rifle salute

qwill

Senior Member
Oh oh, another problem... At a funeral ceremony, soldiers fire a rifle salute. I know this is "une salve d'honneur". But listen to the following: "The 21 guns were three, crisp firings of seven. The Old Guard doest not make mistakes." [Et moi non plus, je ne dois pas en faire... ] "crisp firings" sont des "salves sèches", je crois... Quelqu'un peut-il m'aider ? Beaucoup de Thanks...
 
  • Arioch

    Senior Member
    France, French
    What do you want exactly? A global translation?

    As for crisp firing... I'm not sure "salves sèches" is very much used. I'd rather say "brèves" or "rapides".

    (by the way, what kind of rifle salute is it? they need 21 guns to fire three volleys of seven shots? is this in the 18th century?)
     

    qwill

    Senior Member
    Hello, Arioch, Non, it takes place nowadays into a military cemetery... After a long brain-boiling session, I think it refers to the "salve à 21 canons" - indeed from the 18th century - exchanged between boats when approaching a harbour and later used to honour a high-rank personality. As it describes the death of a young man, I suppose that, to replace those 21 guns, [only] three guns have fired seven crisp firings... Donc : Trois canons tirèrent sept salves sèches.I understand your comment about "sèches" but I think it is appropriate in the military jargon...
     

    Arioch

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Hello, Arioch, Non, it takes place nowadays into a military cemetery... After a long brain-boiling session, I think it refers to the "salve à 21 canons" - indeed from the 18th century - exchanged between boats when approaching a harbour and later used to honour a high-rank personality. As it describes the death of a young man, I suppose that, to replace those 21 guns, [only] three guns have fired seven crisp firings... Donc : Trois canons tirèrent sept salves sèches.I understand your comment about "sèches" but I think it is appropriate in the military jargon...
    I see...

    Native English speakers may correct me, but I think that the original text says there were seven guns firing three times : three firings (crisp ones) of seven shots (ie of seven guns)...

    As for "salve sèche"... I never heard it, but I'm not sure I ever heard "salve brève" either... ;)

    PS: J'adore me retrouver à parler en anglais avec un Français. Mais bon, c'était la langue de départ, alors... :)
     

    qwill

    Senior Member
    Ha ha, yes, moi aussi, it's fun... Like Rouletabille, I will try to consider again this sentence "par le petit bout de la lorgnette"... Let's see... We have 21 guns but, now, they've become three... The firings were seven... What do we have at the end ? (should I fix myself another café?) 21 = 3 x 7 ?????(Now it's definitely headache... !)More seriously (but do we always have to?) I guess its something like that : 3 guns firing 7 times... Ouh la la...
     

    Arioch

    Senior Member
    France, French
    More seriously (but do we always have to?) I guess its something like that : 3 guns firing 7 times... Ouh la la...
    Not for me. We have three firings, that's not "three firing guns" for there wouldn't be an "s" to "firing" if the "gun" part was simply dropped. Thus, the "firings" are the act of using the guns, not the number of guns used.

    May some native speaker tell us how (s)he understands this sentence?
     

    gumboots

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland
    For me the line refers to the twenty one gun salute- used to salute heads of state and the like- and the three/seven issue works out as seven guns, each fired sucessively and then a little pause and the process is repeated, then another pause and another repeat of the process. The number of guns actually used in a 21 gun salute does differ from place to place apparently. Where I'm from we generally use four.
     

    qwill

    Senior Member
    To Arioch : yes you are definitely right about the construction of the sentence. You've caught the sense. To Gumboots : Thank you VERY much for this explanation. I almost can hear them now...
     
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