2

We were having a conversation in German, and I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in French:

Und dennoch! Im Luxus zu schwelgen, so wie es manche von euch tun, das können wir uns hier nicht leisten.

In German, "in etwas schwelgen" and "sich etwas leisten" have similar meanings to each other: "indulge in something" and "treat yourself to something" respectively. But there is nothing unidiomatic about using them both in the same sentence like this.

This German sentence literally translates as something like:

{Literally}: Se complaire dans le luxe comme tes fainéants de camarades, c'est quelque chose / un luxe qu'on ne peux pas se permettre.

The thing is that in French, this kind of redundancy often turns out to be undesirable. So I'm wondering if the following phrasing (more naturally translated) is still seen as repetitive and redundant?

{Naturally}: Attention, ne va pas croire qu'on va pouvoir se permettre de se complaire dans le luxe comme tes fainéants de camarades.

Should I drop "se permettre", keeping only "se complaire"?

{Naturally}: Attention, ne va pas croire qu'on va pouvoir se complaire dans le luxe comme tes fainéants de camarades.

How is this idea commonly/idiomatically expressed in French?

1

pouvoir se permettre de se complaire, three verbs in a row, two of them pronominal, I would avoid as perhaps a bit heavy-footed. Your first translation is fine provided you don't use luxe twice:

  • Se complaire dans le luxe comme tes fainéants de camarades, c'est quelque chose qu'on ne peut pas se permettre.

or

  • Se complaire dans le luxe comme tes fainéants de camarades, on ne peut pas se le permettre.

But how do you get from manche von euch to tes fainéants de camarades ?!

  • Oh, I just shifted the tone from the insinuating, anonymous-ish "manche von euch" to the more direct, pejorative "tes fainéants de camarades". :P – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jun 30 at 7:48
  • 1
    Now, now! Quite some liberties you're taking with the original! – petitrien Jun 30 at 8:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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