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Thread: Bush fighting

  1. #1
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    Default Bush fighting

    Hello there.

    I'm trying to translate "Wives & Daughters" by Elizabeth Gaskell and I'm not quite sure what she meant by the title of one of the chapters: Bush fighting.


    I'd appreciate if someone kindly explains the meaning of the term.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bush fighting

    Can I just be absolutely sure, at the risk of insulting you, that you know what 'the Australian bush' is? You must if you're well into translating a book on Australia.
    What is the chapter about? - ordinary contemporary people brawling in some outback pub and the bush ethics surrounding such fights; or the period of the bushranger and conflict with the police; or the shearers' strike and the fights that broke out between strikers and 'scabs' brought in from the cities.??

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    Default Re: Bush fighting

    Australian bush? I guess it means a land far from a settlement?

    Well, it is the chapter 29 of the book I mentioned, and it is about a lady, who all of a sudden changes her mind in allowing more visits from the younger son of a wealthy family despite the fact that she has previously preferred the eldest son for visiting her daughter and step-daughter. Later in some other chapter we find out she knew that the eldest son had not much time to live.

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    Default Re: Bush fighting

    Does this cause conflict/ arguments (perhaps via correspondence) between herself and the relatives in the city, but that she holds her ground and insists having it her way? I can't work out what the 'fighting' part is referring to.

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    Default Re: Bush fighting

    The problem is, this did cause a conflict between that woman and the younger son in the previous chapter, as she forbid him to come so early in the morning by crossness; but no apparent fight goes on during this chapter, she out of blue just changes her mind and writes to him to pays them visits as he used to do.

    The best I could come up with goes along "Arguments," but I'm not sure if I've pegged it as I should have.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bush fighting

    The problem is, this did cause a conflict between the woman and the younger son in the previous chapter, as she forbad him to come so early in the morning by crossness;
    The word 'cross' in this sense, and certainly 'crossness' is terribly old-fashioned or what we call "twee". That is, one can imagine some elderly lady or teacher saying to a child, "I'm very cross with you.".
    So to a lesser extent is the past tense of 'forbid', but that's a much longer explanation! (lol)
    A better way of expressing this would be:
    as she strongly objected to his coming so early in the morning

    but no apparent fight goes on during this chapter: she just out of blue (just-move to earlier) changes her mind..
    "just" would be in the position I've shown, but then the phrase is stilted. A better way:
    Out of the blue, she just changes her mind and writes to him to pay (them-omit) the customary visits.

    That's the best I can come up with goes along "Arguments," but I'm not sure if I've pegged it
    'Pegged' :GREAT USE OF COLLOQUIAL ENGLISH! but finish with

    "right" (strictly, it should be 'rightly', but this sounds too correct).
    ...but I'm not sure I've pegged it right.

    goes along "Arguments," : "along the lines of an 'argument'"


    Is this chapter told from the side of the relatives in the city, and they are 'fighting this relative in the bush' over this issue perhaps? If so, then 'bush' is being used figuratively to mean, 'fighting with that aunt (or whatever she is) who lives in this ungodly place somewhere out in the never-never, the bush, the outback.'
    Last edited by David L.; 04-Dec-2007 at 14:27.

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