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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

Word of the day: Désillusion

If you see this word on the front pages, you might want to check in on the French people in your life.

Word of the day: Désillusion

Why do I need to know désillusion?

Because it will help you to capture the mood during a national crisis.

What does it mean?

Désillusion is a noun meaning ‘disillusionment’, but it is most often used in the context of a significant disappointment or a shattered dream.

So when Les Bleus succumbed to a surprise defeat on penalties to Switzerland that saw them eliminated from Euro 2020, this word was all over the front pages in France.

“Quelle désillusion !” (What a disappointment!) was the headline from local paper L’Est Républicain, while Le Parisien simply went for, “La désillusion”.

Literally referring to a loss of illusions, the term feels more dramatic than the word ‘déception’, which also means ‘disappointment’, since it conveys a sense of shock.

It conjures an image of a group of people asking themselves how this was allowed to happen, although it can also be used for an individual when his or her dream has been shattered.

Use it like this

C’est une terrible désillusion pour le pays – It’s a terrible disappointment for the country

Les joueurs doivent rebondir après la désillusion face à la Suisse – The players must bounce back after the disappointment against Switzerland

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

This is definitely not lip synching.

French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

Why do I need to know Chanter faux ?

Because if you were not blessed with a beautiful singing voice, then this might be a good phrase to know. 

What does it mean?

Chanter faux – pronounced shahn-tay foe – literally means to ‘fake sing.’ You might assume this expression would mean ‘lip sync’ in French, but its true meaning is to sing out of tune. (Lip synching is chanter en playback).

It joins a chorus of other French expressions about bad singing, like chanter comme une casserole (to sing like a saucepan) or chanter comme une seringue (to sing like a siren).  

Chanter faux is actually the most correct way to describe someone being off key, so it might be a better option than comparing another’s voice to a cooking utensil. 

You might have seen this expression pop up recently amid the drought, as people call for rain dances and rain singing (where there is no shame in singing badly).

Use it like this

Pendant l’audition pour la pièce, Sarah a chanté faux. Malheureusement, elle n’a pas obtenu le rôle. – During her audition for the play, Sarah sang out of tune. Sadly, she did not get a role.

Si on fait un karaoké, tu verras comme je chante mal. Je chante vraiment faux, mais je m’en fiche. Il s’agit de s’amuser. – If we do karaoke you will see how badly I sing. I am really out of tune, but I don’t care. It’s all about having fun.

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