    "In his own words" would then be a way to point out that now he was using his own words, not those prepared for him.
    Can you tell us anything more about the person who said this and what has been going on prior to the statement?

    According to the Cambridge Online Dictionaries, "if a person says something in their own words, they speak without copying what someone else has said."
    This is the only meaning I am aware of.

    Grammatically speaking, the sentence should read:
    I didn't know that I could make a difference.
  3. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    I agree with what Language Hound has said. I wonder if there is a reason outside of the context quoted that can explain this (such as the fact that he had just a moment ago been quoting a speech). Kajeetah I think you are suggesting that "in his own words" could mean what would represented by "sic" to show that the person speaking wanted us to know that he is correctly quoting the person and that the error in that speech is original. This is certainly possible but we need more context. Is the narrator a person telling a story in the first person? If so this is certainly a possible explanation. If this is an "omniscient" narrator who is not a character in the book I can't see how that would work.
  4. Martyn94 Banned

    It is a bit odd, but I read it as simply indicating that the quote which follows is the reported speaker's exact words. It is superfluous in print, given the quotation marks, but could be useful if our text was itself originally spoken. And there are indications that this so: "that banquet captain" looks odd as written prose, but could be quite natural when speaking.
  5. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    But it's not superfluous if it is another character from the book speaking, performing a kind of monologue. For example,

    Mary said, "Jane came up to me and said - and she said this in her own words - "that bloody Jill is a bitch"".
  6. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    ...et il improvisa: ...
  7. Kajeetah

    Kajeetah Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you all for your answers!
    Unfortunately I had already handed my translation in.
    I should have said it in the initial post, it's a sentence from a management presentation, the guy speaking quoted what a dishwasher replied to the banquet master. And I forgot to double the quote marks at the end. :eek:
    So I kept my initial interpretation, "avec ses mots à lui", and replaced the can/could mistake by a lighter one.

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