"In medias res": any (informal) translations?

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ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I think this formal expression is common in quite some languages, untranslated. But do you happen to have an informal translation?

Dutch has: "Met de deur in huis vallen" (falling into the house with [by?] the door". Not quite clear whether it is perfectly the same but it means beginning without an introduction, taking people unawares somehow... Not clear either what precisely is meant by "met de deur", but we might think of: entering without ringing, knocking, asking for permission... (Bump into the house???)
 
  • Perseas

    Senior Member
    Dutch has: "Met de deur in huis vallen" (falling into the house with [by?] the door".
    Does the Dutch expression also mean "Get straight to the point"? This translation was produced by the Google translator.

    I know that "in medias res" means that a story opens in the midst (at crucial point) of the plot, not in the beginning. So we get straight to a very important point of the plot (to use the translation by Google).
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    @alfaalfa lfa: grazie molto!

    @Perseas: well, I would not translate it that way. To me there is an element of surprise, even of shock: to bump into. But indeed, I think of indeed, starting in the middle (though just as common would be to start with the end, but then it should be "in ultimas res", I guess, which does not exist --- I wonder whether "in medias res" refers to the middle only, but I suppose so...).
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    I wonder whether "in medias res" refers to the middle only, but I suppose so...).
    As fas as I can tell, "middle" may refer to any point but the beginning. For example, Homer's Odyssey, which begins "in medias res", relates the last 41 days of a story that lasts 10 years.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Quite so, but how about a complete flash-back by starting at the very end? (As in Everyman by Philip Roth, I believe) I suppose it need not be taken so literally indeed, but I still hesitate...

    I suppose there will be no formal equivalents as the expression is quite formal... That might be the problem with my suggestion: it is quite informal, I would say...
     
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