tire la langue???

Hi!! Would anybody be able to tell me what this expression means in the context: 'Face à cette mainmise, la chanson française tire la langue.' because I have no clue! Thank you!

April 18, 2018


Not sure what mainmise may mean here, it has something to do with putting (mise) a hand (main) on something, so it may mean something like seizing or gripping or confiscation. But "tire la langue" is the usual term for sticking one's tongue out at something in derision, as children often do. So it seems that the French song is doing just that because of the "mainmise." But let us hope that a native speaker of French will provide a better answer.

April 18, 2018

In this context "tire la langue" probably means "is weakened/in a bad spot". The other comments are not wrong but in this case I reckon it's an alternative figurative meaning that is intended. Imagine a weakened/fatigued animal sticking out his tongue for example.

(Native french speaker here, but I may still be wrong as this sentence is lacking some context).

April 19, 2018

I considered that but I wasn't sure if that was an accepted use of the expression, but it turns out you're probably right: "(Figuré) Montrer des signes de fatigue."

It's not a very common idiom IMO but I guess in context it makes more sense.

April 19, 2018

Thank you very much!!

April 19, 2018

Mainmise means (from Wiktionary) "Toute influence impérieuse, excessive, fâcheuse" so it could mean domination, contrôle. And slogger exactly said what "tire la langue" means ! So when it says "la chanson française tire la langue", it's a metaphor.

Do you have any additional context ? To see what cause or what is the mainmise ?

April 18, 2018

Hi! Thanks for replying, This is the text I've been given for an idea of the context!

Dans un marché qui connaît des évolutions majeures avec l’essor du streaming, les tenants d’une chanson française dite traditionnelle ont du mal à se faire connaître d’un public de plus en plus volage 5

Kalash, Dadju, Niska, Lacrim, Orelsan… Au cours de la première semaine de décembre, ces rappeurs ont caracolé au sommet du classement des titres les plus écoutés en streaming. Nettement plus loin, en 85e position, pointait Louane. Première force vive de la chanson. Ce n’est plus un scoop et ce sont les clics qui le disent : le raz-de-marée du hip-hop crève tous les plafonds. La plateforme Spotify déclare en 2017 une hausse de 74 % des écoutes dans cette catégorie. Un règne presque sans partage, contraignant les autres univers musicaux à ne ramasser que les miettes. Face à cette mainmise, la chanson française tire la langue. Elle ne semble pas avoir trouvé les ressorts pour rebondir et s’ancrer dans l’économie du numérique.

April 19, 2018

So given the context Fayke was absolutely right, "tirer la langue" means "to be struggling" here.

April 20, 2018

"Tirer la langue" (literally "to pull the tongue") means sticking your tongue out, generally in a taunting manner. It's usually a childish thing.

In this case it probably means that the french music industry mocks/is not afraid of whatever the author was talking previously (I assume english language music?). I'm not entirely sure what the author meant to imply exactly but it might make more sense within context. I suppose it could also mean that it "fights back" or something like that.

Mainmise is easier to figure out if you split it as "main mise". It means having a strangehold or a monopoly.

So if I attempt to translate the full sentence I end up with "faced with this monopoly the french music industry is not afraid" or something like that.

April 19, 2018

thank you so much !! This has really helped me out :)

April 19, 2018
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