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(I am reading an article, the original in English, and the translation in French)

I don't understand what "à l'autre" means. I notice that the original in English doesn't seem to have whatever "à l'autre" means:

Je ne dormais pas du week-end, j'allais d'une "sex party" à l'autre, et ensuite je me sentais comme de la merde jusqu'au mercredi.

I would stay up all weekend and go to these sex parties and then feel like shit until Wednesday.


The following outline my thought process for figuring out what this means:

  • First, I made my best guess for the literal translation of the French. It is this: "I wouldn't sleep the weekend, I would go to a sex party [à l'autre], [...] ".

  • I tried looking up "à l'autre" in wordreference, but it comes up empty. I tried looking up "autre" in wordreference, hoping that I could find a noun there so I could guess what "l'autre" means. The best entries I found were "l'autre (pronoun) " which means "the other" or "the other one", and "l'autre (pronoun)" which means "this guy / some guy" or "some random".

  • So, my best guess for "sex party à l'autre" would be "sex party (in the manner of) the other one" (???), or "some random sex party". The first option doesn't really make sense, and the second option doesn't really match up with the original English (ie, the original English has "these sex parties", which means something a little different than "some random sex parties").

Questions:

  1. What does "à l'autre" mean in this context?
  2. Is my thought process a good start? Or was a different thought process necessary to figure this out by myself?
  3. Was wordreference in fact enough for me to figure this out? What other strategies could I have used to figure this out by myself (or to confirm any conclusion that I might have come up with through using wordreference)?
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It is the second part of the expression de l'un à l'autre (from one to the other), here from a sex party to another, i.e. On the weekends, he wasn't doing anything but going to multiple sex parties, one after the other (or better: from one to the next says Stéphane) .

TLFi

Autre
...
B.− [Ne pouvant pas être suivi de que compar., mais susceptible d'être empl. en corrélation avec la prép. ou à valeur exclusive] La seconde partie est une série close à l'intérieur d'un ensemble à deux termes.
...
2. [Empl. conjointement avec l'un; toujours sous la forme du pron.]
...
c) L'un(e) + prép. + l'autre. L'une après l'autre, courir de l'un à l'autre, animés l'un contre l'autre, se précipitant les uns sur les autres, être faits l'un pour l'autre, etc.

  • I wonder if this is the kind of expression that is impossible for me to figure out through online dictionaries etc, unless I have heard the expression before? And even if I vaguely know that "de l'un à l'autre" is an expression, wordreference doesn't seem to recognize it (nor does it recognize l'un à l'autre"), so I wonder what other dictionaries (or other online references) could give me information about this expression? – silph Jan 30 at 17:05
  • Reference added. – jlliagre Jan 30 at 17:14
  • The meaning is usualy understood as “from one to the next” in such contexts. – Stéphane Gimenez Jan 30 at 18:24
2

In that case, j'allais d'une "sex party" à l'autre means going from one "sex party" to others.

You can understand it as going to a "sex party", then to another, then to (not specified how) many else

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