1. Syagrius

    Syagrius Senior Member

    Montréal, Québec, Canada.
    Français. Québec¸Canada.

    Il y a plusieurs mots pour "clochard" en anglais.

    Il y a "hobo", "bum" et"tramp".

    Un clochard est souvent un alcoholique qui vit dans les rues des grandes villes, sans domicile fixe, dormant souvent sur les bouches d'aération des édifices.

    Quel est le meilleur équivalent anglais pour "clochard"? (réponses AE et BE s.v.p.)

  2. savannah Senior Member

    English, USA

    Je propose "vagrant" et "bum."
  3. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Homeless ? (equ. to our SDF, "Sans domicile fixe", now politically correct for clochard)
  4. savannah Senior Member

    English, USA
    Oui, c’est ça, mais on ne peut pas dire “a homeless.” Il faut dire “a homeless man” ou “a homeless woman.” Mais on peut dire “a vagrant” ou “a bum.” Et “a vagrant” est un peu plus poli, je crois. “Bum,” c’est plus proche du sens de “clochard.”
  5. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    In BE, "tramp" is fairly neutral in tone (unless the speaker has expressed prejudice against tramps); "vagrant" is derogatory; "bum" and "hobo" are not BE (for clochard).
  6. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Oh - I was thinking of the plural form, the homeless. I thought it could be used in the singular. Sorry...
  7. Syagrius

    Syagrius Senior Member

    Montréal, Québec, Canada.
    Français. Québec¸Canada.
    Merci beaucoup pour vos réponses, thank you very much.

    Juste à titre d'information, au Québec on désigne encore les clochards sous le nom de "robineux". C'est un anglicisme formé à partir du mot anglais "rubbing alcohol" ("robine" en langage populaire, n'est presque plus utilisé) car bien des clochards buvaient de l'alcool à friction, d'où le nom de "robineux".
  8. Denis the fatalist Senior Member

    Monaco Monte-Carlo
  9. wijmlet Senior Member

    New York City
    English USA
    homeless person
  10. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    There's also the kinder: gentleman of the road
  11. Wunibald Senior Member

    Paris, France
    In BE tramp has become fairly archaic (I can't think of anyone referring to someone today as a tramp). A dosser (fairly derogatory) was in very common use a few years ago in England. Is it still?
  12. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    I don't know if it could be considered as a reference, but La belle et le clochard is the translation for Lady and the tramp.

    Un clochard est quelqu'un qui a délibérément choisi de vivre en marge de la société et de ses contraintes (notamment le travail). C'est un mendiant volontaire, en quelques sortes. Rien à voir avec le fait d'être alcoolique ou non.
  13. Monsieur Hoole Senior Member

    Canada English
    politically correct = homeless person or street person

    langue de tous les jours = bum

  14. Wodwo Senior Member

    London UK
    UK English
    Oh, there's a word I had forgotten about! Though it was widely used not so long ago and probably still is used in some contexts by some people. I think we just talk about homeless people now.
  15. franc 91 Senior Member

    English - GB
    a down and out
  16. Wodwo Senior Member

    London UK
    UK English
    Yes, that's another word everyone knows, like tramp (which my daughter rather anachronistically uses), but I don't think people actually talk about down-and-outs these days. It's quite interesting really, because here in the UK, when I was young, for a start there were far fewer people on the streets (I'm talking the 60s and 70s here) and rightly or wrongly I think there was a sense that those you did see had somehow chosen their life. Then came the 80s and suddenly there were people begging and sleeping in doorways all over the place - I remember it was a shock, though we're all used to it now - and with that came the general feeling that these people were victims of social change, and the old words just kind of withered away. I'm not saying everyone's attitudes changed, but homeless people moved into a different place in the culture, which I think they still occupy.
  17. johnblacksox Senior Member

    English - US
    Usage has changed due to political correctness, or just changing times.

    I'll give my AE interpretations:

    hobo = outdated. This was a term used in the 1970s and earlier to describe a drifter who traveled by jumping on railroad cars. This term does not imply being a drunk.

    tramp = outdated. Does not imply being a drunk. More like a lazy drifter.

    homeless = Homeless doesn't imply being a drunk either. It implies either a very poor person who lives in a shelter, or a mentally ill person unable to work who lives on the street. Homeless people obviously can often be drunks or drug users, but I wouldn't use "homeless" as a translation for "clochard".

    bum = Probably the closest in meaning to "clochard", although the word "bum" has fallen out of favor due to political correctness. It's considered insensitive and rude to call someone a "bum". If a person is living on the street, you are supposed to call them homeless. You aren't supposed to make a value judgment about them, or comment on whether or not you think they abuse alcohol or drugs.

    So to summarize, if you need an AE translation for "clochard", I would use "bum". But I believe that "bum" is more perjorative and frowned upon in AE than "clochard" is in French.

    [Edit: I agree 100% with the commentary of Wodwo above.]
  18. clairet

    clairet Senior Member

    London & Bordeaux
    England & English (UK version)
    I've quoted tilt's definition of what it is we're trying to translate, as a reminder for later comers to the thread. I think quite a few of the suggestions suit British, US or Canadian (different) contexts and usages but don't really fit what tilt is describing. I'd also be interested to know from francophones if "clochard" has become slightly archaic, since "slightly archaic" is how I'd describe "tramp" in (British) English: people may not use the word much but everyone knows what it means (even if only via stories like The Lady and the Tramp - which, incidentally, shows the term's acceptability to Disney and the like - difficult, at least in BE, to imagine The Lady and the Bum). I suspect that "tramp" is little used now because, as others have said, it refers to a lifestyle which barely exists now, involving not simply homelessness but wandering around the countryside (an urban tramp is pretty much a contradiction) picking up odd jobs and charity, sleeping (dossing down) in barns and outhouses. Tramps were said to form a (very) loose community, with a system of signs left outside houses and farms to tell others what kind of welcome they would get. It would be interesting to know if any of this resonates with "clochard" - or if "clochard" has evolved in a way that "tramp" hasn't.
  19. franc 91 Senior Member

    English - GB
    If you are looking for an historical view on all of this (and why I gave you the answer I did) I suggest that you have a look at George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, published in French as - Dans la Dèche à Paris et à Londres. I can assure you that there are still tramps in France and a certain number of SDF tramp along le Chemin de Saint Jacques.
    Perhaps you might like to know that there is an oral tradition at Notre Dame de Paris that in the old days they needed eight men to ring the Great Bell - le Bourdon and so they used to enlist the help of those who were begging at the Main Door to do it - they thus became known as clochards.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  20. Bobbibounette

    Bobbibounette Senior Member

    Sao Paulo
    Pour répondre à la question de Clairet, je ne pense pas que Clochard soit archaïque. Légèrement péjoratif.
    Clodo (dérivé argotique) est très péjoratif.
    Un SDF, neutre. Très utilisé. A retenir pour le langage journalistique.

    Pour ce qui est de l'étymologie proposée par franc91, elle me plaît beaucoup mais... the TLFi begs to differ... ;)

    Étymol. et Hist. 1895 (Bruant ds ESN.). Dér. de clocher3* « boiter » (FEW t. 2, p. 794; DAUZAT 1973; BL.-W5) ou dér. de cloche « personne incapable » (cloche1*, étymol. 2); suff. péj. -ard*.
  21. guillaumedemanzac

    guillaumedemanzac Senior Member

    English - Southern England Home Counties
    "Down-and-out" - following George Orwell's book. Homeless bum is stronger. Vagrant also has negative connotations. SDF we already had in another thread Domicilié but "of no fixed address" is police jargon for a homeless person. Also in another thread was a crusty - American slang for a nogood weirdo.

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