panneau d'arrivée

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DidoCarthage

New Member
English - western Canada
I'm wondering if anybody can enlighten me as to the meaning of the term "panneau d'arrivée". It came up in an exercise in which we were given the English phrase "The finish sign", and this was supposedly the correct French translation. Since none of us Anglophones was familiar with the term "the finish sign", it was pretty difficult to translate. I googled the term "panneau d'arrivée" and got several different things, ranging from an arrivals board in an airport, to the sign marking the finish line in a race, to some kind of welcome sign in a resort. Is "panneau d'arrivée" a common term in French?
 
  • SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    [...] I googled the term "panneau d'arrivée" and got several different things, [...]
    This is proof once again that context is critical. How can we translate a term when we don't know how / where it's being used?
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Hi DidoCarthage, and welcome.

    Did you get some context with this expression in your exercise? As SwissPete wrote, it is not possible to be positive about a translation without context.

    Panneau d'arrivée is a common term in French, and can have either a literal meaning (the sign on witch you write "ARRIVEE" in a race), or other meanings.
     

    DidoCarthage

    New Member
    English - western Canada
    No, there was no context, just the rather bizarre English phrase. It was on the DuoLingo site, which is a pretty interesting and reasonably informative free language-learning site but it has its peculiarities, chief among them being that they don't seem to have any native English speakers on staff. Ha. One of the ways we students pay back for our "free" French lessons is by telling them when they're off base. Now that I have a clearer idea of "panneau d'arrivée", I can explain to them how their English equivalent doesn't work. Thanks!

     

    Raffa.English

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Hello.
    'panneau d'arrivée' is correct in French, and without more context, I would take it to mean the finish sign in a race as suggested by the OP.
    For the arrivals board in a station / airport, I would rather use 'panneau des arrivées' or preferably 'tableau des arrivées'.
     
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