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A couple of difficult technical phrases if anyone can help


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I am having a problem finding the right words for the words and phrases in bold.

I understand the overall sense which is about a street near me which is suffering from subsidence and will have to be demolished, but the specific details elude me...

Jadis, les immeubles ont été construits sur des remblais dans lesquels

s’est formé un cloaque. Ils s’affaissent donc en “entonnoir”, sur une

chaussée qui se dérobe et s’enfonce

From this article:


I have of course tried the various translators..

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If my understanding is correct, it's saying that the original construction was built onto a framework within which has gathered lots of muddy deposits, and as a consequence the road surface has begun to sag or drop in places. Or, to put it another way, the sub-structure is not solid and the road is sinking into the stuff beneath.

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Remblais are embankments but they are also the mixture of cracked tiles, smashed concrete etc that are used as hardcore.

A cloaque is a cesspoll.

So they slope toward the ground and sink. Desrobe also I think means strip or have your facade removed.

Beyond me and I sold my multi lingual Dictionary of Civil Engineering when I left France.

Sure somebody will do better shortly

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The buildings were built on infill/landfill (remblais) which has become sodden (literally a cesspit) and they are sinking/sagging/collapsing in a funnel form???? Could it be a long terrace of buildings perhaps that are collapsing towards the middle?

You havnt highlighted the rest so probably understand it better than me.

Editted, just read the article, they are collapsing from the bottom outwards like an upside down funnel, lack of stability especially laterally for the foundations.

There is a road in the ville of Corbie not far from me where all the houses lean at an alarming angle, when you come to where a sside road joins it the houses on the corner look like an optical illusion, a couple of hundred metres behind there is another parallel road with exactly the same leaning buildings, between the two is a cutting which I think at one time might have been part of the canal network but now dry, its certainly to blame for the subsidence.

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I wonder they don't just say that there is "subsidence" as that would accord with the buildings having been constructed on land where the original loose materials were not properly impacted.

Anyway, without consulting any dictionary (as Norman has already done that), I do know what an "entonnoir" is as I have several of those in my kitchen cupboards[:)]  My French friend's daughter used to ask why it was called an entonnoir because their's is red in colour.

I must say that, as someone has said near the end of the article, after demolition, it would be very nice to have "un petit poumon vert" (how poetic the French can be [:P]) in the middle of the city in place of these dangerous and unsatifactory buildings[:)]

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You are right about the terrace, as you can see from the picture in the link.

The information about remblais is very useful, as I had found the translation 'embankment' and couldn't square that with subsidence.

So they were "built on rubble foundations which have become  sodden and waterlogged causing the buildings to  subside  and fall outwards, with large cracks in the road surface."

Not very word for word but it gives the broad sense.

Thanks for your help everone..

And Oi sweets...my street isn't a whole lot better!. If you are sad about someone cutting the trees down opposite, imagine how I feel about my house being pulled down [:-))]

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I'm only sad about the trees because I have now lost my petit poumon vert![:P]

Next time I meet the mayor, I shall ask him why he's allowed that to happen [I]

Anyway, I thought your barrel is very easy to roll about and so you could be le petit cœur juste à côté de petit poumon?

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