3

Taken from a transcript of an RFI podcast, I cannot make any sense out of the sentence starting with lequel :

Un vieil homme explique, terrifié, que ces étrangers sont venus pour "palabrer", relate Le Parisien Dimanche.
Lequel journal, photos et infographies à l’appui, raconte « la traque des djihadistes au Sahel », la « chaleur suffocante (qui) use ces fantassins du 16e bataillon de chasseurs à pied » entre Mali, Niger et Burkina.

As best I can understand, in pieces, it says:

With the support of the paper, pictures, and computer graphics, tells "the hunt for jihadists in Sahel," the "suffocating heat which these infantrymen from the 16th foot batallion use" between Mali, Niger, and Burkina.

Now that's obviously gibberish. But I cannot figure this one out. I don't even know what the grammatical subject is.

  • 1
    For the use of lequel the answer is here (and more could be found). Lequel represents the paper that's just been named at the end of the previous sentence i.e. Le Parisien Dimanche. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Nov 18 at 7:21
8

Not a native speaker of French, but I see lequel as used in your question more as a "relative adjective" than as a "relative pronoun."

In both English and French, relative adjectives precede the noun they modify to indicate a relationship with a previously mentioned or suggested noun, unlike relative pronouns, which serve as outright replacements for previously mentioned nouns.
Relative adjectives are found primarily in legal and administrative contexts, again in both languages.

Adjectifs relatifs

Définition

L’adjectif relatif détermine le nom en indiquant que l’on met la proposition qui suit en relation avec ce même nom déjà exprimé ou suggéré précédemment dans la phrase. Il appartient à la classe des déterminants du nom et appartient au groupe nominal. Il est également nommé déterminant relatif.

Cette offre est valable dix jours francs à compter de la date de signature des présentes passé lequel délai elle ne sera plus valide. Ils verseront la somme de vingt mille euros, laquelle somme portera intérêt au taux de 5 pour cent l’an.

Notons que les adjectifs relatifs sont d’un emploi vieilli et donc ne sont plus guère en usage que dans la langue administrative et juridique.

(from adjectifs.com)

Suggested interpretation of the text in question:

This same newspaper, with supporting photos and graphics, tells of "the hunt for jihadists in the Sahel", [and] the "suffocating heat that exhausts these infantrymen from the 16th foot batallion" between Mali, Niger, and Burkina.

Other possible translations for the bolded words include "Said" "This very" "This" "That same" etc.

  • 1
    Oui effectivement! Girodet vous donne raison... et je suis sans détour. Et avec gratitude. Ma contrib deleted and +1 pour vous! – aCOSwt Nov 18 at 15:31
  • 1
    I'm going to lightly edit this because translating it as "Which newspaper" in this context is absolutely not valid English, dated or otherwise. However I do understand what it means now. Thanks. – temporary_user_name Nov 18 at 18:33
  • 1
    @temporary_user_name Thanks! My "Which [aforementioned] ..." might have made sense if it had been part of the preceding sentence (ie, separated by a comma or maybe ellipses), With it starting the second sentence as it does, however, you are correct about its validity and I like your edit. (Now I'm even wondering if the French version wouldn't read smoother if these two sentences were combined into one!) – Papa Poule Nov 18 at 19:16
  • 1
    @temporary_user_name As for the verb use, yes, that's how I interpreted that part, with the heat wearing the infantrymen down in the "épuiser/affaiblir" sense of that verb in mind (and not its "utiliser" one), but if the soldiers were using the heat to their advantage to exhaust those being hunted (as your attempt might seem to imply), then I probably got it "bass ackwards" (which wouldn't/won't be the first or last time)! – Papa Poule Nov 18 at 19:34
  • 1
    No I think you're almost certainly right. I was unaware of that meaning of the verb. – temporary_user_name Nov 18 at 21:15
3

I'm a native french speaker. In this sentence, "lequel" is an adjective, it's related to "journal", emphasizing the word. This turn of phrase is quite dated. You can verify this on this dictionnary : https://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/lequel , part II of the article.

Thus, "lequel journal" means "this very newspaper".

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.