s'adonner à

Irezumi onna

Member
French-Québec
Hello everyone!
I was wondering if someone could tell me how to translate "s'adonner à". I have come up with a few possible translations, but none that satisfy me.

Aussi, tandis que les guerriers font revivre la musique cérémoniale de la cour (gagaku) en s’adonnant au biwa (luth à quatre cordes), au shô (sorte d’orgue de bouche), au hichitiki (instrument à vent à double anche) et au fue (flûte traversière), les daimyô et le shôgun se consacrent aux danses du théâtre .

… the warriors revive the court's ceremonial music by devoting themselves to the practice of the biwa…
… the warriors revive the court's ceremonial music by playing the biwa…

I thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Tresley

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Irezumi onna,

    Welcome to Word Reference.

    Well, 's'adonner à qch' does mean 'to devote oneself to', but in your text you could translate this as 'to go [in] for' or 'to choose' or 'to opt for'. Any of these would make you text flow more easily.

    Let's see what others think.

    I hope this helps.
     

    Irezumi onna

    Member
    French-Québec
    Thank you for you response.
    Although I must say I'm not sure even these translations fully convey the meaning of the French version. Still, I truly appreciate your help.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The dictionary gives a lot of meanings for "s'adonner à": "to immerse oneself in", "to take up", etc. It is difficult to know which to choose. I'm not even sure that we have to use a verb - what about "The warriors revive the ceremonial music of the court on the ..., the .... [names of instruments] ...."?
     

    marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    "immerse" is too strong in my opinion, I think that "take up" is a good solution :

    Je m'adonne à la peinture pendant mon temps libre
    => I take up painting in my spare time

    Most often, we say "s'adonner à une activité", when the activity is something we have pleasure, that's probably why they suggest "immerse", because you can't say "Je m'adonne à faire mes devoirs", homework is not something you choose and enjoy to do, and neither something you explore.

    You can say "je m'adonne à la lecture d'ouvrages anciens", in that case, maybe it is possible to say that you immerse your-self in old books. But the idea is the same, you are enjoying, exploring an activity.
     

    denkmaler

    Senior Member
    English, French
    … the warriors revive the court's ceremonial music by playing the biwa…

    This was the best choice. There is no need to translate "s'adonner à" here because we get "devote oneself to sth." when the Shogun comes in.
     

    Irezumi onna

    Member
    French-Québec
    Thank you all for your invaluable help. I just finished writing my thesis in French and now I'm working on an English translation, so I get frustrated when you get stuck on a particular sentence. I just settled in Japan a few months ago and I don't yet have all my tools (dictionaries and so on), so this site has been a life saver. You guys, keep up the good work!

    Thank you sound shift and Marcolo, "take up" sounds pretty good to me.
     

    denkmaler

    Senior Member
    English, French
    I hate to be a spoil sport, but "take up" seems inappropriate here because it is too colloquial and makes it sound like an individual, personal option, whereas the passage seems to be about maintaining cultural tradition. "Devote" is the best translation in all respects.
     

    Francophileoutremere

    Senior Member
    NYC
    Arabe
    I found "s'adonner"in a context where it's appropriate, in my view, to use "engage" as a translation, like in this example:

    le pillage auquel se sont adonnés les criminels:
    the looting in which the criminal engaged.

    The governor ordered soldiers in the city to shoot anyone they observed engaged in looting.
     
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