Daily French Exercise: Les Giants sans Rivaux!

Barring any inconsistencies among his travel documents — an entirely real contingency, that — the author is relocating for about a year to Paris beginning in the middle of September. In preparation for said move — and in a gesture of supreme self-interest — he has resolved to publish in this space a brief, daily French exercise concerning base-and-ball.

What follows is such an exercise — featuring, in this case, a passage from actual French sporting paper L’Équipe regarding the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers last October. The author has included commentary regarding certain words or phrases of note either because (a) those words and phrases are particularly difficult, but the author has grasped their meaning or (b) they are particularly difficult and the author has abandoned all attempts to make sense of them.

The reader can scroll over the passage below for the author’s (likely flawed) translation of same.

Les Giants étaient trop grands pour les Tigers: l’équipe de San Francisco a fait main basse sur les World Series dimanche après sa victoire à Detroit (4-3) qui lui offert un “sweep” dans le duel, soit une quatrième victoire en quatre matches. Le suspense était déjà presque mort à l’orée de la rencontre puisqu’aucune équipe n’avait remonté trois défaites d’affilée dans une série potentielle de sept matches. Mais à domicile, les Tigers ont proposé une belle opposition.

Comments
• The word étaient is the third person plural imperfect form of être. The author has been led to believe the imperfect is used in writing much more frequently than in speech.

• The phrase faire main basse sur appears to be idiomatic, meaning either “to help oneself to” or “walk off with.”

• The word offert is not the third person singular of the verb offrir, as the author suspected because he mostly only knows Latin. Most definitions suggest something like “offer,” in either case. The author has taken a liberty with “completed,” surely.

• The word soit is either the third person singular present subjunctive of être or an adverb meaning something like “that being so.” Because the author is predominantly clueless with regard to the subjunctive at this point, he has decided that an adverb it must be.

• The word orée is a feminine noun meaning something like “outskirts” — another case in which the author has taken a liberty in translation.

• The phrase avait remonté is the plus-que-parfait (pluperfect, in English) tense of remonter, meaning to “come back,” or something like that.
__________

Previous Editions: Introduction and Les Phillies Résistent.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


9 Responses to “Daily French Exercise: Les Giants sans Rivaux!”

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  1. Peter Bergeron says:

    C’était grotesque ennuyeux.

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  2. French guy says:

    “Soit”, here, means something like “that is”, or “i.e.”.

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  3. French guy says:

    Also, that “offert” seems to be a mistake. I think it the author meant “a offert” or “offrit”.

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  4. Frank says:

    FranchGraphs logo would be perfect if the bars in the background ere colored in the style of the French Flag.

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  5. Jay29 says:

    Saying “FranchGraphs” out loud to myself in an empty house made me laugh.

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  6. War2d2 says:

    Frankly, I’m offended. This is an abject affront to wholesome American Patriotism. I have taken the liberty–indeed, the LIBERTY, all caps–of translating the quisling Vichy tongue into the robust vernacular of the True Patriot. To wit:

    Freedom Giants freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom Tigers: freedom freedom San Francisco freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom World Series freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom Detroit (4-3) freedom freedom freedom freedom “sweep” freedom freedom freedom , freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom . Freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom. Freedom freedom freedom , freedom Tigers freedom freedom freedom freedom opposition.

    This has been your lesson on speaking like a goddamn American, Cistulli.

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  7. Le compte complet says:

    Please, do not read about baseball on French websites! They don’t know anything about it, don’t know the vocabulary, don’t even bother to translate words like “sweep” (un balayage).
    Look for articles from Canadian Press (La Presse Canadienne). We once had a baseball team here and we learned the words to talk about how terrible they were for 35 years.

    “Orée” is not really “outskirts”. It means “entrance” or beginning. It usually refers to the woods: l’orée de la forêt = the entrance of the woods. In this case “l’orée de la rencontre” means “the beginning of the match-up” or, literally, “the entrance of the encounter”.
    I’m impressed by your knowledge of conjugation, by the way. This is no easy task that even we, french speakers, can’t master. Keep it up!

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