malgré lui

  • radjane dessama

    Senior Member
    english, french, india
    The French expression literally means Lucas, the reluctant ant

    It's probably a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Molière classic, Le Médecin Malgré Lui

    If you find the expression a bit tricky, you can always substitute it with faire qc à contrecoeur. Less complicated
     

    radjane dessama

    Senior Member
    english, french, india
    Your sentence sounds awkward in English.

    What the title implies is (I havn't seen the film yet) that there is a Lucas who is/becomes an ant, and doesn't enjoy his life as such

    If my guess is correct, I would stick to the reluctant/unwilling ant
     

    carolineR

    Senior Member
    France
    You mean my sentence ?
    I am not disputing your enlightened opinion, Louis XVI :D but why does my submission sound more awkward than "mathematician in spite of himself" or "a king in spite of himself", or "doctor in spite of himself", or again "patient in spite of himself", which all appear to have been used as titles for books ? :)
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'm guessing that if you already have those two versions "malgré lui" and "bully" then this was not originally an attempt to make a translation, but two separate writers/editors independently choosing a catchy title to draw the audience to the article. Titles should capture a feature of the article, and this is not the same feature in the two versions.

    Edit: If I were doing an actual translation, I would have chosen "in spite of himself" if this is a film for a popular audience rather than the art-house type - "reluctant" is pretty literary in English.
     

    radjane dessama

    Senior Member
    english, french, india
    I'm sorry, Madame Robespierre:D , but you didn't get my drift

    In spite of himself is not wrong, but sounds awkward, unless it is used deliberately or for humorous effect.
     

    radjane dessama

    Senior Member
    english, french, india
    Sorry, KellyB nosed in ahead of me

    Yes, movie titles generally do not strictly adhere to the original version.

    As for KellyB's finding in spite of himself better suited for a popular audience than reluctant... ... ..., well, I don't know
     

    esperanza2

    Senior Member
    English
    radjane dessama said:
    Your sentence sounds awkward in English.

    What the title implies is (I havn't seen the film yet) that there is a Lucas who is/becomes an ant, and doesn't enjoy his life as such

    If my guess is correct, I would stick to the reluctant/unwilling ant
    Yes, Lucas, a young boy, is turned into an ant against his will basically.

    "The Ant Bully tells the story of a bored, lonely 10-year-old boy who takes his frustrations out on ant hills -- that is, until members of the colony figure out a way to cut him down to size both literally and figuratively."

    I think reluctant fits perfectly. I am not exactly seeking to provide a literal translation of this film title, rather after the possible meanings of "malgré lui". Thank you for your contributions!
     

    Mattlepok

    Member
    French, France
    Mais “despite him” ou « in spite of himself » dans un autre contexte peut être correct?

    Par exemple: débile malgré lui ou lolita malgré moi peuvent se dire:"dumb despite/in spite of him(self)" "Lolita despite/in spite of me/myself"???

    Ou bien je me trompe énormément?
     
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