ça suit son cours

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Jean-Michel Carrère

Senior Member
French from France
Talking about a process, what would be the most natural way of saying "ça suit son cours" in English?

The dictionary translates "suivre son cours" as "run one's course", "take one's course" but "it is running its course" or "it is taking its course" strikes me (perhaps wrongly) as awkward, as a response to, say : How is your visa application coming along ?"
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It will depend on the context, but you're right: "It's running its course" and "It's taking its course" are not things that we would say in response to "How is your visa application coming along?"

    Why would you say "Ça suit son cours" of a visa application? Does it imply that you have received some sort of information about the progress of the application? If you have applied for the visa but have heard nothing yet, I would suggest: "I'm still waiting for a decision", or something like that.
     
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    Jean-Michel Carrère

    Senior Member
    French from France
    @sound shift

    Maybe the visa application wasn't too good an example.

    "ça suit son cours" can be said about any rather long process, I guess.

    It means everything is taking place normally, as previously planned, as expected, in due course, step by step.

    In some cases, the phrase betrays the speaker's impatience and resignation, the underlying meaning being "I wish it were a bit faster, but those things take time ...".
     
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    Chimel

    Senior Member
    Français
    May I ask again if "to be underway" would also be OK? I've always thought "être en cours/suivre son cours = to be underway" (in a neutral context, without any kind of impatience of exasperation).

    So, even for a visa application like in JMC's example, could the answer be "It's still underway" or is it clumsy and why?
     

    moustic

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's under way -> c'est en route / en cours.
    I suppose you could use it here. Not something I would say in this context, but that's probably just my personal choice.
     
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