comme ci comme ça

chmckeon

New Member
English, USA
Is "comsi comsa" French and what does it mean? Thank you.

chmckeon

Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one.
 
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  • geve

    Senior Member
    France, French
    No, it's not true ! But it might often be replaced by the more common "bof" (which is a lot less cute :))

    A variant of "comme ci comme ça" in spoken language is "couci couça"
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Actually what's funny is that foreigners are taught to say 'comme ci comme ça' but French people don't use it that much. I think that they use more: bof. But using 'comme ci comme ça' is far cuter. :)
     

    geve

    Senior Member
    France, French
    I see we agree on the "cuteness" of the expression !
    From now on, I'll try to use "comme ci comme ça" more often... we need to keep it alive :D
     

    labelleaude

    Member
    US English
    Hm. Savais pas qu'on le considérait comme cute. J'ai bien entendu "bof" mais j'avais l'impression que c'était, 'fin, pas impoli, mais très familier. Ai-je bien compris?
     

    Jessila

    Senior Member
    France, french
    DearPrudence said:
    By the way, funny that we can't get rid of that hand gesture when we say it. :)

    you made me laugh with this... it's so true !

    and by the way, do English people use "so-so" ?
    we learned it as School, but I've never heard it anywhere!
    I've heard "I'm okay" (said in a low voice in which you clearly get that it's not true ^^), "Seen better" or "Been better", "Not so good"...

    Is it like our "comme ci, comme ça", an expression still existing but not very much in use ?

    Oh, and for those interrested, there's an old french song called "Y'a des jours comme ci, y'a des jours comme ça"...
    The only time my father had a little car accident, he was listening to that song lol :D
     

    chmckeon

    New Member
    English, USA
    Hello Jessila,

    I don't know about the English, but in Texas it is still in use. Of course I am 77 years old.
     
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    zam

    Senior Member
    England -french (mother tongue) & english
    and by the way, do English people use "so-so" ?
    Yes, it's still very much used in the UK and what's even more used with so-so is the phrase 'a so-and-so' (often with 'little') meaning 'un personnage un peu antipathique' (as in 'he is a right little so-and-so') which is used really to avoid using a swear word e.g bastard!
     

    ganieda

    Senior Member
    french
    I was talking about the same on another thread, and saying that many french speakers also say "couci couça", still with the gesture ;)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Do English people say "so so"?

    I would say not very often - the most common response to "How are you?" questions is: OK -

    which is not exactly radiating enthusiasm and would equate to "so so" in my ears!
     

    chrysbabe

    New Member
    English-Usa
    Anyone know another response rather than comme ci comme ca?
    My sub told my students they do not use this in France any longer...
     

    mooo989

    New Member
    English - USA
    My Phonetics professor at University of Laval in Quebec said to me that she's pretty much never heard the expression <<comme ci, comma ça>> used, except by Anglophones (and she's lived in the city of Quebec for 15 years or so now, if I remember correctly). She figured for quite a while (due to having taught it in classes using standard French Foreign Language textbooks) that it's more of a France-French phrase than Quebecois phrase, but upon going to Paris, she still never heard it.

    As for "so-so," it's used, but not particularly often.
     

    Jessila

    Senior Member
    France, french
    mooo989 > don't worry, it happens to everyone to bump up an old thread and it can be useful to new users of the board ;)

    As for "comme ci, comme ça" I think your teacher is right and it must be a french expression but I think it's more the older generations who still use it. (I'm not saying that there are no young people using it, just that it's far less common - around Paris anyway).
     

    wesetters

    Senior Member
    English
    For me it mostly means so so as in the following dialog:

    Comment ça va? // How are you doing?
    Comme-ci, comme-ça. // so so
    :thumbsup:

    I've seen it translated as "more or less" once or twice, but never by a native speaker. It sounds pretty wrong to me. "More or less" just means "plus ou moins", it's not the same!
     

    mecalbertain

    New Member
    Canadian English
    Moi, je dirais que dans le cadre d'une réponse à la question de comment va quelqu'un, une traduction appropriée pourrait être "all right" ou même "neither bad nor good." Je voudrais dire "average" aussi.
    Qui avait dit "so-so" aurait raison aussi, à mon avis.
    En tout cas, oui, tout dépend du contexte bien sûr.
     

    ataraxy3

    Senior Member
    English
    Bonjour!

    Est-ce qu'on peut répondre à "Comment vas-tu" avec "comme ci comme ça" ??

    Et même avec "Comment allez-vous" même si c'est tant poli?

    Merci d'avance! :)
     

    zapspan

    Senior Member
    English, USA (Southern California)
    Can one use "comme ci, comme ça" for anything other than to describe how one is doing?

    For example, if someone asks whether the food is good at a restaurant, can answer "Comme ci, comme ça"?

    Merci d'avance.
     

    FleurMarlowe

    Senior Member
    French-France
    -C'était comment tes vacances aux Bahamas ?
    -Comme ci, comme ça ... beaucoup de soleil, de sable chaud, de mer transparente, et tu sais moi, j'aime les calottes polaires et les aurores boréales.
     

    zapspan

    Senior Member
    English, USA (Southern California)
    What about in contexts such as the following?

    Question: Est-ce que ton fils est (très) grand? / Est-ce que l'examen a été difficile? / etc.
    Réponse: Comme ci, comme ça.

    Or would it be better to answer these types of questions with "Plus ou moins" or something else?

    Merci d'avance.
     

    Martyn94

    Banned
    English
    I have a vague idea that "comme ci, çomme ça" is more popular among anglophones but am happy to be contradicted.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    I don't think there's anything wrong with 'comme ci, comme ça', as long as it's used in the right place. zapspan, It would work fine for the 'examen' example, but doesn't sound right for the 'fils' one. I can't think of an explanation, though! That doesn't mean there isn't one...

    Mon fils n'est ni grand ni petit/de taille moyenne (not a very exciting answer...).
     

    FleurMarlowe

    Senior Member
    French-France
    Bonsoir,

    Comme ci, comme ça est assez répandu et encore utilisé. On dit aussi mezzo-mezzo et couci couça.
    Pour une formule moins familière, il y a ça dépend et plus ou moins (cité par zapspan).

    Dans leur sens et leurs utilisations, ils sont similaires, donc interchangeables: vous pouvez utiliser celui qui vous plait le plus.
    Mis à part mezzo-mezzo qui veut dire aussi moitié-moitié, et dont le sens est un peu à part à cause de cette nuance.

    Par contre, je pense qu'une question comme "est-ce que ton fils est grand" admet difficilement ce genre d'expression, car soit on est grand, soit on ne l'est pas, non ? L'entre-deux me semble difficile ..
     

    FleurMarlowe

    Senior Member
    French-France
    Bonjour,

    A la question "Est-ce que x est grand ?", quand x n'est pas grand mais pas petit non plus, la réponse peut être "pas vraiment".
     

    Wai Ho

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    My Phonetics professor at University of Laval in Quebec said to me that she's pretty much never heard the expression <<comme ci, comma ça>> used, except by Anglophones (and she's lived in the city of Quebec for 15 years or so now, if I remember correctly). She figured for quite a while (due to having taught it in classes using standard French Foreign Language textbooks) that it's more of a France-French phrase than Quebecois phrase, but upon going to Paris, she still never heard it.
    In fact, "comme ci comme ça" is also used in Quebec, but rarely. We often say "moyen" instead.
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    Ça me surprend que personne n'ait encore mentionné "on fait aller".

    Personnellement c'est ça que je dis quand ça va moyen.
    Génération Z, mais j'ai l'impression de l'avoir entendu toute ma vie.
    Ou est-ce que c'est un truc local comme les pains au chocolat et les chocolatines ?

    En tous cas ça bat largement "couci couça", au moins dans les bouquins scannés par notre dieu Google.
    Je me demande bien pourquoi ça a l'air de monter en flèche depuis 2005, d'ailleurs.
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    Ça me surprend que personne n'ait encore mentionné "on fait aller".
    Personnellement c'est ça que je dis quand ça va moyen.
    Génération Z, mais j'ai l'impression de l'avoir entendu toute ma vie.
    Ou est-ce que c'est un truc local comme les pains au chocolat et les chocolatines ?
    En tous cas ça bat largement "couci couça", au moins dans les bouquins scannés par notre dieu Google.
    Je me demande bien pourquoi ça a l'air de monter en flèche depuis 2005, d'ailleurs.
    Je l'ai entendu souvent également, aussi en Normandie ou en Alsace, d'après mes souvenirs. Ça ne doit pas être un truc local, à mon avis.
    (Si ça monte en flèche depuis 2005, je me demande si ça n'est pas dû au début de la numérisation des magazines dans les années 2000)
     
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