dessus de table

English translation: under the table

18:33 Nov 6, 2019
French to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / colloquial expression
French term or phrase: dessus de table
From a deposition about some banking/money laundering schemes, the following question:

"Étiez-vous au courant que XXX recevaient des pots de vins/dessus de table pour leur rôle dans....?

Could this be a typo in the process of taking a deposition? Which is my feeling. Or is this an expression I'm unaware of? Meaning: "openly taking bribes" or something of the like. The former is my guess, but maybe someone out there has a different take.
Timothy Rake
United States
Local time: 17:56
English translation:under the table
Explanation:
The person who took note of the recording confused dessus for dessous. Your hunch is correct.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2019-11-06 23:09:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Fortunately the asker and the judges have been watching.
Selected response from:

Ali Sharifi
United States
Local time: 20:56
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +3under the table
Ali Sharifi
4 +3bribe
Peter Field
3 +2payoff
Stephanie Benoist
3backhander
Jane F
3 -2kickback
Wendy Streitparth


Discussion entries: 9





  

Answers


22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
bribe


Explanation:
The expressions are synonymous.

Example sentence(s):
  • (...) les entreprises déterminées à ne pas verser des dessous-de-table ou incapables de le faire.

    https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/dessous_de_table/24557
    https://www.linguee.com/french-english/translation/un+dessous+de+table.html
Peter Field
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:56
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Elisabeth Richard
1 hr

agree  writeaway
1 hr

agree  Eliza Hall: Yes, but that's what pots-de-vin means, so we need a synonym for the second expression.
1 hr
  -> 'Backhander'?

disagree  Ali Sharifi: Bribe means passing money under the table but it is not equivalent of under the table, it moves away from the expression.
1 hr

agree  Michael J.H. Davies: I must agree with those who have suggested it is a typo and should have been 'dessous de table'. It is the only possibility that is logical.
13 hrs

agree  Cyril Tollari: non-hyphenated dessous de table = bribe
1 day 3 hrs

disagree  Daryo: too wide // no - there are tens / hundreds OTHER methods for giving bribes "des dessous-de-table" is only one of them
1 day 15 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
under the table


Explanation:
The person who took note of the recording confused dessus for dessous. Your hunch is correct.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2019-11-06 23:09:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Fortunately the asker and the judges have been watching.

Ali Sharifi
United States
Local time: 20:56
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in Farsi (Persian)Farsi (Persian)
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eliza Hall: Under-the-table PAYMENTS, yes. (The VF should say dessous, not dessus).
2 hrs
  -> Thank you Ms. Hall.

disagree  writeaway: never knew it was used as a noun. an under the table payment would work. not under the table on its own. call this a kind disagree/I am sure. So if you want a disagree, here it is
3 hrs
  -> Why don't you disagree? You are not sure.

agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: Under-the-table payments, yes. I agree with Eliza.
18 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Cyril Tollari: under-the-table payments
1 day 4 hrs
  -> Thank you

agree  Daryo: exactly "under-the-table payments"
1 day 16 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
payoff


Explanation:
Perhaps this synonym for bribe? because bribe feels so inherently linked to "pot de vin" (so translation would read "bribes/payoffs")

Stephanie Benoist
France
Local time: 02:56
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Ali Sharifi: Payoff is like bribe, they both could pass under the table but neither is under the table which the French expression.
7 mins

agree  Jacob Brennan: I think you're right, Stephanie. 'Under the table payments' sounds more like a euphemism in English, a deposition needs to be more to the point.
8 hrs
  -> thank you:)

agree  Wendy Streitparth
8 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  Mark Harris
10 hrs
  -> thanks!

neutral  Daryo: a "payoff" could also be a bribe - but it's not the main meaning - not the first one that springs to mind - why use an ambiguous term when it's not necessary? https://www.thefreedictionary.com/payoff
1 day 9 hrs
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -2
kickback


Explanation:
Another possibility

Wendy Streitparth
Germany
Local time: 02:56
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Ali Sharifi: kickback is like bribe, not under the table.
12 hrs
  -> So are you suggesting that bribes and kickbacks are officially made?

disagree  Daryo: "kickbacks" often ARE made openly through apparently "legitimate" transactions.
1 day 50 mins
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2 days 12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
backhander


Explanation:
Used in UK English to mean a bribe


    https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/anglais-francais/backhander/564140
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/backhander
Jane F
France
Local time: 02:56
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 58
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