Forum Rocket French French Vocab L'artiste n'acquiesce pas: il se démultiplie.

L'artiste n'acquiesce pas: il se démultiplie.

VitN

VitN

Salut tout le monde,

The sentence above drives me crazy for several days: I have known the words before, but the sentence made no sense.  Consulted a very good dictionary, internet, still … no sensible translation.  

Can anyone shed the light?

Merci,

Vit Novak

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour Vit,

Once again, we've got a great sentence that is difficult to translate out of context.

I'm going to give it a go by translating it several times: 1st literally, etymologically and then finally to perhaps an understandable version in English.

 

L'artiste n'acquiesce pas: il se démultiplie.

#1 The artiste doesn't acquiesce: he increases himself.

#2 The artiste doesn't show concession: he extends or multiplies himself.

With those two translations side-by-side I think we could assume that an apt translation might be:

#3 The artiste doesn't back down (from a challenge): he rises to it / extends himself to achieve it.

 

Again, without context I am taking a wild stab in the dark, but that is how I would interpret it. 

 

I hope this helps,

 

   -   Mitchell

VitN

VitN

Salut Mitchell,

I believe that I grasp the thought behind the sentence:

The artist are never satisfied with themselves, they strive for more.

By the way, this is the closing sentence at the end of the book dedicated to one fine actrice.

The obstacle in deciphering it was the word démultiplie.  That had the connotation -for me- of shifting down, slowing down.

Merci beaucoup,

Vit Novak

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Mitchell-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Bonjour Vit,

 

Aha, I see. Well, you're not wrong about the meaning of the word démultiplier.

In a mechanical it does mean “to slow something down with force”. In a non-mechanical sense, it means “to increase the power/effect of something by leveraging different means”. When we make the verb reflexive (se démultiplier), then we get the sense that the subject is using more resources/effort to do something.

We can also break the verb down a little more (if it helps). 

Multiplier - simply means to multiply, obvious enough.

Se multiplier - means “to reproduce” in its most basic sense. However, it also carries the figurative meaning of “to undertake many activities simultaneously, seemingly being everywhere at once, used when talking about someone very active”.

Dé- as a prefix can have several meanings:

  1. Used to indicate the reverse meaning of the verb (not applicable in this case),
  2. Used to indicate the removal of something (not applicable in this case either),
  3. Used to reinforce the meaning of the verb (this is the one!)

If we take the third definition of the prefix dé- and add it to se multiplier then we understand the verb as describing someone who is all over something (an activity, an idea, a job etc.) and is over-invested in whatever the task happens to be.

I hope the breakdown helps,

   -   Mitchell

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