Don't get too complacent

mb70

New Member
English - Canada
The only French translation I have found is "complaisant," which would translate better as "accomodating." Can anyone help me with "complacent," in the sense of "just because things are going well, don't get too complacent."
 
  • mb70

    New Member
    English - Canada
    To me, "complacent" means not just being too satisfied with the status quo, but also assuming that things will never change. So, although "ne sois pas trop content" captures some of the meaning, it doesn't quite get the whole thing. What do you think?
     

    Micia93

    Senior Member
    France French
    word by word, it would have been :
    "juste parce que les choses vont bien, ne sois pas trop satisfait / trop content"
    and I now translate your former phrase with another structure :
    "ce n'est pas parce que tout va bien que tu dois être satisfait"
    well, it's my understanding anyway !
    :=)
     

    mb70

    New Member
    English - Canada
    I didn't realize that "Ne sois pas trop satisfait" connoted being off your guard: if so, then it comes very close...certainly close enough for the sense in which I wanted to use the term. Thanks very much.
     

    Rory Melough

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, we have this in English as well: don't rest on your laurels....

    Sorry all, I know I'm being pendantic (even by the standards of this forum!) but I think there could be a couple of meanings / contexts to "complacent"....

    I think depending on the context, it could mean "don't rest on your laurels" / don't be overly satisfied or could mean don't be off your guard / negligent.

    It's true that this is only a nuance, but ultimately, the word in English covers the two meanings. I would suggest that in French the appropriate term would have to be chosen in the right context.
     
    Last edited:

    litchi

    Senior Member
    French
    Oui, peut-être que dans les cas évoqués par Rory Melough, quelque chose comme "nonchalant" pourrait convenir...?
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    The context makes the meaning of 'complaisant' here (at #1) obvious, and I think it's the best word to use...

    I'm sorry, but I don't think 'nonchalant' is quite the same idea...
     

    litchi

    Senior Member
    French
    C'est pour ça que j'ai précisé " dans les cas évoqués par Rory Melough". Dans l'idée de "off your guard". La situation nous convient tellement bien qu'on ne fait pas attention.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    Lichi, je suis allée voir la définition de 'nonchalant', et j'ai vu qu'elle peut en effet être assez négative, alors que je comprenais ce mot uniquement dans le sens positif. (J'avais une image de quelqu'un qui se promène au bord d'un cours d'eau paisible... tant pis pour mon image ! :rolleyes:)
     
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