Mustering all her strength, she forced out the words. -- {Context: She is on her deathbed}

In translating this sentence into French, I'm looking for the right word that captures the nuance of "forcing out (the words)". I wonder if the verb "cracher" has a negative connotation?

Rassemblant toutes ses forces, elle a finalement craché une poignée de mots.

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    "Cracher" doesn't really fit here, it's something you let out with difficulty not because it's hard to speak but because you're reluctant to say it, you're obligated to say it or something. – Teleporting Goat Dec 11 '17 at 21:40

Cracher is not always negative. (Cracher sur qqch/qqn is always negative, it means “denigrate”.) In this context, it expresses reluctance to speak (not difficulty to speak). It's less strong than “she spat out the words”, closer to “forced out the words”.

Cracher is comprehensible but not necessarily what I would use in this sentence. In this sense, it's mainly used in the expression “cracher le morceau“, which means to reveal a secret (with no implication of negativity, e.g. you can use it to say someone revealed the nature of a surprise gift). To express reluctance to speak, you can use the expression “du bout des lèvres”, which implies a mumbled tone. Grammatically, this requires expressing what is said to some extent.

Elle finit par avouer du bout des lèvres qu'elle avait eu tort.

To express difficulty to speak, I would tend to use the generic word dire and qualify it with a complement. But there are many ways to say this, depending on the context and on the mood you want to set.

Rassemblant toutes ses forces, elle finit par dire quelques mots d'une voix haletante.

  • Hi. I'm in the middle of translating an excerpt of a novel, and the context is: She is on her deathbed. Does this affect your answer somehow? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Dec 10 '17 at 5:50
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    It doesn't affect the answer in any way. Cracher is negative, as in, the words she is saying are negative. The usage isn't influenced by the health of the person. If that woman was, on her deathbed, trying to curse someone (death curse!) you might be able to use cracher. But here, the fact that she's having difficulties enunciating cannot be rendered with cracher... – dda Dec 10 '17 at 8:34
  • @Alone-zee: To me it does make a difference. In this context, the use of cracher is not similar to the one in “cracher le morceau” (some kind mental release) anymore, but similar to the one in “cracher du sang” (physical release). Without knowing the context I'd agree with Gilles here that using cracher sounds odd. Knowing it makes it just about right (at least for me). – Stéphane Gimenez Dec 13 '17 at 0:11

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