Live Poll: Touché, Monsieur

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
"At least, you'll never be a vegetable: even artichokes have heart"

You're probably already familiar with this memorable line from Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001) but did you know that French cinema is full of similarly stinging insults or retorts?

Some of them are more 'general' and aren't deprived of existential poetry while others work on a subtly self-deprecating way, and the rest is so delightfully harsh the only possible answer is, as they say in French, "Touché!".

Which of these French movies' quotes would you most like to use in real life?
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Posted 2 years ago

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Ibrahim Akhtar

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"If we could measure stupidity, he'd be the metric unit".
"I think when idiots will be sent into orbit, you won't stop turning around."
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Peter, Champion

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"Not only are you rich, but you want to be loved as if you are poor."
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"Your only pride is your mediocrity" or "Not only are you rich, but you want to be loved as if you are poor" but there are so many good ones.
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Pascal Guillen

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The original French words are a little more virulent, some will say rude.
In #1 & 8, the original word is "con(s)" that can be translated by moron(s), twat(s)...
#16 & 23 the orignial word is "connerie", it's the state to be a "con", that can ne translated by "bullshit".
For the #1, it should be "The morons dare everything! In fact, that's how you recognize they are".
For #8: "When we'll put the morons in orbit, you'll not finished turning around"
For #16: "If the bullshit is not reimbursed by health insurance, you'll end up completely broke".
For #23: "If the bullshit was measured, he would serve as yardstick!"

So many bad words, excuse my French.
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Hey, it's cool to have some insights from another Native French speaker, thanks a lot.
Actually, with one or two exceptions, these are not my translations but copy-paste from the English subtitles... and that's not saying much, I know most of the time, all the spicy meaning of a sentence can be lost in translation.

I think we have a situation with the word "con" which covers many layers of meaning in French, it's a very rich term that can mean idiot, moron, imbecile, schmuck, twat etc. For instance, you're totally right about "morons" for the 'orbit' line, that's exactly what Gabin meant, but for the first one, I'm inclined to think that it was the meaning of "fools", in the sense that 'one would be fool enough to dare everything', so I'll stick to "fool" but I'll add the "in fact".

You're right about "bulls--t", the problem is... when we know the original line, it's easier to get that meaning, but I'm afraid someone who's not familiar with the language might consider the meaning of "lies", I agree stupidity doesn't quite work but you might get the 'picture' better than "bulls--t", I'll have to find another word I guess.

Thanks for giving me more homework :)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Pascal and ElM,

The IMDb Editors prefer to minimize profanity in polls. Although the subtitle translations may be less accurate to the original French, the do keep the spirit of the original without needlessly making the quotations profane.
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Jessica, Champion

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"I ignore you, I sweep you off my memory, I wipe you out"
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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For your consideration: you may wish to change the title to:
Touché, Monsieur

I believe this title is more consistent with your poll. However, this is just a suggestion and not a mandate. I believe Touché is generally understood by English speakers.

The IMDb Editors consider exclamation marks ("!") to look too much like advertisement copy. They prefer not to include exclamation marks ("!") in poll titles.
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Funny that I didn't think of "Touché" although I had it in my intro :)
I'll get rid of the profanity (not that there is much to rewrite) thanks Dan!
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Thanks, ElM.

I've updated the title of this thread accordingly.

A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
Caskie Stinnett

French is a beautiful language. Even the mundane and profane sounds better in French. French has been the language of diplomacy. By extension:

A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell such a way in French that you actually look forward to the trip.
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Thanks Dan, 

I think it speaks for both French language and French cinema especially good old popular French cinema, the Nouvelle Vague brought some memorable movies but nothing in the same vein than the movies starring Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura, Bernard Blier and written by Michel Audiard, Henri Jeanson or Jacques Prévert.

Audiard is responsible for almost half the quotes here (and I had to be selective), the street-smart dialog-expert gave an indelible magic poetry to Parisian slang, making him a sort of Rimbaud of Vulgarity. Audiard is probably the most likely writer to be lost into translation, but I'm glad I could find some quotes whose English equivalents do justice to the original meaning.

This is a clip I made about memorable French quotes, some of them were listed for that poll.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Congratulations ElMaruecan82 on your 439th live poll! As of 15-Mar-2018 4:37 PM Pacific your polls have 886,589 or more votes, for an average of 2,020 votes per poll.

Touché, Monsieur
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