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Translation Tips: “Tired” = “Total Fucking Shit” in French

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Typical weekly conversation.


Me: Hello! How are you?


Worthless French sack of impoliteness: Hi there! I’m fantastic! [insert reason why their life is unbefuckinglievably amazingly perfect here.] How are you


Me: Good, good. [insert typical I-don’t-know-you blah-blahing.]


Tactless froggy douche-lord: Oh … Good. (Looks at me with disappointment complete with forehead crinkle.) Are you okay? (Starts studying my face like it just gave birth to twins.)


Me: … Yes? Why? Is there something in my teeth? (A pimple winking at you? Is a rogue alien-blob-like booger throbbing in one of my nostrils, preparing a mucus invasion of your home on planet Indiscretion?)


Palpably uncomfortable foreign penis-hat: No, no. (Sympathetically pats my shoulder, to console me before doling out a death sentence.)


It’s just that … your eyes are … “exploded.” (Yes. That’s the real word they use. I guess “puffy” was too warm and fuzzy. In the French language, my eyes “EXPLODE” out of my visage.)


(Awkward pause.) “You look so … Tired!”


Please note that the word “tired” is said as if I just finished climbing a mountain, or fighting a war, or raising a two-year-old, or something else that will suck the life out of you.


Show me an expat that has not heard these words, and I’ll show you a person who has:


A) Never ever had swollen eyes due to fatigue, and is probably addicted to Botox, or …


B) Already scared the pants (and/or leggings) off their entourage after some other maniacally insensitive comment about their person.


Everyone. Has. Been. There.


And you’re not out of the woods yet. The French have zero qualms about asking if you’re preggo. (So a “you look like shit” with a side of “and you gained weight” … Yay!) I’ve been asked this numerous times. The jury will please note that I am not fat. They just ask. It’s weird.


There is one other thing, but in my nearly five years, I’ve only heard it once—once! And that is, “T’as bonne mine!” which means, “OMFG GTFO, you look almost normal!!”. Yah. Once. (sigh)


I love that they can get away with this though. It completely astounds me. Imagine if an American came up to me (who was not a close friend or relative, because we’re more forgiving of them, I think), and said “OMG. Wow you look really tired.”


Don’t even try and tell me you wouldn’t be all, “Dude?! WTF?!!!” Cuz I know you would. You know you would too. Let’s get real here people. The French are funny about frankness and we forgive them a lot of it.


Suggestion: Next time someone says you look fatigued, tell them their ass looks unusually large. Ask if it might be swollen. Find out if they have hemorrhoids. Encourage them to see a doctor. You are, after all, only worried about their well-being.


PS—I don’t mind this coming from family or friends … it’s the strangers who annoy the bajeezus out of me.

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