tel un figurant paumé.

English translation: like a by stander at a loss

15:05 Dec 27, 2018
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
French term or phrase: tel un figurant paumé.
Adriana était à portée de mains et lui impuissant, tel un figurant paumé.

How's this? "He was just a frightened stand-in."
Frank Gerace
United States
Local time: 21:39
English translation:like a by stander at a loss
Explanation:
suggestion
Selected response from:

Verginia Ophof
Belize
Local time: 20:39
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3like a by stander at a loss
Verginia Ophof
4standing around / there some kind of helpless extra, a bit lost
Tony M


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
tel un figurant paumé
standing around / there some kind of helpless extra, a bit lost


Explanation:
I think you need to treat the sentence as a whole, and make something like this out of it.
I'm quite sure 'stand-in' is wrong — it sounds as thought 'he' was some kind of person in some way not directly involved in what was happening, or at least unable to do anything about it...
You may find it easiest to get away completely from the cinematic notion of an extra, which is why in my discussion post I suggested possibly something like 'bystander'.
Presumably, your knowledge of the wider context will enable you to choose the most approproate terms.

Tony M
France
Local time: 03:39
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 128
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
like a by stander at a loss


Explanation:
suggestion

Verginia Ophof
Belize
Local time: 20:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: bystander -een woord in het engels
4 hrs
  -> sorry writeaway :(

agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: I like "at a loss" for "paumé" here. I'd not have thought of "bystander" here for "figurant" (extra, stand-in, etc.), it might work really well. It could give the asker food for thought!
4 hrs
  -> Thank you Nikki !

agree  Elisabeth Gootjes: Agree w/ you and w/ writeaway. Gelukkig nieuwjaar!
18 hrs
  -> Thank you Elisabeth

agree  Tony M: I'm glad you liked my suggestion of 'bystander' — and I like your 'at a loss', which helps render the 'impuissant'.
1 day 17 hrs
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