Lost in translation

The expression ‘filer à l’anglaise‘ came up in a recent class.

The English equivalent is ‘to take French leave‘, but both sound pretty old-fashioned today and wouldn’t be commonly used amongst younger generations.

An old teacher of mine used to translate the French expression as ‘to leave by the backdoor‘, suggesting an underhandedness or deceit.

How much this atmosphere holds true for relations between England and France today might be up for debate 😉

Idioms can add colour to language and can be fun to include in our speech.

More than anything it can be interesting to explore what they reveal about the culture and users of the language, and how we understand or relate to them.