pervers narcissique

Bodhisattva

Senior Member
France - French
Hi,
How would you translate "pervers narcissique" in English?
I tried "narcissistic pervert", however UK people seem to get it, but US people not.
Would "psychopath" work? I don't seem to find any medical references about this...

Thanks for your kind help.
S.
 
  • Jasmine tea

    Senior Member
    French - France
    "Pervers narcissique" has a specific meaning. The concept comes from Marie-France Hirigoyen's work and theories developed around "Le Harcèlement Moral". Her books are translated in more than 30 languages and laws have been enforced in a number of countries (apart from France) to prevent this Harcèlement Moral (in professional contexts for example).
    So there must be an English equivalent. I don't think "psycopath" is the right word...
     

    Omelette

    Senior Member
    UK English
    There's an article in The Observer (UK newspaper) which quotes Hirigoyen's book and uses the term 'narcissistic pervert.' (and I don't really understand why it should be understood in the UK and baffle people in the US)
     

    Bodhisattva

    Senior Member
    France - French
    Thank you All for your kind help.
    And I found (after much more research) the following:
    In the context of definitions listed in DSM IV and in French and European psychology, this trouble is often classified as a type of narcissism with a pervert tendency.
    The first characteristics are therefore narcissism: the over-estimation of oneself, of one's capacities, the feeling of being unique, the need to be recognized as exceptionnel and bad reactions to criticism.

    Thanks so much!
     

    Bodhisattva

    Senior Member
    France - French
    yes it is a pathology and not a "normal personality" and as Maeldan says it is close to a psychopath.
    In France the term "pervers narcissique" means something very specific and can be used in a psychology setting.
    There are even definitions for it.
    In the english language though it is not translated as a single word or term. It has to be explained further.
    Maybe "perverse narcissist" work, but usually, in english, perversion means sexual perversion and this is not what is meant in "pervers narcissique".
    I hope this clarifies.
     
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    jodi-marie

    New Member
    English
    In the US, we refer to the disorder, which is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You can call the person a Narcissist, which doesn't necessarily get at it. I would say "a pathological narcissist," or "someone with NPD." You can shorten it to "the Narcissist" when the context is already known. It's true that in the US relatively high levels of narcissism can be culturally encouraged, so just using the term "narcissist" doesn't get at the pathology. The personality disorder is not encouraged, but it's also not widely understood. Pervert almost invariably has sexual connotations in the US.
     

    Topsie

    Senior Member
    English-UK
    • A Narcissistic Sociopath :eek: is someone with a combination of narcissistic personality disorder and definitive behavioral signs of sociopathy.
    • People with narcissism are characterized by their excessive and persistent need for others’ admiration and positive reinforcement. They generally have grandiose opinions of themselves and believe they are superior to other people. Narcissists are also frequently convinced that they are above the normal responsibilities and obligations of everyday life, so they usually have significant difficulties maintaining employment or relationships as a result.
    • The narcissistic sociopath has this type of personality along with a noticeable lack of regard for the rights of others and a tendency to regularly violate those rights.

    source
     

    jodi-marie

    New Member
    English
    That being said, narcissistic sociopath would be an inappropriate translation of pervers narcissique. All sociopaths are narcissists. It's one of the some 17 symptoms of psychopathology. And as someone mentioned earlier, not all narcissists are sociopaths, although that doesn't prevent them from leaving loads of wreckage behind them.
     

    preciouspuppy

    Senior Member
    Thanks, all. So I am thinkingthat the translation for American English is someone with Antisocial Personality disorder as described in DSM-IV-TR. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will hurt your feelings, but the person with sociopathy/antisocial personality will go further. The translation for British English might be Narcissistic sociopath (thanks, Topsie).
    The translation problem seems to stem from the fact that the term comes from an author (thank you, jasminetea) rather than from an official manual.
     

    Sarah Tissot

    Senior Member
    Switzerland, French / Suisse romand :)
    What's with all the U.S. bashing here (ahem...aherimatek)? We're on this forum to promote knowledge and information, not to perpetuate clichés, and generalize one type of behavior/criteria to billions of people in one country, are we? There are educated and ignorant, generous and self-centered people in every single country that I have had the privilege to know...
    To come back to the topic/question at hand, Boddhisattva, do you have a context/article to go with the expression you are translating? I am asking because "pervert" could mean different things depending on the pervesion or the personality disorder at hand, so it would help to have a context or more details, IF (only if) you feel that "narcissistic pervert" is not good enough of a translation, then you may need to elaborate on the details or specificity of the disorder to be able to have a translation that you feel is closer to the original. "
     
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    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    See here for what French people call a "pervert narcissique" :
    La perversion narcissique est une forme de perversion décrite initialement par Paul-Claude Racamier entre 1986 et 1992. [...] Les notions de perversion et de narcissisme étant des concepts de psychanalyse, c'est à ces théories que Paul-Claude Racamier réfère cette représentation qu'il décrit comme « une organisation durable caractérisée par la capacité à se mettre à l'abri des conflits internes, et en particulier du deuil, en se faisant valoir au détriment d'un objet manipulé comme un ustensile ou un faire-valoir »
    Popularisée dans les années 1990 par Alberto Eiguer et Marie-France Hirigoyen, de nombreux ouvrages ont ensuite dépeint le pervers narcissique, tel un sociopathe agissant comme un prédateur allant jusqu'à détruire l'identité de sa « proie » par la manipulation mentale ou le harcèlement moral.
    (the red is mine)

    So, in French, it's a lot about manipulation and mental harassment.
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    Not being a psychologist, my grammar point would be that in English a pervert is a person with weird sexual tendencies. But a perversion can be moral or sexual. The context does not clarify whether "pervers" is a person (pervert) or a type of behaviour (perversion).
     

    hannahrobertsbrockow

    New Member
    English - North America
    I don't think a sexual innuendo is really present in "pervers narcissique." "Pervers" in this instance means "perverse" or "depraved." "Un perverti" seems to be more frequently used to denote a sexual pervert in French.
     

    ghol45

    New Member
    English
    In the US perverse and pervert are used to denote something strictly sexual. I've never heard it used in any other context. Actually, a conversation I had with a French person brought me to this thread. We were both on vacation and he had just quit his job, and when I asked why he did he said his boss was a "narcissistic pervert". I assumed maybe there was an issue with sexual harassment, but he later clarified that he was more of a self-centered ego-maniac. I would never use the word perverse or pervert for behavior that didn't have some sexual connotation.
     

    Bodhisattva

    Senior Member
    France - French
    In the US perverse and pervert are used to denote something strictly sexual. I've never heard it used in any other context. Actually, a conversation I had with a French person brought me to this thread. We were both on vacation and he had just quit his job, and when I asked why he did he said his boss was a "narcissistic pervert". I assumed maybe there was an issue with sexual harassment, but he later clarified that he was more of a self-centered ego-maniac. I would never use the word perverse or pervert for behavior that didn't have some sexual connotation.
    Thanks for adding to the thread.
    It had no sexual connotations in my translation (which dates back 2011). And this was my difficulty with the term because in french, perversion does not automatically imply that it would be sexual, unless you add that specific word to it.
    In french, perversion means "altered" in a way. An
    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the closest for sure. "pervers narcissiques" are bullies, who often use their position of power to mentally, emotionally and sometimes sexually harass their victim. It can go to the point where the victim feels so diminished and demeaned, and left with no self-esteem that they are unable to work or even lead a normal life. Some even suicide.
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    Est-ce que l'on ne parle pas maintenant plutôt de 'manipulateur narcissique" ? J'ai lu plusieurs articles où il est reproché au terme 'pervers narcissique' d'être trop vague et de ne pas avoir été totalement validé par la communauté scientifique, car il recouvre des réalités assez différentes. Il a eu beaucoup de succès médiatique, mais 'pervers' en français peut aussi avoir une connotation sexuelle. Donc j'ai lu qu'il était conseillé de parler de 'manipulateur narcissique' pour ce type de personnalité manipulatrice et égocentrique. Je ne sais pas si on dit en anglais 'narcissic manipulator'.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Since D J. Trump Sr. moved into the Oval Office, we've been hearing "Malignant Narcissism/Malignant Narcissitic Personality Disorder". I believe it's in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition).
     

    Salvatos

    Senior Member
    French - Québec
    In the US perverse and pervert are used to denote something strictly sexual. I've never heard it used in any other context.
    Yet, it is the last of four (sub)definitions of the word "perverse" in the Oxford US dictionary: Perverse | Definition of Perverse by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of Perverse
    And it is only implicitly referenced by Merriam-Webster’s fourth definition: Definition of PERVERSE
    Both focus on deliberate, improper, unacceptable behavior as their first definitions.

    "Pervers" as a noun is also more commonly associated with sexual depravity in everyday French (less so as an adjective; for example we say "effet pervers" as in unintended and undesirable), but if you look at dictionary definitions, its core meaning is a lack of morality or an inclination for (or outright pleasure in) doing evil.
    CNRTL: "1. Enclin au mal; qui fait, qui aime à faire le mal." (My Petit Robert 2010 uses almost exactly the same first definition) "2. PSYCHOPATHOL. Qui est totalement dépourvu de sentiments et de sens moral"
    It’s interesting to note that both CNRTL and Merriam-Webster suggest "corrupt" as a synonym with their first definitions.

    In other words, it could be understood as an amoral narcissist (adj.-noun to mirror the French construction) – a term that I can see has also been used in several opinion pieces about Donald Trump – or a malignant narcissist, which is a popular enough term to have a Wikipedia article.
     

    tartopom

    Senior Member
    French
    I'd have said like you, Salvatos, malignant narcissist.

    PS: I didn't call you a malignant narcissist, Salvatos, but it was my translation. :)
     

    Le Gallois bilingue

    Senior Member
    English (U.K.)
    As already mentioned I think He’s a narcissist would work, better still perhaps He has a narcissistic personality. You could of course plump for He has been diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder.
    If you’re looking for something less “pc”, then we might try He’s a narcissistic deviant.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Racamier’s translated works, and papers on his theories, use the term “narcissistic perversion.” This is a psychoanalytical term that is different from others that were suggested in this thread before.
     
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    mariarier

    Member
    U.S.A. English
    After watching a few you tube videos in French about dealing with "le pervers narcissique," it seemed to me the experts were describing "borderline personality disorder." (BPD)
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    I don't think so, for me that's a very different psychological disorder. It more about impulsivity than narcissism. See: Borderline personality disorder.
    And the Termium definition:
    Borderline personality disorder:
    A disorder characterized by a persuasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.
    In French:
    Trouble de la personnalité limite, personnalité limite
    Trouble de la personnalité borderline, personnalité borderline (anglicisme)
     
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    enattente

    Senior Member
    French & English; Ontario, Canada
    This thread is super interesting. As usual, a lot depends on context. If it's in the technical sense, there is a lot of useful stuff here. More casually, I like LeGalloisBillingue's suggestion of just "narcissist' tout court. I would echo that "pervers" can just mean "disordered", in which case it can be omitted.

    It can also mean more like "creep" or "weirdo" though, so something like "narcissistic weirdo" is possible. We could also continue to find more colloquial words:
    "stuck-up creep"
    "self-important weirdo"

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting discussion across so many years!
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    The concept comes from Marie-France Hirigoyen's work and theories developed around "Le Harcèlement Moral".
    Ce n'est pas elle qui a créé le terme, mais le psychiatre et psychanalyste Paul-Claude Racamier:
    Le terme de perversion narcissique désigne une notion théorisée au départ par le psychiatre et psychanalyste Paul-Claude Racamier dans le domaine de la psychopathologie : elle indique non pas un type de personnalité mais une pathologie relationnelle qui consiste en une survalorisation de soi-même aux dépens d'autrui.
    Les notions de « perversion narcissique » et de « pervers narcissique » ont été reprises et popularisées ensuite chez d'autres auteurs
    [...]
    Dans son usage courant, on peut dire que la façon dont ce terme est utilisé en France correspond généralement aux versions les plus extrêmes du trouble de la personnalité narcissique décrit dans le Manuel diagnostique et statistique des troubles mentaux (DSM). Cette version est nommée malignant narcissism aux Etats-Unis. Wikipédia
     
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