sleep crutch

Agnp

New Member
French
Hi,
I'm translating an article about toddlers and sleep problems:
"Babies who have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep experience what sleep experts call negative associations, or sleep crutches."
I've search in similar articles in French, but I can't find the appropriate term... We don't say "des béquilles du sommeil", for sure!! Is it only "des troubles du sommeil" ?
Thanks in advance !
 
  • Garoubet

    Senior Member
    French - France, Quebec
    C'est bien le sens de béquilles; l'expression ne fait pas référence aux troubles du sommeil, mais au fait que l'enfant à l'habitude d'avoir des aides pour s'endormir, chanson, bercement, allaitement... et que lorsqu'il se réveille la nuit, il ne peut pas se rendormir tout seul car il lui manque ces béquilles.
    On peut dire béquilles du/de sommeil.
     

    arundhati

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Bonjour,
    Je ne sais pas s'il y a un terme consacré en Français, mais a priori c'est vraiment l'idée de "béquilles". Il s'agit des (mauvais) moyens trouvés pour permettre à l'enfant de s'endormir, mauvais dans le sens où sans eux il ne peut pas trouver le sommeil.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I agree with the responses above - just noting that the usage in your context phrase is odd and misleading as to its proper meaning.
     

    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    On entend souvent parler de stimuli du sommeil en thérapie comportementale. J'ignore si le terme s'applique aux enfants.
     

    arundhati

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Là il s'agit quand même de quelque chose de négatif. On parle de "béquille chimique" parfois pour les psychotropes, je ne vois pas vraiment pourquoi on utiliserait un autre terme que "béquille" ici. Ce n'est pas plus idiomatique en Anglais de toute façon.
     

    Aliph

    Senior Member
    Italian (North)
    I think the image 'béquilles du sommeil' sounds really strange, concerning a baby, who doesn't walk!

    Des 'aides au sommeil' ?
    J’ai lu des dizaines d’articles sur le sujet en français et je n’ai jamais rencontré le terme « béquilles « pour un enfant mais aides au sommeil comme propose Itisi. On parle parfois de béquilles chimiques dans le cadre de l’utilisation de psychotropes, en général réservés aux adultes.

    Le sommeil chez le bébé de 0 à 2 ans
     
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    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    But aides lacks the negative aspect that the original implies: we are talking about bad habits, les comportements à éviter mentioned at the end of the article. If béquilles is unsuitable (what if you put it in quotation marks to clarify that it's a metaphor?) you're going to need to use more words.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Used too long or too often, at times when they're not truly necessary, they weaken the unused limb. That's the idea here too. Overusing a technique that will be difficult to provide all the time, and that isn't necessary to the function itself, creates a bad habit. (Even if the technique isn't a bad thing in itself.)
     
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    Aliph

    Senior Member
    Italian (North)
    When you translate to another language you should have the sensitivity to adopt the style of the target language. If you read the article I mentioned you will see that there is no odd use of the word béquilles though they suggest that parents renounce to condition babies and toddlers with certain habits that might be counterproductive.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Naturally. But you also must attempt to convey the full meaning of the original in your final translation. As an English speaker I am telliing you what that meaning is, and how the metaphor is used to express that meaning; I can also tell you whether French suggestions express the meaning. Obviously I am not the best judge of how something will sound to French natives, that's for all of you. But some natives did use béquilles, at least as a means of explanation.
    Anyway, in the article they used more words to expresss the idea : aides au sommeil (qui sont des) comportements à éviter. That's why I say if you choose something like aides, you, too, will need more words to add that essential negative nuance.
     
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    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    If you read the article I linked, you will see there is nothing terribly negative about the so-called 'crutches'; it's only the fact that one depends on them that can be considered negative. The word 'crutch' is quite ridiculous used for a baby. (I suppose it's a crutch for the parents, really.). And in French, 'béquille' is linked to the idea of psychotropic substances.

    I suggest 'support'. In the same linked article: "One of the most common sleep props is YOU (Mom or Dad)."
     
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    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Whether it's a ridiculous characterization or not, the term as used in the context sentence has a meaning, that meaning is negative, and support (tout court) in French doesn't fully convey it.

    (And a baby who refuses to sleep without x or y or z is a nightmare, if x or y or z cannot be provided every.single.time. Ask the friend who tried to babysit my firstborn for a weekend. Aaaaaaaaagh.)
     
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    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Kelly, I edited the last line of my #18. Prop = support
    Qu'on dit aide, support ou soutien, je dirais la même chose....
    The (edit) negative aspect of the word crutch here isn't that any of the things are bad by their nature, in themselves. They are bad only to the extent that they are part of a habit without which the child refuses to sleep.

    Nursing a baby is essential to his survival; but a baby who can only by coaxed to sleep by nursing even if he is already full of food is using nursing as a crutch and this is a bad habit.
    It is perfectly normal for babies to fall asleep in the car, but a baby who wakes at 4 am and will only fall back asleep if his parents get up and drive him around is using the car as a crutch and this is a bad habit.

    (And yes, it is perfectly reasonable to argue that it is the parents who are using the crutch and not the infant. But it is the infant who is screaming his fool head off at 4 am and then stops when the car begins to move.)

    editing again: Nursing can be characterized as an ordinary aide, support, soutien; getting up at 4 am to drive a crying infant around really cannot.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    Kelly, that was heartfelt!

    Ok, but I still feel that 'béquilles du sommeil' doesn't work.

    (arundhati, 'prop' is as much an object as 'béquille', or vice versa!)

    Maybe we just have to agree to differ.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    arundati, ok, then 'un objet devenu indispensable à l'endormissement' ? Because even if you feel 'béquille' is ok, 'béquille du sommeil' doesn't make sense.
     
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