Alors là !

alexa99

Senior Member
france
Hi everybody,

Do the english speakers* of this forum know the French idiomatic exclamation " Alors là ", generally put in the beginning of a phrase and expressing astonishment towards something outstanding made or said by any other person ? It's a kind of gimmick that underscores admiration or disapproval, fear etc..

"Alors là..bravo"
"Alors là...chapeau"
"Alors là! vous dites n'importe quoi"
"Alors là, ..je ne sais plus quoi faire"

Or even just " Alors là " on his own

Is there any english expression, that would, more or less, be equivalent to that one ?

Thanks

* I know that the French know what I'm talking about

"Alors là,
 
  • Hooper_X

    Member
    English United States
    As we in America play fast and loose with the language and are a sarcastic lot, many words could fit that bill. The one that leaps immediately to mind is, dude. Dude can mean anything depending on context and inflection.
     

    JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    As we in America play fast and loose with the language and are a sarcastic lot, many words could fit that bill. The one that leaps immediately to mind is, dude. Dude can mean anything depending on context and inflection.
    I hope we (French) could learn to be sarcastic.
    Could dude be age-connoted, by the way?
     

    Hooper_X

    Member
    English United States
    Could dude be age-connoted, by the way?
    I suppose one could make that argument. However, its usage in the context that I previously described dates back to at least the 1960s. Prior to that, it referred to ostentatiously accoutered urbanites attempting to pass themselves off as cowboys (and was mildly pejorative.)
     
    The best equivalent to alors là I could think of is "I say!" as in the stereotypical British gentleman. I'm not sure if the Brits still use that, but it seems to work in all the senses- shock, disapproval, praise. Just a thought!

    ( on the dude issue: I think it's more of a culture/subculture distinction. Surfers, stoners, students, and often used in guy-to-guy exchanges. )
     

    moustic

    Senior Member
    British English
    Welcome to the forum FrenchUK.
    For me, "so anyway" is a bit too vague for "Alors là !"

    My try:
    In a positive situation:
    Wow ... well done!

    In a negative situation:
    Really
    ... that's a load of rubbish!
     

    exitpursuedbyabear

    New Member
    English - UK
    I have to disagree both with the suggestions above of "dude" and "I say".


    The former is, I think, far too colloquial and reflects a younger, more informal style of speech which "alors la" does not.


    I am British, and no one oustide of an Enid Blyton novel would ever say "I say" unless being ironic.


    I think a more closer interpretation is, as other posters have said, "really" (emphatically spoken).
     

    akaAJ

    Senior Member
    American English, Yiddish
    I'm learning. I deduce that "really" (even, "You don't say") works with the negative. I think "wow" is now more (and more enthusiastically) used in general French conversation than in English. I'm blanking on responses; maybe just "Well" or "Well then"
     
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