When her butt cleared the space

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Faliraki, May 14, 2012.

  1. Faliraki

    Faliraki Member

    Italy, Umbria
    italian
    Hi everyone.

    I am trying to translate a complex passage of a book. The girl's hands are "cuffed behind her back and hooked to the sides of her metal chair". As soon as she understands she is in danger, she manages to get up with a weird movement. Here is the description of what she does:

    "In one fluid move, she slid as far back in her chair as possible, straightening her legs and pressing her stomach against her thighs. WHEN HER BUTT CLEARED THE SPACE BETWEEN TOP AND BOTTOM, she bent her legs so that they came out over the top, the folding metal now positioned in front of her like a shield".

    Ignoring the fact that it seems very unrealistic, what kind of movement does she perform? When she says "Top" and "Bottom" she is speaking of the "back" and the "seat" of the chair, isn't she? How can her butt CLEAR that space? And where do the legs come out from?

    I'm sorry I'm not even providing some sort of translation, but I really can't figure this one out. Thank you for your help and... feel free to correct my English!
     
  2. rrose17

    rrose17 Senior Member

    Montreal
    Canada, English
    Yes it does sound a little like Cirque du Soleil, and also very ambiguous. One interpretation could be that she somehow slipped into the opening in the back of the chair (metal folding chair) and then put her legs down on either side, flipping the chair up in front of her. But like I said this is only one interpretation.
     
  3. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    Yes, the "top and bottom" must be the "seat and the seat back". Apparently she went through this opening butt first, like a breech birth.

    EDIT: Hi Cap'n!
    2nd EDIT: Thanks, Lo!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  4. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    It's either a large chair or the girl must be a petit contortionist! :D
     
  5. london calling Senior Member

    SALERNO, ITALY
    UK ENGLISH
    Ok, adesso voglio la traduzione!:D
     
  6. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    Una volta riuscita a far passare il sedere attraverso lo spazio fra lo schienale e la seduta...
     
  7. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Her butt through the opening - yes, that we all agree on. But what about the legs? I am trying to figure out if the chair collapsed when she went through it, so it is now in front of her like a shield? But it says she bent her legs so they came out over the top. That part I don't get.....
     
  8. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian, standard
    Before I even attempted a translation, I tried that stunt on my chair and nearly got myself killed :D. I'll bet you all tried it, too.:p
    Getting too old for this sorta thing...
     
  9. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Method translation? The sign of a true artist..
     
  10. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    I am with you, there. The author's imagination seems better than his (or her) writing.
     
  11. L'Enrico Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian
    I was trying to figure out that part myself. The only thing I came up with was that the author must have cut out the part where the girl slid her torso+head+thighs through the opening. Once her knees are through, she can bend her legs. But I'm just guessing.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  12. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian, standard
    Pushing the envelope all the way to the ER.
    This might explain my near-accident. There's no gap in my seatback. Duh!
     
  13. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    I assumed the chair must be like this one

    My butt would never clear that gap, but maybe a tiny contortionist's..:D
     
  14. Faliraki

    Faliraki Member

    Italy, Umbria
    italian
    OMG... I didn't want anyone to get killed in trying this, but... Yes, I've tried too. Even with the gap in the seatback. It was a really bad idea... :)
    Anyway, I think L'Enrico is right: the writer didn't bother to describe the full action, making it very ambiguous, but she must have gone through the opening of the chair. So it will be something like:

    "Scivolò velocemente sulla sedia e si spinse più indietro che poteva, allungando le gambe e piegandosi in avanti finché lo stomaco non arrivò a premere contro le cosce. Dopo aver fatto passare il fondoschiena attraverso lo spazio tra lo schienale e la seduta, piegò le ginocchia in modo da far uscire le gambe dietro la sedia, che si richiuse di fronte a lei trasformandosi in un utile scudo di metallo".

    Roba da matti! Grazie a tutti per l'aiuto!
     

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