broyer du noir

veebs

Member
English, Irish
"ils broient du noir"- i think this could translate into english as "they are ground down" but i'm not sure. also, is this an informal phrase? thanks in advance :)
 
  • Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Bonjour veebs,
    Bienvenue sur le forum !

    Mon dictionnaire Robert & Collins propose : to brood, to be despondent.
     

    zam

    Senior Member
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    No it is not informal, just standard French. Yes, 'brood' and 'despondent' are both fine. You could also use 'dejected', even 'miserable' would be fine here.
     

    zam

    Senior Member
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    "down in the dumps'' est bien mais un chouia au-dessous du registre de langue requis pour le cas qui nous intéresse.
     

    zam

    Senior Member
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    Oh, no, poor chuck ! what with the attack of S.A.D looming, we want to be careful ! we don't want to see those threads too often, do we ? It is so hard to actually differentiate between all these terms, they can be so subjective and down to personal interpretation as well. Your 'down in the dumps' DOES appear in one or 2 dictionaries for 'broyer du noir' but to me the register is a mite lower than 'broyer du noir', I'd probably translate it as 'avoir le cafard/bourdon'.
     

    veebs

    Member
    English, Irish
    I've just read all of the suggestions which were all very helpful, especially the comments on register.
    The tone of the original article was quite informal and chatty so "down in the dumps" was perfect!
    Thanks a mil folks,
    v :D
     

    zam

    Senior Member
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    Jean-Michel Carrère said:
    how about : be in the doldrums ?
    Yes, it is an excellent alternative to what's been suggested, note also that 'in the doldrums' is often used to describe an ailing economy ('une économie en crise/dépression économique').
     

    Budd

    Senior Member
    American English
    In English, the closest I can think of is to be glum or gloomy; "down in the mouth" is more idiomatic. I think some dictionaries suggest to "be in the dolcrums," but that is a bit out of date--and is a really dead metaphor, "doldrums" having referred at one time to an area of the ocean that got no wind, i.e., to be listless, not moving, lifeless. It might be useful as well to consider using the word "melancholy" since etymologically the word also incorporates "black."
     

    Naturine

    Member
    french
    Thank you very much. And is it correct if I say "He saw of the gloom today" pour du "il a vu du noir aujourd'hui"?
     

    Budd

    Senior Member
    American English
    And is it correct if I say "He saw of the gloom today" pour du "il a vu du noir aujourd'hui"?

    No, it is not, Naturine. "He was gloomy today" or "He was down in the dumps today" or even "He had black thoughts today" would be much better.

    Keep in mind also that the French construction de + the article (meaning "some") has no parallel in English. For example, you might ask the waiter for "de la moutarde" because just asking for "moutarde" means asking for all the mustard while in English you would simply ask for mustard and get some, but not all.
     
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