French Exercise: Balentien Trois Circuits du Record Japonais

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, almost daily French exercise concerning base-and-ball.

What follows is such an exercise — featuring, in this case, a passage from Montreal’s La Presse regarding former major-leaguer Wladimir Balentien’s pursuit of Japan’s single-season home-run record.

For each paragraph, the author has produced a (likely flawed) translation. At the bottom, there’s commentary regarding certain words or phrases of note (and which are marked by an asterisk) 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.

L’ex-joueur des ligues majeures Wladimir Balentien a frappé son 52e circuit de la saison, vendredi, et n’est plus qu’à trois du record japonais*.

Ex-major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 52nd home run of the season on Friday, and is just three away from the Japanese record.

Les Yakult Swallows, l’équipe de Balentien qui évolue à Tokyo, ont toujours 30 matchs à disputer en saison régulière, ce qui lui laisse amplement de temps pour espérer éclipser* la marque de 55 circuits établie par Sadaharu Oh en 1964. Deux autres ex-porte-couleurs* des Majeures, Tuffy Rhodes en 2001 et Alex Cabrera l’année suivante, ont égalé cette marque par la suite.

The Yakult Swallows, the club for which Balentien plays in Tokyo, still have 30 games to play in the regular season, which leaves ample time for him to hope to eclipse the mark of 55 home runs established by Sadaharu Oh in 1964. Two other former major-leaguers, Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in the following season, equaled that mark afterwards.

Le circuit en solo de Balentien à la fin de la quatrième manche au stade Jingu de Tokyo a aidé son club à prendre la mesure des* DeNa BayStars de Yokohama 8-2.

Balentien’s solo home run at the end of the fourth inning at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo helped his club defeat the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, 8-2.

Balentien a joué pour les Mariners de Seattle et les Reds de Cincinnati avant de signer un contrat avec les Swallows en 2011. Il a frappé 31 circuits à chacune de ses deux premières campagnes au Japon.

Balentien playted for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds before signing a contract with the Swallows in 2011. He hit 31 homers in each of his first two seasons in Japan.

Le baseballeur de 29 ans, né à Curaçao, a raté* les 12 premiers matchs de la saison après s’être blessé à la jambe gauche lors de la Classique mondiale de baseball, alors qu’il défendait les couleurs* des Pays-Bas.

The 29-year-old, born in Curaçao, missed the first 12 matches of the season after having injured his left leg while playing for the Dutch national team at the World Baseball Classic.

En trois saisons dans le Baseball majeur, Balentien n’a frappé que 15 circuits en 170 matchs, tout en* ne maintenant qu’une* moyenne de ,221. En date de jeudi, Balentien dominait la Ligue centrale japonaise avec une moyenne de ,339.

In three major-league seasons, Balentien hit only 15 home runs over 170 games, while maintaining only a .221 average. As of Friday, Balentien led Japan’s Central League with a .339 average.

• Literally translated, the phrase n’est plus qu’à trois du record japonais means something like “[He] isn’t more than three (away) from the Japanese record.” Ne… plus que is an idiomatic expression meaning “is only… from,” is the author’s half-educated guess with regard to this passage.

• The author’s translation of the expression pour espérer éclipser is awkward. Luckily, the consequences for same are minimal.

• Literally, the phrase ex-porte-couleurs appears to mean “former holder of the colors,” or something similar to that. “Wearing the colors” or “defending the colors” is, it seems, a figurative of saying “play for.” Colors appear to be rather important, generally, though.

• The expression par la suite means “thereafer” or “consequently,” it appears.

• Word Reference suggests that the expression prendre la mesure de means “assess, evaluate, size up, take stock of,” although the implication here seems pretty clearly to be that Yakult has defeated Yokohama.

• The phrasal verb a raté is definitely the passé composé form of the verb rater, “to miss.”

• The expression défendre les couleurs de means “to play for,” essentially.

• It is a fact, apparently, that tout en means “while.”

• It is a second fact, one finds, that ne… que means “only.”

Previous Editions: Introduction and Les Phillies Résistent / Les Giants sans Rivaux! / Ichiro Obtient Son 4000e Coup Sûr / Les Blue Jays Balayés.

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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The former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 52nd homer of the season on Friday and is now only three Japanese record *. The Yakult Swallows team Balentien evolving in Tokyo, still have 30 games left in the regular season, leaving him plenty of time to expect overshadow the brand * 55 circuits established by Sadaharu Oh in 1964. Two other former holders of colors * Major, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera in 2001 the following year, equaled the mark thereafter.

Balentien played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds before signing a contract with the Swallows in 2011. He hit 31 tours in each of his first two seasons in Japan. The 29 year old baseball player, born in Curacao, * missed the first 12 games of the season after injuring his left leg during the World Baseball Classic, while defending the colors of the Netherlands *. In three seasons in Major Baseball Balentien that has hit 15 homers in 170 games, while * not * mean that now, 221. As of Thursday, Balentien dominated the Japanese Central League with an average of, 339.