Author Topic: Translation question for English native speakers  (Read 691 times)

Gribbler

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Could someone help me? What is the meaning of these lines: "Even with a turkey that you know will fold, You may be stranded out in the cold". It's from a song "there’s no business like show business"

Danvzare

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Re: Translation question for English native speakers
« Reply #1 on: 28 Feb 2017, 10:51 »
I'm a native English speaker, and even I don't understand what that means. ???

But if I had to take a guess. I'd say that it's trying to say something along the lines of: things break and you may be left on your own as a result.

Mandle

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Re: Translation question for English native speakers
« Reply #2 on: 28 Feb 2017, 12:12 »
Could someone help me? What is the meaning of these lines: "Even with a turkey that you know will fold, You may be stranded out in the cold". It's from a song "there’s no business like show business"

The first part would probably be poker language adapted into show business slang:

A turkey is a lame player and fold means back out of the current hand (in poker terms)

But in the movie business it would mean a lame movie that you already know won't succeed. I'm not sure what the whole line means though because of course if you are on a lame movie that's bound to fail you will be "out in the cold" (on Hollywood blacklists I'm thinking...meaning you earned a reputation for people not to hire you)... The part that confuses me is "Even with"...It doesn't make grammatical sense but:

Maybe it means that even if you were ordered by the studio to produce a lame movie that everyone already knew was gonna fail, you could still find yourself on a blacklist even though it obviously wasn't your fault?

Snarky

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Re: Translation question for English native speakers
« Reply #3 on: 28 Feb 2017, 13:06 »
Good answer by Mandle. Just a minor correction: the song is originally about theater productions rather than movies, so a "turkey" is a bad play, and I think "stranded out in the cold" is meant literally: if the play closes, you may be out of work and in poverty. (Also, the Hollywood blacklist typically refers to people denied employment because of communist sympathies, not because of past failures.)

As for the "Even with...", let's look at the line in context:

There's no people like show people, they smile when they are low
Even with a turkey that you know will fold, you may be stranded out in the cold
Still you wouldn't change it for a sack of gold, let's go on with the show


So the "even" isn't setting up a contrast between the two halves of the line, but between the line as a whole and the next one. It's saying that even if the play is bad and you have no job security, being on stage is great; and the line is grammatically correct (though the comma instead of "and" in the middle can be a little confusing).

Gribbler

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Re: Translation question for English native speakers
« Reply #4 on: 28 Feb 2017, 13:12 »
Thanks so much guys!

Mandle

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Re: Translation question for English native speakers
« Reply #5 on: 28 Feb 2017, 14:07 »
Cheers for the clarification Snarky. The expanded version of the song puts more light on the context indeed.

And yeah:

(Also, the Hollywood blacklist typically refers to people denied employment because of communist sympathies, not because of past failures.)

In the MacCarthy era it meant that, but in modern times I've heard it used meaning just generally not acceptable by the majority of Hollywood because of past failures and/or scandals and/or going off the deep end... cough...MEL...cough...GIB...cough...cou gh...cough...
* Mandle goes to the next room to hide the sudden coughing fit
Spoiler: ShowHide
...cough...SON...cough...