traîner des élèves

mable_3

New Member
Icelandic
I'm working on a translation of the book "La Place" by Annie Ernaux. There's this one phrase just at the beginning that I'm not quite sure about.

"Vous les avez traînés, vos élèves", m'a reproché l'inspecteur ensuite, dans le bureau du proviseur.

I'm having problems with the part within the quotation marks. It might need some more context, but this happens right after the CAPES test took place for the narrator.

I do have the book "A man's place", which is an English translation of "La Place", but I'm just not sure about the way it's translated there: "You really had to push them, didn't you".

Any ideas would be great. You can answer in French as well.

Thank you
 
  • djweaverbeaver

    Senior Member
    English Atlanta, GA USA
    From what I can tell in reading a short excerpt of the story online, that translation seems to work. She was being evaluated on how well she could present a lesson in front of some high school students. Basically, she had to push them, or to make them see what she was trying to get at in her explanation. Maybe it was hard to get them excited and to participate with the text that they found utterly boring. She was "dragging them along" through the discussion of the text, so to say.
     

    mable_3

    New Member
    Icelandic
    Thank you for your reply. The translation does make sense in the context, it is true. I was just thinking if there might be another way to put it, but I guess this is the best one.
    Thanks again.
     

    djweaverbeaver

    Senior Member
    English Atlanta, GA USA
    Litterally speaking, 'you had to pull them' seems closer, but is it more relevant?
    drag them?
    Except it is not mean literally in the text. The principal was remarking that she really had to egg the students on, almost goading them, either to get them to participate or to understand the text. She was being evaluated on her teaching skills. We don't use "to pull" or "to drag" in this context, but rather its opposite, "to push", which is why I guess the translator went with that word.
     
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