panser les plaies

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I am trying to translate "panser les plaies de quelqu'un" : does anybody have a clue ??

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  • Paf le chien

    Senior Member
    France-French (Paris)
    I always thought this meant "dress the wounds" of someone. In other words, apply bandages to the wound. Not so?
    This is the proper meaning.

    In french it derivates a figurative meaning which is "to heal moral injuries".

    Do you have this kind of expression in AE ?


    Well, literally, "panser les plaies" = "dress the wounds".
    But in the figurative meaning, the idea is to take care of somebody, to cure, to help somebody to overcome moral hurts.


    American English
    I've been trying but can't think of an idiomatic or figurative equivalent to "panser les plaies de quelqu'un" in English. The best I can come up with is the non-figurative "to console" or similar.

    (1) I must disagree about the phrase "licking one's wounds" being equivalent. The English expression refers to going away somewhere private and recovering from one's own dismal failure, hurt or other disappointment; it carries a connotation of having been accompanied by public scrutiny and/or humiliation and that the person wishes to escape the public eye, not just because of what happened but also to protect one's pride about the sadness/etc. and the very need to recover. It is used exclusively in the form of a person licking his/her own wounds, NEVER another person's; to an English speaker's ear the latter would be understood only literally, which would be... distasteful.

    (2) I have never heard the phrase "to tend to someone's wounds" used figuratively. If the context were made extremely clear, it might be understood, but even then it would be quite odd.

    And what do you think about : "To settle the woes" in the figurative sense
    Sorry but ça ne se dit pas du tout :)


    New Member
    English - UK

    <les portes des foyers épargnés s’ouvrent aux sinistrés, on célèbre les disparus et la Ville panse ses plaies>.

    Just wondered if anyone had any further ideas for the phrase <panse ses plaies> into English please?

    It is in a text about a town, having been bombed and is now coming out of the other side, so my first thought of 'licking one's wounds' doesn't really work as there is no sense of 'feeling sorry for themselves' in the text. I am now thinking 'picking up the pieces'...

    Thanks in advance.

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