Posted by Caroline on June 28, 1998 at 23:06:54:
In response to translation, written by Laura W on June 28, 1998 at 13:36:08
You can leave "les accidents de terrain" -- I think we can figure that one out from context!
I think Henry is very wise not to attempt to translate this- which means I am probably about to be very foolish....;-). I think the phrase "les accidents de terrrain" is neither as obvious or as crude as you might imagine. I think it's being used in a metaphorical sense, not a literal one. Here's my reasoning.....
"accident" actually has three meanings in French..1)a mishap, 2)a protrusion 3)an accidental (as in music)
terrain accidenté = uneven ground.
The idiom " les accidents de terrain" means "uneven ground", too, and here, "les accidents" translates as "the lumps and bumps" so to speak.
The verb "soutenir" means "to support (from below), to hold up, to prop up ",also "to support or sustain", in the moral sense.
I'm therefore making a guess that it means something like "maintains a nice shape" or "stops you bouncing around" and not "stops you falling out of your dress", nor "counteracts the force of gravity."
I wouldn't pretend to be the last word on the French language, however.........
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