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Old 24.09.2015, 14:20
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How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

I am translating a document from French into English and I'm a bit stuck on the term 'sans papiers'.
It seems that the general translation for this would be 'illegal immigrant' but I was wondering if any if you know of a 'nicer' term to describe them?
There is a whole section with 'les sans papiers' in bold as the title but illegal immigrant just seems a bit strong to me.

Any suggestions?
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Old 24.09.2015, 14:24
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Undocumented immigrant?
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Old 24.09.2015, 14:28
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

asylum seeker?
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Old 24.09.2015, 14:29
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Stateless person ,perhaps?
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Old 24.09.2015, 14:31
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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Undocumented immigrant?
I think I would use undocumented migrant. 'Immigrant' is rather subjective as it depends on the direction of travel from the point of view of the narrator.
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Old 24.09.2015, 14:38
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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Undocumented immigrant?
That's not a bad suggestion.

The first sentence is ' the 'sans papiers' are workers without legal status ie. Without a valid work permit. They are not black market workers as they pay tax and social contributions.

Undocumented immigrant or migrant would work in this context and sounds much nicer than illegal immigrant.
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Old 24.09.2015, 14:54
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

I think in English for this sort of contect, they use the "sans papiers" expression.... I am not sure there is a common-use equivalent.

This link will give you an indication of how it is used in english.
https://cispmberlin.wordpress.com/

In English you can also translate it directly as 'migrant without papers'. Or 'Undocumented Migrant'.

http://picum.org/en/our-work/who-are...nted-migrants/
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:22
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

why "migrant" ?
a sans papier is someone with documents, it does not mean he is a foreigner or passing through...
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:25
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Papers mean ID card or passport, so a (foreign) person without a passport/ ID. To an English person this is not so strange as there is no requirement to have either.
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:29
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Johnny Foreigner.
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:30
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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why "migrant" ?
a sans papier is someone with documents, it does not mean he is a foreigner or passing through...
Sans papiers is someone without documents.
You can be an illegal immigrant and still have documents but not have the right to be in the country.
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:34
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Since there is no direct English equivalent, I would use "Sans papiers" with an explanation of the term, as here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...olice-roundups (though I disagree with their explanation!)
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:36
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Stateless is the best translation, it covers all eventualities.

If a child is born in Switzerland to British parents, who were themselves both born abroad, the child is considered stateless, not an illegal immigrant, but "Sans Papiers" as there is no passport. The parents have to apply for British citizenship for the baby.

I was warned about this possibility in 1989 by the German consulate in Munich. It happened about 2 years ago to an EF member in Geneva, she couldn't take the baby out of Switzerland until the UK government approved the application and issued a passport. I think it took about 6 months.
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:41
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Perhaps the literal translation, 'without papers', but maybe I've been living here too long.

Or just 'undocumented' which is saying the same thing.

Stateless means something else in my view.
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:45
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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Perhaps the literal translation, 'without papers', but maybe I've been living here too long.

Or just 'undocumented' which is saying the same thing. Stateless means something else in my view.
Tell us please, as the Munich Consulate used exactly that word in 1989.

There is a slight difference between someone whom arrived without any papers, and someone who threw their passport away.

Here is the UK website for Stateless Guidance, https://www.gov.uk/government/public...eless-guidance

.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.09.2015 at 20:49. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 24.09.2015, 15:53
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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Tell us please, as the Consulate used exactly that word in 1989..
And the Grauniad in the link I posted chose to interpret it as "illegal immigrants". Neither is definitive.
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Old 24.09.2015, 16:02
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

Well,

Not all people who are "Sans Papier" are stateless, and not all stateless people are "Sans Papier"

For example It's quite possible for a stateless person (a person who is not a citizen of any country) to have been given permission and the associated documentation to remain in the country of their residence.

Equally it's possible that a person who has citizenship of a country resides in another country without the proper authority and documentation - This is how I understand "Sans Papier": somebody who does not have permission to be living in the country where they are living.
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Old 24.09.2015, 16:10
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

failed asylum seekers or paperless immigrants
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Old 24.09.2015, 16:15
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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Well,

Not all people who are "Sans Papier" are stateless, and not all stateless people are "Sans Papier"

For example It's quite possible for a stateless person (a person who is not a citizen of any country) to have been given permission and the associated documentation to remain in the country of their residence.
This is good point to bring up

Quote:
....This is how I understand "Sans Papier": somebody who does not have permission to be living in the country where they are living.
This is IMHO a very correct reflection of the way the term is being used in French. However it always bothers me that is there is a leap of judgement in this - one could be "sans papiers" but actually have the right to stay, just not be able to prove it very easily....

Literally "sans papiers" means just that - "without documentation". But often in context it's closer to Slaphead's definition. However it's up to the OP's to decide whether the leap of judgement really applies in the specific context of the document being translated.
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Old 24.09.2015, 16:18
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Re: How to say 'sans papiers' in English?

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Sans papiers is someone without documents.
You can be an illegal immigrant and still have documents but not have the right to be in the country.
If you're translating a document from France, 'les sans papiers' definitely don't mean stateless. To explain a bit further, some people don't have papers to arrive in France but, because of the French laws, can't be removed from the country and can't get the papers to stay (carte de séjour).

I would say 'undocumented migrants' is the best term I can think of. But heck, who knows, my native language is not English!
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