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help with translation


Patf

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Could someone help me to understand this (from the Depeche de Midi du Gers):

"......L'accusation retiendra que dès que Ben Salah entra au service des Hollandais, ces derniers eurent à déplorer des tentatives de retrait d'argent avec leurs cartes bancaires."

This was a trial of Ben Salah who was accused of murdering 2 dutch couples back in 1999. He was sentenced last week. He had been working for them "on the black " in their holiday home. There seems to have been some falling-out over payment.

Rather frightening, and a salutory lesson on not taking on travelling workers "on the black."

Here is the whole article:

http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2009/05/22/610546-Tuerie-de-Monfort-10-ans-deja.html

 

 

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"......L'accusation retiendra que dès que Ben Salah entra au service

des Hollandais, ces derniers eurent à déplorer des tentatives de

retrait d'argent avec leurs cartes bancaires."

The prosecution notes/points out/charges that as soon as Ben Salah started working for the Dutch couples, they noticed attempts had been made to withdraw money with their bank cards.
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Clair's translation is perfect as one might expect, but just to point out that what often causes problems for people who otherwise manage ok in French is the Passé Simple in such reports:

"entra"  entered (into service) which can be confused with "entrera" the future of "entrer" used in written reports instead of 'est entré'

the 'a' ending is used in both the Passé Simple and the Futur, but on a different stem: the whole verb entrer +a gives the future 'entrera' whereas knocking off the er at the end of entrer gives the stem entr which with a gives 'entra' for the Passé Simple.

This confusion is compounded in this text by the fact that the first verb 'retiendra' is in the Future..'will charge that', but just after it switches to reported speech, hence the Passé Simple

"eurent" is the Passé Simplé of 'avoir' (an irregular verb) used instead of 'ont eu'

This unfamiliarity with the Passé Simple is understandable, since it is rarely heard in everyday life or on the TV, apart from  in the speeches  of Francis Bayrou who despite his countryman image was a Lecturer ...

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Thanks to both.

I had completly missed the implication of that sentence, and that was partly due to the unfamiliar (to me) verb forms, as pointed out by Norman.

So it seems that before their death the victims had noticed and reported possible use of their cards by a would-be thief.

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