plus il bouge moins il coule, s'adapter aux hautes lames

Randisi

Senior Member
English, USA
Hello everyone! Let's have some fun. See if you can construct a coherent sentence out of the second phrase.

"On ne compte plus les naufrages des vaisseaux stables, alors que les morutiers de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon résistent d'autant mieux à la furie des vagues, sur leur doris versatile, que celui-ci roule bord sur bord au risque limite de verser, sous les vents de l'Atlantique Nord; plus il bouge moins il coule, s'adapter aux hautes lames, aux ressacs imprévus, aux déferlements dangereux, d'autant plus constant qu'il remue, d'autant plus sûr qu'il chahute. Ainsi notre corps coulerait, corps et biens…"

No one even bothers anymore counting the shipwrecks of stable vessels, whereas the codfishermen of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon withstand the fury of the waves, on their inconstant dory, all the better when it rolls from side to side at the extreme risk of capsizing, in the North Atlantic winds; the more it rocks, the less it founders, adapting itself to the high waves, the unexpected crashings of the surf, the dangerous breakers, all the more constant when it tosses, all the steadier when it pitches and rolls. Thus our body would founder, crew and cargo…

This is the best I could do with it. Does that second phrase make any coherent sense in French? Did I read it correctly?
 
  • verlaine77

    New Member
    NY
    French
    My try.. just changed a few words..

    "On ne compte plus les naufrages des vaisseaux stables, alors que les morutiers de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon résistent d'autant mieux à la furie des vagues, sur leur doris versatile, qui sont ballotés de bord a bord au risque limite de chavirer, sous les vents de l'Atlantique Nord; plus il balance moins il sombre, s'adapter aux hautes vagues, aux ressacs imprévus, aux déferlements dangereux, d'autant plus constant qu'il remue, d'autant plus sûr qu'il chahute. Ainsi notre corps coulerait, corps et biens…"
     

    Randisi

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    One of my major problems with it is that it looks like it should read:

    The more it rocks, the less it founders, [the less it] adapts to the waves, crashing surf, etc.

    Which definitely goes against what the author is trying to say. So was it correct to treat the verb 's'adapter' and on, as a modifying phrase (not sure if I'm using the correct terminology)?
     

    Gardefeu

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Does that second phrase make any coherent sense in French?
    In my opinion, it does. That is not saying that it is grammatically correct. It obviously is not. The meaning is clear, though, and you had it spot on.

    "On ne compte plus les naufrages des vaisseaux stables, alors que les morutiers de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon résistent d'autant mieux à la furie des vagues, sur leur doris versatile, qui sont ballotés de bord a bord au risque limite de chavirer, sous les vents de l'Atlantique Nord;
    Votre adaptation, verlaine77, me semble poser davantage de problèmes qu'elle n'en résout. Par exemple, ce premier segment de phrase, tel que vous l'avez réécrit, n'a pas de sens: une phrase comparative commencée par "d'autant mieux" doit trouver son pendant dans une proposition commençant par "que". Ce second segment était chez Serres...


    The more it rocks, the less it founders, [the less it] adapts to the waves, crashing surf,
    Definitely not the meaning here, IMO.

    So was it correct to treat the verb 's'adapter' and on, as a modifying phrase
    I think it's a comment, a development of the same idea. Something is missing in the grammar, obviously.

    PS: an afterthought. A simple s'adaptant instead of s'adapter would do the trick,wouldn't it? Even Serres is allowed some misprints...
     

    Randisi

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Thanks for the confirmation, Gardefeu.

    I think that was the last utterly mystifying sentence construction in the book. That's not to say I still won't have questions…

    Thanks all!
     

    Yul

    Senior Member
    Canada, French
    Hi. Randisi,
    "On ne compte plus les naufrages des bateaux stables alors que les morutiers de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, sur leurs doris instables, résistent tellement mieux à la furie des vagues. Elles se mettent à valser d'un bord puis de l'autre en risquant à tout moment de couler sous les vents de l'atlantique Nord. C'est que plus elles se font ballotter, moins elles risquent de sombrer, s'adaptant alors aux hautes vagues, aux ressacs imprévus, aux déferlements dangereux. À force d'être secouées, de plonger et de replonger, elles deviennent plus stables et plus sûres. Ainsi, nous coulerions, corps et biens ... "
    Hope it helps you!
    Yul
    J'aurais dû lire les derniers commentaires...Enfin!
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Excellent job. I've been peeking at this while packing boxes. Here's a few thoughts, possibily worthless:

    consider 'shifts' for bouge

    for ressacs I don't see how 'crashings of the surf' can be 'unexpected,' or 'unforeseeable' for that matter. Checked the Robert which gives: Retour violent des vagues sur elles-mêmes, lorsqu'elles ont frappé un obstacle. I'm thinking that's a 'backwash' though I'd hardly recommend that as a substitute. Consider something inexact, like "unexpected undertows," or more general, like "unexpected currents."

    consider 'steadfast' for constant

    consider 'safe' for sûr

    and consider the construction:

    ... the more steadfast for its tossing, the safer for its ...

    I don't know ... good work in any event. OK, back to it!
     

    viera

    Senior Member
    English/French/Slovak
    "On ne compte plus les naufrages"
    "No one even bothers anymore counting the shipwrecks".

    "On ne compte plus" is a very common expression meaning "too many to be counted," "innumerable". It is not understood literally as "not bothering to count".

    It is mostly used with a suggestion of irony, as for supposedly unsinkable ships or fail-proof diets.
     

    Randisi

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    As always, MgAZ, valuable suggestions. Thanks.

    As always, Viera, helpful insights. That's precisely the sort of thing you just can't find out from a dictionary (or even the five or so I consult via a sort of triangulation, uh, er… pentangulation?). It once again proves my fears that, for translating, one should beware the sentence one thinks he understands more than the one he does not.

    Thanks, all!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top