chômage technique - familier, argot

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Senior Member
French - France

How would you translate "je suis au chômage technique" in a colloquial sense? It means that the person has hit a stumbling block in his/her work, and is missing something critical that prevents him/her to carry on. It could be for example that his/her laptop is broken, or that he's missing a vital piece of information without which he/she cannot continue to work (e.g. a specification document, access to a website or service, ...)

To clarify, it has nothing to do with redundancy or being laid off. It's purely colloquial. People use it to alert other people (usually their boss) that something needs to be done quickly to get them working again. More often than not, it's used as an exaggeration.

thanks in advance for your help

  • Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    My first thought is I'm dead in the water, which originally referred to boats (encalminés), and means stalled or stuck. It can be used to refer to your project, but I think it's clearer to use in it reference to you yourself, because sometimes it's used to mean canceled: dead in the water. I think that second meaning is better expressed by dead on arrival instead, but clearly there are a number of anglophones who use it that way.


    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I've hit a brick wall!
    Definition from the English Dictionary: If you hit a brick wall or come up against a brick wall, you are unable to continue or make progress because something stops you.
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