"Reduction" is the opposite of lengthening out :

- "Elle" is a weekly magazine : « Elle » est un hebdomadaire (instead of « Elle » est une revue hebdomadaire)

Reduction is far less frequent than lengthening out when translating from English into French.

More examples :

- his fellow students (AM 87) : ses condisciples (instead of ses camarades d'études)

- Thunder could be heard : On entendait le tonnerre (instead of On pouvait entendre le tonnerre)

- fourth place on the scale of what matters (AM 83) : la quatrième place sur l'échelle des priorités (instead of ce qui importe)

- High-tech industries can't singlehandedly lift the economy out of recession : Les industries de pointe ne peuvent, à elles seules, faire sortir l'économie de la crise (the English verb lift is not rendered in French, being unnecessary)

- You should not have made a fool of him before his friends : Tu n'aurais pas dû le ridiculiser devant ses amis (instead of le faire passer pour un idiot)

Reduction should not be mistaken for omission, a practice for which a heavy penalty may be inflicted in exam papers.

(*) Also called "concentration" or "dépouillement" in French.


Translate the following sentences using one or two words instead of several / Traduire les phrases suivantes en utilisant un ou deux mots là où il y en a plusieurs.

1/ the '90s will make the '60s pale into insignificance (AM 90) :

2/ windows in the houses are boarded up (AM 85) :

3/ I can still remember what he looked like when he was a baby :

4/ a female relative

5/ I can't make up my mind.


Pour imprimer, passer en mode paysage
To print, use landscape mode

© Christian Lassure - English For Techies

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