plaisanterie

Chike

Member
Canada, English
I'm translating a sentence in which the author says that Rimbaud's phrase "Je est un autre" would cease to be a "plaisanterie" or an "énigme insoluble" if... etc.

What would be best for "plaisanterie" here?
 
  • Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    I would be tempted to translate is as "joke", but I see your dilemma: it was never a joke. You could say, "humorous word-play", but I am not sure that is accurate at the word level.
     

    Chike

    Member
    Canada, English
    I'm glad you understand the difficulty. I'm leaning toward "joke," though, since there is at least the "unsolvable riddle" following it to give the sense that it was not just a joke...
     

    Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    Good point. Joke would work.
    Also note that plaisanterie can mean playing around, for example "arrêtez vos plaisanteries" translates to "stop joking around" or "stop playing around". So, ceases to be word-play is not that far-fetched.
     

    Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    Witticism, which to me has more of a sense of "a clever joke" (as opposed to just a joke), may be a good word in this context.
    Also, you can see if one of these two fits as well: "a clever joke" or "a play on words".
     
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