once again I'm trying to translate to my native language a sentence from the movie Ice Castles (1978). First of all, some context in a nutshell:

There's a famous trainer (girl voice in the audio clip) who saw a young girl performing in a sectional competition and got impressed by her, so she decided to train her. To do it she leans on an anchor (in a TV studio) she knows, who will help her to attract media interest on the young skater. The man is telling in this clip to the trainer that he managed to get the latter in a show called "Christmas in America" and lists some other famous skaters who will be in it, while saying this.

I report the dialogue here:

Trainer: I can't believe it. It's set?

Anchor: An expanded version of the essay series to be made part of "Christmas in America".

Trainer: And Alexis is in?

Anchor: They bought it all. And only one turndown from the top five.

Trainer: Annette?

Anchor: The only one that doesn't think she needs exposure. Bobbie Braker, Sally Richards, the Canadian champion, Wen-An Sun from Taiwan, and the best... ( pause ) the French have been heard from. Ceceil Monchet, number two in the world.

Audio clip here.

I'm interested in understanding what does " [...] and the best... the French have been heard from" mean. Does it mean that she's the best the French have ever had, or just literally, the french have been listened, or even something else?

  • Are you sure it's "essay series" instead of "SA series"? It doesn't make much sense that a skating competition would have short prose compositions...
    – lly
    Apr 26, 2019 at 20:28
  • Yep, copy-pasted from DVD subtitles. Apr 26, 2019 at 20:29
  • Those aren't always reliable. Springfieldspringfield has the same text, though, down to the misspelling of Cecile. In any case, link to the identical reddit thread.
    – lly
    Apr 26, 2019 at 20:31
  • @Ily: yeah, I posted that, but since I couldn't have the answer I was looking for I decided to post to a more specific website, you know... Apr 26, 2019 at 20:35
  • Pet peeve: Aside from the silly misspelling of Cecile, it's obvious that he's saying the name Wen An-sung (pinyin: Wen Ansong) and the guy doing the subtitles flubbed it. If you're rewriting this out as a translation, you might as well fix it on your end.
    – lly
    Apr 26, 2019 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


and the best... [pause] the French have been heard from. Cecile Monchet, number two in the world.

This is essentially two sentences. The first idea gets cut short, partially because the rest is obvious from context and partially for suspense. In any case, the speaker is saying:

The best [thing is]
The best [part is]
The best [of all]

The next idea is

The French have been heard from

which is a pretty awkward way of saying he's heard back from the French / the French responded to his calls. This way of saying it implies that the French are usually hard to get a hold of and it's a big deal that they replied and said yes.

It's all build-up to the last name on his list, somewhat papering over that he got the #2-5 in the world but not the best.

[Edit: It's also that he's happy to have heard from her: the next part of the script is

I thought she was bonkers.

Talked to Timich myself. Apparently she's fine. He wouldn't say what went wrong, but he's anxious to get her back in the minds of the American judges...

Apparently she had previously had a breakdown from stress and they hadn't expected to hear from her people.]

  • 1
    @Ily: Are you sure about the fact that it actually is the composition of two sentences? In long time I've been listening english videos/movies I've never found anything like this... moreover if I got right what you're trying to say, I think it's hardly possible that he had a contact with French people, an anchor usually just broadcasts... Apr 26, 2019 at 20:34
  • Yes. You've seen constructions like this before; you just pass over them quickly. It's certain from context that he and/or his team have been making contact with the potential skaters; I don't understand how you could doubt that's what's going on.
    – lly
    Apr 26, 2019 at 20:38
  • @Ily: I feel I may sound stupid but I keep not getting the mean of the sentence. Could you rephrase it equivalently please? Apr 26, 2019 at 20:41
  • 1
    I'm stunned. Spanish subtitles translate that "The French have been heard from" as "The French have spoken", which seems off to me; Portuguese ones report as translation "the French that everyone talks about"- Apr 26, 2019 at 20:53
  • 1
    I apreciate your help. Apr 26, 2019 at 21:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.