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quelle horreur !

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by yvane, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. yvane Senior Member

    plouyé (brittany)
    france / french
    Hello ! Would you translate : "Quelle horreur !" by 'That's really awful !" or something like that ? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Musical Chairs Senior Member

    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    Pretty much. Or "oh no!"
     
  3. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    I would say so. Perhaps, How awful/terrible! would be a bit smoother. :eek:
     
  4. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
    How dreadful!
     
  5. kiwi-di

    kiwi-di Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    New Zealand, English
    Is it an expression used much these days?

    It's certainly one from my French text books 40 odd years ago, but one I rarely hear being used by my French friends these days.
     
  6. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    I use it everyday.
    Of course, I've been told I'm a dinosaur :D but anyway... it's used all the time !
     
  7. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    I second this. It's very common.
     
  8. kiwi-di

    kiwi-di Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    New Zealand, English
    Agnès - I'm a dinosaur too; but it doesn't seem to matter when I speak English.

    It's like making mistakes when you write a foreign language - people think it's because you're a foreigner, and don't know any better; when natives make those same errors it's just a typo or laziness.

    Similarly, if you use old fashioned expressions in your own language, no-one seems to notice. You use them in a foreign one, and people look at you as if you've come out of the ark. :D
     
  9. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    Believe me, Di: using Quelle horreur ! will just make you sound very natural. :)

    Just have a look at that. :)
     
  10. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    France
    I agree 100% with Agnès and egueule. 'Quelle horreur !' is quite common.

    In English, wouldn't you say 'The horror!' (as you would say 'The audacity!' ('Quelle audace !'), 'The shame of it!' ('Quelle honte !'))
     
  11. kiwi-di

    kiwi-di Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    New Zealand, English
    At your insistence I will re-insert it into my vocabulary.

    Having spoken French almost all the time for four years, 30 years ago, and only recently begun associating with French speakers again, I've become very aware how much language changes over time. I therefore rely on this forum to keep me sounding "very natural". Je vous remercie. :)
     
  12. Bisou82 Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    France - French
    I say it all the time as well ! Add a dramatic intonation, going down, and you fot it ! :)
     
  13. calembourde

    calembourde Senior Member

    Genève, Suisse
    New Zealand, English
    In my opinion this expression is mostly used jokingly, to mockingly exaggerate something that isn't really that awful/horrific, e.g. if a beauty queen were telling you how she broke a fingernail. :eek: I have the impression that quelle horreur is often used this way as well. Is that true?
     
  14. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    France
    Yes, sort of. 'Quelle horreur !' may also be used jokingly.
     
  15. Bisou82 Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    France - French
    How do you use it jokingly??

    :confused:
     
  16. xtrasystole

    xtrasystole Senior Member

    France
    L'exemple de calembourde : si une blonde se plaint longuement à toi qu'elle s'est cassée un ongle, tu peux lui répondre d'un air moqueur : 'Quelle horreur ! Mais c'est vraiment affreux tout ce qui t'arrive. Toi t'as vraiment pas de chance dans la vie'.
     
  17. Bisou82 Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    France - French
    ah ok pardon !! Oui en effet j'y avais pas pensé. J'arrivais pas à trouver un exemple ou c'est utilisé comme une blague, ça m'intriguait ! :)

    Merci de ta réponse !
     
  18. Wodwo Senior Member

    London UK
    UK English
    A very late contribution to this thread.

    There are very few circumstances I can imagine in which an everyday English speaker would say "the horror!". It doesn't carry the suggestion of ironic reference of something like "the shame of it!", or even "the smell of it!", which was – honestly! – used in a perfume ad in the UK some time ago - irony upon irony.

    The best translations of "quelle horreur!" would be "how (or "that's") awful/horrible/sickening/disgusting (etc.)!" as mentioned above.

    W
     

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