Take the 2-minute tour ×
French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire:

Bref, si ser Waymar n’était frère juré de la Garde de Nuit que depuis moins d’un an, nul du moins ne pouvait lui reprocher de ne s’être point apprêté en vue de sa vocation.

Je le traduis comme

In short, if ser Waymar was a sworn brother of the Night Guard for less than a year, no one could reprimand him of not being ready given his assignment.

Mais je dois avoir tort parce que ça n'a aucun sens. Il y a quelque chose de base que je ne comprends pas dans cette phrase.

Aidez-moi svp.

share|improve this question
    
Read the original, the quality of the translation has been questioned, and this citation hints that it is probably rightly so. –  Un francophone Feb 10 at 14:08
    
I have no problems reading the original, but my purpose is to learn the French language and reading interesting books (which are not very difficult) is one side of it. My knowledge of the contemporary French literature is limited, especially when it comes to my favorite domain - fantasy, sci-fi, stuff like Hunger Games or Harry Potter. I would not venture reading anything heavier given my current French level. But I welcome any advices. –  mark Feb 10 at 15:02
    
Fantasy, young adult: Pierre Bottero (but good enough that I appreciated the reading when I was still filtering out books for my oldest), adult (and more difficult stylistically) Jean-Philippe Jaworski, Justine Niogret (perhaps too difficult depending on your level), scifi: Pierre Bordage. –  Un francophone Feb 10 at 15:42
    
@Unfrancophone - Un grand merci pour votre liste. –  mark Feb 10 at 20:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

That likely means:

No one could blame him for not being properly attired for his career

Especially as this sentence is following that one:

..., il portait une delicate et souple cotte de mailles noire qui miroitait doucement par-dessus de coquets entrelacs de laine noire et de cuir bouilli.

Here is "Apprêter" definition from the TLFi

APPRÊTER, verbe trans.
I. Emploi trans. Préparer.
A. [Le compl. désigne une pers., ou un de ses attributs] Préparer
attentivement en vue d'une décision, d'un événement imminent;
spéc., arranger soigneusement la toilette de quelqu'un :
    1. Le dimanche, maman m'apprêtait pour aller à la messe. J'avais
       de très beaux gants mais des souliers qui me blessaient.
       CHARDONNE, Romanesques, 1937, p. 123.

Edit: This text is actually a translation from Georges R.R Martin "Games of Thrones". The original text is:

He wore black leather boots, black woolen pants, black moleskin gloves, and a fine supple coat of gleaming black ringmail over layers of black wool and boiled leather. Ser Waymar had been a Sworn Brother of the Night’s Watch for less than half a year, but no one could say he had not prepared for his vocation. At least insofar as his wardrobe was concerned.

share|improve this answer
    
Oh, votre traduction fait beaucoup plus sens. Merci bien. –  mark Feb 10 at 9:59
    
Attired is for clothing. I don't think it is right here. –  Un francophone Feb 10 at 10:17
    
@Unfrancophone Attired is indeed for clothing and does certainly make sense here. You should have done some research about the context before voting down. Answer edited to clarify. –  jlliagre Feb 10 at 11:01
1  
If you do something en vue de votre vocation, you do it before the calling, not one year after. In that context, the sentence has just to be rewritten. –  Un francophone Feb 10 at 14:06
1  
Blame him for is not quite the right verb for the translation. I think we want complain here: "No one could complain that Waymar wasn't properly attired". "No one could blame him for [...]" would mean that Waymar was in fact NOT properly attired, but it wasn't his fault (the "can't blame him" part). –  Circeus Feb 10 at 14:18

"s'apprêter" is to make oneself ready (prêt). So my suggestion would be something along to line:

No one could blame him for not having himself made ready for his calling.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.