3

I'd like to know how to translate the word "pourtant" in English.

For instance,

  1. Mon dossier a été refusé. Pourtant j'avais tout fait pour être accepté à l'université de Princeton.
  2. Je ne comprends pas... Il y a plein de monde à la piscine, mais pourtant le parking est vide.
  3. J'ai pensé que le fromage bleu n'était pas bon en bouche dû à son odeur désagréable. Pourtant quand j'en ai mangé une bouché, j'ai trouvé ce fromage excellent.

How does this work?

  • Asking how to translate a word into English is not a question about the French Language. A question you could ask here is " Am I using the word pourtant properly in those sentences?" If your question is about how to say pourtant in English then you're in the wrong palce. – None Jul 16 '16 at 13:11
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it concerns the translation of a French word into English (and not the other way around). – Dimitris Jan 10 at 15:57
3

Pourtant introduces a contradiction, it's equivalent to "yet" or "however."

  • So we could say "Yet I had everything to be accepted to Princeton University. ", am I right? – Law Jul 14 '16 at 0:47
  • Yes, it implies "However, I had done everything (possible) in order to be accepted at Princeton". – Anupama G Jul 14 '16 at 8:25
3

Your third sentence is the best example of how the word works.

J'ai pensé que le fromage bleu n'était pas bon en bouche dû à son odeur désagréable. Pourtant quand j'en ai mangé une bouchée, j'ai trouvé ce fromage excellent.

I had thought that blue cheese wouldn't taste good due to its disagreeable smell. However, when I had a bite, I found it great.

Similarly,

Je ne comprends pas... Il y a plein de monde à la piscine, mais pourtant le stationnement est vide.

I don't understand - the pool is full of people, however, the parking space is empty!

2

the first sentence can be used like "even"

..., even though I had made all to be accepted

the second and third can be used like "however"

..., however the parking....

..., however when I tasted...

pourtant =~ cependant

0

I was thinking about the contrastive/contradictory adverbs "yet" and "however", and their equivalents in French "pourtant" and "cependant".

"Yet" and "however" to me don't seem quite the same. I think that they differ in this way: "however" indicates contrast/contradiction but with a stronger connotation of negativity, like a sense that the contradiction is considered unfortunate or undesirable in some way. "Yet" indicates contradiction as well, but with less of a negative connotation. The connotation may be more of a neutral tone, or even light or humorous irony.

As for the French equivalents: "cependant" and "pourtant", this distinction may also exist, but since I am not fluent in French, I can't say for certain. My guess is that "cependant" is also the contrastive adverb with a stronger connotation of negativity and "pourtant" has less of a negative connotation and is more neutral.

0

In French, 'pourtant', 'cependant' and 'néanmoins' have close meanings (I don't know their differences, by the way).

I believe that 'yet' and 'however' are right translations. I think 'yet' is colloquial, while 'however' is more formal.

I would probably say 'yet', but write 'however'.

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