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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French word of the Day: Télétravail

This word might come in handy for many employees in France next month, but it's not quite what it sounds.

French word of the Day: Télétravail

Why do I need to know télétravail?

In the modern workplace this is something that you may be offered, or could request. But although it sounds like working while watching TV, that's not quite what it means.

What does it mean?

It means remote working, or working from home. Which as any dedicated employee will tell you is absolutely not the same as pretending to work while lolling around watching daytime TV.

And it's one you might be hearing a bit of in the coming weeks.

As a major transport strike threatens to paralyse France in December, employees who generally commute using public transport may find it easier to work from home on strike days. (Although be aware that France has some quite complex rules on the subject and any remote working needs to be agreed in advance with your boss).

So you might hear

Essayez le télétravail, pour éviter les déplacements inutiles – Try working from home to avoid unnecessary travel.

Of someone whose boss is a bit inflexible on the subject might lament 

L'approbation pour le télétravail est difficile à obtenir – Approval for remote working is hard to get.

Mon patron a refusé ma demande de télétravail, donc je dois essayer d'utiliser le RER le jour de la grève. C'est relou! – My boss refused my request to work from home so now I have to try and use the RER on strike day. It sucks!

For more French words and phrases, check out our French word of the Day section.

 

 

 

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Being patronised by a Frenchman? Roll out this phrase.

French phrase of the Day: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines

Why do I need to know ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines?

Because someone might be trying to take you for a fool.

What does it mean?

Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines – pronounced ne me pren pah pour un lapan de see sem-enn – translates as ‘don’t take me for a six-week-old rabbit’, and is a go-to phrase to warn people not to mistake you for a fool, someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The podcast Hit West from French regional newspaper Ouest-France suggests that the ‘six weeks’ comes from the age a rabbit is weaned at, and must therefore be ready to survive on its own.

And why a rabbit at all? Well no-one really seems very sure. Rabbits don’t get a good rap in the French language though, to stand someone up is poser un lapin in French.

English-language metaphor equivalents may be, “I didn’t come down in the last shower”, “I wasn’t born yesterday”, or, as Line of Duty’s DCI Hastings might say, “I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble”.

Use it like this

Honestly, keep it simple. If someone’s speaking to you in a patronising manner, simply say: Ne me prends pas pour un lapin de six semaines.

Ouest France suggests that this is the ‘more elegant’ way to request that people don’t take you for a fool. It’s not offensive, but it might be a little old-fashioned. 

Alternatives

You can use the more basic version of this phrase – Ne me prends pas pour une idiote (don’t take me for a fool) or the slightly more punchy Ne me prends pas pour un con (don’t take me for a moron).

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