The trouble is that we call that the finish line. There is usually a line or rope that is attached to it to hold it in place across the race track and there can be a painted line on the track as well. The confusing thing is that in French the finish line also has a name "La ligne d'arrivée". It must be an actual sign, perhaps in a big Olympic type stadium high above the finish line.. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/arriv%c3%a9e/5456/locution?q=d+arriv%c3%a9e#159520
On the discussion board of the inverse problem, Sitesurf indicated that that is exactly the meaning in French. However, the French phrase looks suspiciously like "the arrival board", such as one would find at an airport. Would have gotten it wrong had my version of the problem not been "pick-a-word"!
You're not talking about something people refer to often in that case. If you mean the line the runners cross at the end of the race, it's called the "finish LINE" & not "finish sign" - they may as well have "the START sign" because people would be equally confused translating that (it is also something people do not refer to often)
In another comment section regarding this phrase, someone made the very clever suggestion of typing "panneau d'arrivée" into images.google.com. Then you will actually see some examples, and the results are very interesting, especially in light of all the discussion in this comment section.
Yes, very interesting. I saw "finish" signs for races, but also arrival signs for airports and signs announcing that you have arrived at cities. However I don't know if the algorithm might also take the words separately as well as one expression.
Oh the accents are not working on the link, so you'll have to finish typing it in yourself.
hi Clovis! I looked at these discussions extensively, actually the french translation for that is "tableau" - also, it seems pretty that the french refer to the sign in their language while we refer to the line in ours. So I appreciate your response but it seems the matter has been settled & this really should be translated accordingly (idiomatically and not literally). Seems it sparked some spirited discussion here, & rightfully so! When has anyone ever said the finish sign in with any significant frequency in english? Never!! haha