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The Cheating & Consolidating Method

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Senior Member
United States
Joined 4276 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 Message 97 of 136
08 August 2014 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
OK, I want to play! I made an attempt on the next 250 words in the story. I
translated quickly, literally, and without a dictionary. I did try and use the most
natural sounding English tense rather than trying to recreate the French tenses.

88% Automatic: 220 words
9% Decipherable (6 phrases; actual word count = 22)
3% Unclear (8 words)

I might have a lower comprehension level with other books; I've read two of Jean
Giono's novels, and so am already familiar with his style.

What's interesting is that there were some phrases, such as sa bergerie, dans une
ondulation du plateau
, where I have a perfectly good vision of what Giono is
describing, but where I stumbled over an English translation.

I included in my "decipherable" count the phrases where I had a general but not
specific idea of what the phrase meant; or where I had to read twice to catch the


C'était un beau jour de juin avec grand soleil, mais sur ces terres sans abri et
hautes dans le ciel, le vent soufflait avec une brutalité
insupportable. Ses grondements dans les carcasses des maisons
étaient ceux d'un fauve dérangé dans son repas.

It was a beautiful sunny June day, but on these lands without trees and hautes
(clouds?) in the sky, the wind blew with an unbearable brutality. Its groans in the
carcasses of the houses were those of a mad beast (?) disturbed during its meal.

Il me fallut lever le camp. A cinq heures de marche de là, je n'avais toujours pas
trouvé d'eau et rien ne pouvait me donner l'espoir d'en trouver. C'était partout la
même sécheresse, les mêmes herbes ligneuses. Il me sembla
apercevoir dans le lointain une petite silhouette noire, debout.
Je la pris pour le tronc d'un arbre solitaire. A tout hasard, je
me dirigeai vers elle. C'était un berger. Une trentaine de moutons couchés sur la terre
brûlante se reposaient près de lui.

It was necessary that I break camp. Five hours walk from there, I had still not found
water and nothing was giving me the hope of finding any. Everywhere was the same
dryness, the same herbs ligneuses. I seemed to perceive in the distance a small
black silhouette, debout. I took it for the trunk of a solitary tree. Randomly,
I changed my course towards it. It was a shepherd. About thirty sheep, lying on the
brutal earth, rested close to him.

Il me fit boire à sa gourde et, un peu plus tard, il me conduisit à sa bergerie,
dans une ondulation du plateau. Il tirait son eau - excellente - d'un
trou naturel, très profond, au-dessus duquel il avait installé
un treuil rudimentaire.

He had me drink from his gourd and, a little later, he led me to his bergerie
(shepherd’s house?), in an ondulation on the plateau. He drew some water – excellent –
from a natural trou, very deep, above which he had installed a rudimentary

Cet homme parlait peu. C'est le fait des solitaires, mais
on le sentait sûr de lui et confiant dans cette
. C'était insolite dans ce pays dépouillé de
tout. Il n'habitait pas une cabane mais une vraie maison en pierre où l'on voyait très
bien comment son travail personnel avait rapiécé la ruine qu'il
avait trouvé là à son arrivée. Son toit était solide et étanche. Le vent qui le
frappait faisait sur les tuiles le bruit de la mer sur les

The man spoke little. It is the nature of solitary men, but one feels sure of him, and
comfortable in that assurance. It is insolite (not respectable? rude?) in that
land denatured of everything. He was not living in a cabin but in an actual stone house
where one saw very well how his own work had rapiécé (repaired?) the ruin that
he had found on his arrival. The roof was solid and étanche. The wind which blew
against it made against the tuiles (tiles?) the sound of the ocean on the sand.


I'm open to corrections if I missed anything egregious!   

Edited by kanewai on 08 August 2014 at 2:39am

3 persons have voted this message useful


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