discussion de bistrot

English translation: pub-talk

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:discussion de bistrot
English translation:pub-talk
Entered by: B D Finch

08:35 Oct 12, 2012
French to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.
French term or phrase: discussion de bistrot
I'm editing a chapter from a book on the teaching of history, which has been translated from French to English, and the author has some problems with the English translation. Unfortunately I don't have the original French, only the translation.

In the sentence below, his issue is with "bistro discussions." I imagine that it's "discussions de bistrot" in French, though I can't be sure. I've googled the term in English and it definitely seems to exist, otherwise I could perhaps replace it by "café discussions" or something like that. But not sure what to put, since I've been reading up on "discussions de bistrot" it seems first of all pretty cultural, so hard to translate. And secondly, somewhat derogatory in the French context - ie. not very educated, opinions not based on facts, etc. Though in other contexts it seems to be a friendly and open concept. But it seems like the author (an academic) is using the term in it's more negative sense.

Here is the original (translated) sentence:
"The result is that if bistro discussions – regarding what teaching, and learning in general, should be – are already frequent and determined, they are much more so when it is a question of history and transmission of the past."

Any suggestions on what to replace bisto discussions with that would make sense to English speakers?

Thanks!
Dianajoy
France
Local time: 21:49
pub-talk
Explanation:
For UK & Ireland.

"Pub-talk, the most popular activity in all pubs, is a native dialect with its own distinctive grammar. There are two types of pub-talk. The first type, which we may call ‘choreographed pub-talk’, may initially sound remarkably like ordinary conversation, but the patient eavesdropper will soon detect recurring patterns and rhythms. The second type, ‘coded pub-talk’, will be utterly incomprehensible to anyone who is not a regular in that particular pub. "
http://pubs.hampshire-dir.co.uk/PubTalk.aspx




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Note added at 1 hr (2012-10-12 10:22:19 GMT)
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"Pub-talk moves in a mysterious way - mostly in apparently random sideways leaps. A remark about the weather triggers a prediction as to which horse will win the big race at Cheltenham, which triggers an argument about the merits of the National Lottery, which leads to a discussion of the latest political scandal, which provokes some banter about the sexual prowess of one of the regulars involved in the discussion, which is interrupted by another regular demanding assistance with a crossword clue, one element of which leads to a comment about a recent fatal traffic accident in the neighbourhood, which somehow turns into a discussion about the barman’s new haircut and so on. There is a vague logic in some of the connections, but most changes of subject are triggered by participants ‘free-associating’ with a random word or phrase. "
Selected response from:

B D Finch
France
Local time: 21:49
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2conventional wisdom
John Holland
3 +3pub-talk
B D Finch
4 +1public opinion
philgoddard
4 +1bar stool discussion
Cyril B.
3 +1bar room talk
Colin Morley (X)
3grassroot/idle chatter
Wolf Draeger
3small talk
Didier Fourcot


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
small talk


Explanation:
"Discussions de la pluie et du beau temps" is a bit less pejorative than "propos de comptoir" and can happen in various other contexts than the café or bistro: in train, waiting rooms, shops...
General discussions without prior reflexion or documentation, held between people with no specific knowledge of the subject

Didier Fourcot
Local time: 21:49
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
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30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
bar stool discussion


Explanation:
Not an armchair discussion! :)
...or 'bar conversation' maybe

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 37 mins (2012-10-12 09:13:09 GMT)
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"There will be many a bar stool discussion all over the country this weekend regurgitating all the information that has been consumed over the week from the papers, radio debates"
http://theredquarter.blogspot.com/2012/09/too-simplistic-to-...

One important factor of a 'discussion de bistrot' is the consumption of alcohol: said discussion may make some sense early on, but it usually ends in some slurry mumbo-jumbo... or a fight :))

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 42 mins (2012-10-12 09:17:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

'barber shop discussion' might actually be what you're looking for

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 44 mins (2012-10-12 09:20:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"And much of the barber shop discussion you’ve heard is true: Marciano beat Joe Louis in 1951, that was Louis’ last fight and Rocky did finish his career undefeated."
http://www.ea.com/uk/fight-night/blog/fight-night-champion-r...

Cyril B.
France
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Di Penney: although I slightly prefer 'bar room' as in 'bar room experts'
36 mins
  -> Thank you! 'bar room discussion', that's the one
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
bar room talk


Explanation:
Loose tittle-tattle and rumours - everyone having their own two penn'orth to add to a popular topic.


    Reference: http://www.donahuelawfirm.com/2009/12/bar-room-talk/
Colin Morley (X)
France
Local time: 21:49
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sanchia Holder
5 days
  -> Thanks
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
pub-talk


Explanation:
For UK & Ireland.

"Pub-talk, the most popular activity in all pubs, is a native dialect with its own distinctive grammar. There are two types of pub-talk. The first type, which we may call ‘choreographed pub-talk’, may initially sound remarkably like ordinary conversation, but the patient eavesdropper will soon detect recurring patterns and rhythms. The second type, ‘coded pub-talk’, will be utterly incomprehensible to anyone who is not a regular in that particular pub. "
http://pubs.hampshire-dir.co.uk/PubTalk.aspx




--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2012-10-12 10:22:19 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"Pub-talk moves in a mysterious way - mostly in apparently random sideways leaps. A remark about the weather triggers a prediction as to which horse will win the big race at Cheltenham, which triggers an argument about the merits of the National Lottery, which leads to a discussion of the latest political scandal, which provokes some banter about the sexual prowess of one of the regulars involved in the discussion, which is interrupted by another regular demanding assistance with a crossword clue, one element of which leads to a comment about a recent fatal traffic accident in the neighbourhood, which somehow turns into a discussion about the barman’s new haircut and so on. There is a vague logic in some of the connections, but most changes of subject are triggered by participants ‘free-associating’ with a random word or phrase. "

B D Finch
France
Local time: 21:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 78
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Colin Morley (X): Pub talk is good. And I love the link. Brought up in Hampshire and a frequenter of many pubs there I was taken back in time....
4 hrs
  -> Thanks Colin. I thought that the link was delightful. One of those institutions really lacking in France.

agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne
10 hrs
  -> Thanks Nikki

agree  lydiar: Although I'm not sure I agree with your explanation. Pub talk can mean ill-informed discussions (often topical) that take place in pubs, usually sports related or politics-often triggered by the news in tabloid papers that people have an opinion on.
2 days 14 hrs
  -> Thanks lydiar. It wasn't really an explanation. It's a tongue-in-cheek introduction to British pubs for foreigners that I thought worth sharing.
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
conventional wisdom


Explanation:
My guess is that the French is "discussions du comptoir" or "café du commerce," both of which are pejorative terms:
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=169516
https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/café_du_commerce

And here's Wikipedia on "conventional wisdom":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_wisdom
"Conventional wisdom is the body of ideas or explanations generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. Such ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined. Unqualified societal discourse preserves the status quo."


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2012-10-12 12:38:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here are some examples of how "conventional wisdom" could be used:
"Conventional wisdom would have it that..."
https://www.google.com/search?q="conventional wisdom would h...

So for the sentence to be translated, maybe something like the following would work as a beginning:
"Thus, conventional wisdom would have it that we already know everything about what teaching and learning should entail...."

Or for another idea:
"Conventional wisdom may insist that there is nothing more to be said about what teaching and learning mean or should mean...."

John Holland
France
Local time: 21:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Catherine De Crignis: perhaps 'unquestionned conventional wisdom' since otherwise it is not necessarily deemed derogatory by itself (unlike "conversations de comptoir")
19 mins
  -> Thanks! The Wikipedia entry does say the term is used "more often pejoratively," but I definitely agree that the negative element ought to be drawn out in the translation.

neutral  Colin Morley (X): For me the concept is one of "loose" talk e.g. from someone the older generation may have described as "barrack room lawyer"
1 hr

agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: With more context, this may turn out to be an excellent choice, even with a tongue-in-cheek possibility.
11 hrs
  -> Thanks!
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
public opinion


Explanation:
I think it's basically saying that people in the street have strong views about what education should be, but even more firmly held opinions about the teaching of history. I don't think it has derogatory connotations as you suggest.

I'm certain that the French is "discussion de bistrot". It gets lots of Google hits, and it just means people sitting around talking - in fact it's often used in reference to internet forums.

Example sentence(s):
  • Sujet parfait pour une discussion de bistrot, la MOTO GP!! ... Qui suit? Vous êtes pour qui ? Pronostiques et plus encore.

    Reference: http://mt03.forumgratuit.org/t682-le-forum-moto-gp
philgoddard
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 38

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Wolf Draeger: Or popular.
8 hrs
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
grassroot/idle chatter


Explanation:
Two more options, though "grassroot" has become overly politicized nowadays and "idle" may diverge too far from the FR.

Wolf Draeger
South Africa
Local time: 21:49
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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