précieux et parfois impressionnant

slowpoke

Member
USA/English
Good evening,

I am trying to help a neighbor by translating (from French to English)what she has written about the Venetian Carnival that she is putting on in Paris this Spring. This is one paragraph that has me a bit stumped.

À Venise, d'une année sur l'autre, on ne porte pas le mêm costume. Des masques très précieux et parfois impressionnants transportent notre imagination au coeur de cette ville troublante et mystérieuse qu'est Venise, la sérénissime. On est à Paris! mais, on s'y croirait!

My attempt:

In Venice, from one year to the next, one never wears the same costume. The masks, elegant and sometimes disturbing transport our imaginations to the heart of the disconcerting and mysterious city that is Venice, la serenissima. We are in Paris, but one would think that we were in Venice!

I am having trouble with the words précieux, impressionnant and troublante, but also the fact that the whole paragraph doesn't sound right. Can anyone help?

Thanking you in advance,

Slowpoke
 
  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    For "précieux" I think I'd go with "valuable".
    For "impressionant" "impressive".
    For "troublant" I think "disconcerting" is OK, perhaps "disquieting". However, such things are always judgement calls, and there's no reason why you shouldn't go with your judgement if you think it's right. You have more of the next than we do, so your judgement may well be better.

    As for "transportent notre imagination au cœur de cette ville" I think you need to get away from the literal French and reword it a bit. Try to make it sound like more natural English. I might try, "carry us in our imaginations to the very heart of this city," or perhaps, "allow us to imagine ourselves in the heart of this city." The exact words don't matter. It's the ideas that count.

    As for the last sentence, I think I'd say, "You're in Paris, but you'd think you were in Venice."
     

    misterk

    Moderator
    English-American
    In Venice, from one year to the next, one never wears the same costume. The masks, expensive and often quite impressive, help transport you to the heart of Venice, la serenissima, that disconcerting and mysterious city. You may be in Paris, but you'll easily imagine yourself in Venice!
     

    Ellea1

    Senior Member
    Southern French
    My attempt will be:


    In Venice, from one year to the next year, we do not wear the same costume. The masks very delicate and sometimes even majestic, carry our imagination through the enchanting and mysterious city, 'la serenissima'. We are in Paris, but we would imagine to be in Venice!
     
    Last edited:

    Ellea1

    Senior Member
    Southern French
    Hello,

    I thought about another translation about your sentence.
    In Venice, from one year to another, one never wear the same costume. The masks very delicate and sometimes even majestic, carry our imagination at the heart of (or in the core of) the enchanting and mysterious Venise, 'la serenissima'. You are in Paris, but you would easily imagine you were in Venice!
     
    Last edited:

    slowpoke

    Member
    USA/English
    Greetings helpful forum members,

    Thank you so much for your very good suggestions. I have finally finished this little project, and I am once again free to roam around Paris.

    I really appreciate being able to come here for help, and I love the fact that Ellea1 took the time to come back with an improvement on her original suggestion. That was so kind.

    Slowpoke:)
     
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