Lorsqu'il était de bonne humeur

Lilittoune

Senior Member
France/French
Hello,

I tried to translate a French text into English. But I don't know the right "collocations" and set expression English people use.
Could you help me? (the original French text is below)

When he was in a good mood – and he usually was, like a drunken fool, with everyone, except with Mother, - Father used to watch / gaze at us with admiration:
“What fine women”, he said. “No doubt about it, these are my girls!”
And he looked at Nadège, lingering over her since she reminded him of his young years with her cynic off-handedness.
But on the eve of the day I’m talking about, not any emotion of that kind. Father had come back early, exceptionally abstemious: he had just been laid off.
He had done the same job for five years! As he said proudly: “It’s been an eternity!” And, though it was modest, wasn’t that scribbler job in a notary office sufficient for our vegetative life? Up to that time, in spite of often having one too many, he had proved entire satisfactory; at least he used to tell it himself, victoriously pronouncing each syllable: “en-ti-re satisfactory!” Because, even if he was drunk every evening or nearly – which he openly admitted – didn’t he look ready and able on mornings by some miracle? “In office”, he used to say,” I never touch a drop.

----------------------- French text:

Lorsqu’il était de bonne humeur – et il l’était généralement avec tout le monde, sauf avec Mère, d’une bonne humeur d’ivrogne paillard – Père nous contemplait avec admiration :
- De belles sauvages, disait-il. Ah ! ce sont bien mes filles !
Et son regard s’attardait sur Nadège, dont la désinvolture cynique lui rappelait ses jeunes années.
Mais la veille du jour dont je parle, aucun attendrissement de ce genre. Père était rentré tôt, exceptionnellement sobre : il venait d’être congédié.
5 ans qu’il occupait le même emploi ! Comme il le disait fièrement : ça faisait un bail, ça ! et, pour modeste qu’il fût, cet emploi de gratte-papier dans une étude de notaire ne suffisait-il pas à notre existence végétative ? Jusque-là, en dépit de cuites trop fréquentes, il avait donné entière satisfaction, du moins il le disait lui-même en détachant victorieusement les syllabes : en-tiè-re satisfaction ! Car, s’il était soûl tous les soirs ou presque – ce qu’il admettait volontiers- ne le retrouvait-on pas frais et dispos le matin, par une sorte de grâce d’état ? Au bureau, avait-il coutume de déclarer, l’alcool, ça ne me connaît pas.


Thank you very much!!! :)
 
  • Xanthius

    Senior Member
    Beautifully fluent! (and better use of words than me!)

    I would suggest this, but I’m sure they’ll be other suggestions too!

    When he was in a good mood – and he usually was, he was like a drunken fool with everyone, except with Mother, - Father used to watch / gaze (personally I like gaze) at us with admiration:
    “What fine women”, he said. “No doubt about it, these are my girls!”
    When he looked at Nadège, he lingered on her since she reminded him of his young years with her cynic off-handedness.
    But on the eve of the day I’m talking about, there was no any emotion of that kind. Father had come back early, exceptionally abstemious: he had just been laid off.
    He had done the same job for five years! He said proudly: “It’s been an eternity!” And, though it (the job?) was modest, wasn’t that scribbler job (I don’t understand, scribbler here) in a notary office sufficient for our vegetative life? Up to that time, in spite of often having one too many, he had proved (proven I think) entire(ly) satisfactory; at least he used to tell himself that, victoriously pronouncing each syllable: “en-ti-re-ly satisfactory!” Because, even if he was (I prefer ‘were’ here) drunk every evening or nearly (every evening) – which he openly admitted – didn’t he look ready and able in the mornings by some miracle? In the office he used to say,” I never touch a drop.!”


    Only my thoughts…

    What does gratte-papier mean, does it mean paper shuffling?
     

    Lilittoune

    Senior Member
    France/French
    What does gratte-papier mean, does it mean paper shuffling?

    In French a "gratte-papier" is quite pejorative: it means that someone spend his days writting down (numbers for example in an office or rather with notarian clerks (??)
    ;)
     

    Xanthius

    Senior Member
    Thanks.

    Then, although it's not exacty the same, I think I'd use 'that paper shuffling job' as that is quite pejorative also and I think it's quite close to what you said... maybe?
     
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