1. mellow-yellow Senior Member

    English - USA
  2. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀

    To be overworked/overburdened are correct to translate the meaning (débordé de travail) that you cited. However I wonder if there wouldn't be a more colorful/idiomatic expression, in English?

    As seen googling (but I don't know whether or not this is accurate or appropriate) : to run around like a headless chicken / a blue arsed fly.
  3. archijacq Senior Member

    french France
    être charrette
    (to be late)

    "In fields of design such as architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design, or graphic design, the term charrette may refer to an intense period of work by one person or a group of people prior to a deadline. The period of a charrette typically involves both focused and sustained effort. The word "charrette" may also be used as a verb, as in, for example, "I am charretting" or "I am on charrette [or: en charrette]," simply meaning I am working long nights, intensively toward a deadline."
  4. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    I agree with archijacq's take on this.
    In UK drawing offices we might say on the phone something along the lines of "we got our noses to the grindstone right now", or to follow on from archijaqc's idea, "we're burning the midnight oil these days". Here in Eastern France "être charette" can be used to mean "I can't deal with your request just now, however if you'd care to phone back after I've met this deadline, I will give your request my full attention"

    ps. Nicomon, I think the frenzied activity in drawing offices, remains quite focussed ; so I wouldn't use either of those "google" expressions in this context.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  5. ymc Senior Member

    how about
    overloaded / inundated/ swamped with work
  6. Souxie

    Souxie Senior Member

    South of France
    French - France
    Plus largement, être charette signifie (argotiquement): "I can't deal with any more request just now" (as said by l'irlandais), c'est la course pour faire tout ce que j'ai à faire et je vais probablement être en retard.
  7. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    They are not "google translate" expressions. By "googling", I meant that I searched : "être charette" + "English" and ended up on a discussion in which a francophe explained what "être charette" meant... and an anglophone suggested those expressions.

    Good thing I wrote that I wasn't sure whether or not they were appropriate - the reason being that I'm not really familiar with the French expression.
    I just went with the definition that mellow-yellow cited (débordé de travail + s’est répandue à d’autres professions et à d’autres langues). And when I'm swamped with work/busy as a bee, I do feel as if I'm "running around like..."

    That, to me, is equal to "being busy as a bee" / "running or rushing around to meet the deadline".

    In Quebec French, I'd say : être/courir comme une queue de veau.

    It seems to me that expressions, whether French or English, can be interpretated many different ways depending on who says them and the specific context in which they are said...
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  8. Itisi

    Itisi Senior Member

    Paris/Hastings UK
    English UK/French
    To be working flat-out ?

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