The thing is your pigeon

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Miss T, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Miss T Senior Member

    France, French

    I'm translating a text in which two men are looking for a mysterious item which is part of a list. They have no idea of what it is or what it looks like, and therefore, they start having an argument. The first man tells the other :
    I'm fairly sure the thing is your pigeon, anyway.

    I was thinking of something such as :

    De toute façon, je suis quasi certain que cette chose est sous votre responsabilité.

    The thing is I can't think of something that would be as informal as "your pigeon". Ideas anyone?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. no_cre0 Senior Member

    American English
    I dont think "your pigeon" is formal, informal, or any other ways. That sentence doesn't mean anything apart from what it says, IMO.
  3. doinel

    doinel Senior Member

    Southern France
    France French
    Y aurait-il une allusion au Faucon Maltais (Maltese Falcon ) de Chandler?
    Un objet introuvable que tous recherchent et qui n'est que ce que l'on veut?
    Pure spéculation de ma part...
  4. Miss T Senior Member

    France, French
    Sorry, I didn't think the term "pigeon" could create some sort of ambiguity. The item is definitely not a pigeon. The expression "that's your pigeon" could be used to say something like "that's your business". That's what I'm trying to express in French.

    I don't know if there is a reference to the Maltese Falcon right here, but I don't think it is helpful for the translation.

    Thanks to the both of you.:)
  5. no_cre0 Senior Member

    American English
    The sentence simply doesn't make sense. There is no such expression in English that it could be.
  6. mrsroynie Senior Member

    Montréjeau, France
    English - British
    The 'pigeon' in this context refers to a 'pigeon hole', the type one finds in the mail rooms of large organisations, i.e. if it is in your pigeon hole, it is addressed to you and, therefore, your responsibility. Does that help?
  7. Miss T Senior Member

    France, French

    That's what I suggested as a French translation in my first post. :) I'm just looking for a more informal way to say "responsibility" in French.

    Thanks for your help!
  8. mrsroynie Senior Member

    Montréjeau, France
    English - British
    Perhaps, "truc"?
  9. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀

    I assume that something like « la balle est dans ton camp » wouldn't work. Or it would mean rephrasing the whole thing...

    For informal, the Robert and Collins translates "that's not my pigeon" by :
    ça n'est pas mes oignons.

    La chose te regarde? / C'est ton affaire (pas la mienne)?

    I can't think of the right solution... but I hope this helps finding one. :)
  10. mrsroynie Senior Member

    Montréjeau, France
    English - British
    Oui, j'aime ça. Comme je m'occupe de mes oignions!
  11. wasichu333 New Member

    Atlanta, GA
    In case the subject is not closed yet, I think that the way the sentence is written and the fact that these guys are having an argument on the "responsibility" makes me think that a more appropriate way to translate would be

    De toute façon/De toute manière, c’est ton problème (in other words: pas le mien! Débrouille-toi!)" rather than "ton affaire".
  12. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    May be... may be not. Then again, one of the definitions of « affaire » is this :
    Given synonyms, in that sense are : Problème — cas, énigme, problème, puzzle, question.

    I found this :
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  13. endefr Member

    United States
    English - US
    Hi, Nicomon,
    “It’s not my cup of tea” has an entirely different meaning.
    As an example, when talking about sports, someone might use this expression, meaning he/she doesn’t really have an interest in sports. It has nothing to do with responsibility or minding one’s business.
  14. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello. You're absolutely right. This is how I know and use the expression too. (in French ce n'est pas ma tasse de thé/pas mon truc)

    I mainly copied the entry from that page (I probably should have removed that last bit).

    I meanwhile found something I think of interest about the possible origin of the expression. Look for Pidgin English, on this page. Confirmed on Wordwizard.

    And... I also found this.
    So problème (although not - by far - as "colourful" as oignons) would indeed work. ;)
  15. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    That's your pigeon -- I've never heard the expression. But it seems well known by BE-speakers.

    That's your bailiwick is heard in AE--maybe not universally, but certainly in New England, where I used to live (Nico, do you ever go south of the border? It's widely used in Vermont)

    More colloquially in AE--that's your deal
  16. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Hello Bill,
    I do sometimes go south of the border, but I'm afraid I haven't stayed in Vermont long enough. Can't remember hearing the word bailiwick, which the Robert&Collins translates to French as (Jur.) juridiction/circonscription or (esp US = specialty) domaine.

    Mind you... I'm not familiar with the that's your pigeon either. But that's your deal definitely rings a bell. :)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  17. no_cre0 Senior Member

    American English
    As Wildan said, "the thing is your pigeon" means absolutely nothing in American English.

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