it's not obvious / it's not easy

What do francophones use for saying "it's not obvious"?

And have they been saying "c'est pas évident = it's not easy" for a long time (centuries) or is it a pretty recent corruption of the meaning of évident?
 
  • LART01

    Senior Member
    French-France
    You are right
    c'est pas évident= c'est pas facile
    To really mean not obvious
    I woud say=
    c'est pas clair
    ça ne va pas de soi even better
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Bonne question.
    Peut-être :
    "Ça ne va pas de soi"

    Rien d'autre ne me vient à l'esprit comme ça sans plus de contexte...
     

    windsmith

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Bonne question.
    Peut-être :
    "Ça ne va pas de soi"

    Rien d'autre ne me vient à l'esprit comme ça sans plus de contexte...

    Supposing the context was:
    Person 'A', who appears to be in their thirties, informs Person 'B' that they are in fact 50 years old.

    Would it make sense for Person 'B' to reply "Ça ne parait pas!" as a way of expressing a kind of surprise and to basically say "wow you don't look 50!" ?
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Supposing the context was:
    Person 'A', who appears to be in their thirties, informs Person 'B' that they are in fact 50 years old.

    Would it make sense for Person 'B' to reply "Ça ne parait pas!" as a way of expressing a kind of surprise and to basically say "wow you don't look 50!" ?
    I am afraid it wouldn't work.

    In this case, I think I would say:
    "Vous ne les faites pas (du tout) !" (= vous ne faites pas 50 / on ne dirait pas que vous avez 50 ans)
    "On ne dirait pas !"

    Or Kelly' version would also be possible
    Or ça ne se voit pas, depending on the context, I think.
     

    windsmith

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    I just worked up the courage to ask several Quebecois francophones that i work with regarding 'Ça ne se voit pas' and 'Ça ne parait pas'.

    My impression was that 'Ça ne se voit pas' wouldn't be the best choice in the context given.
    There seemed to be a consensus among them that 'Ça ne parait pas' would be an appropriate expression.

    I'm unsure though whether I have correctly put that into written form?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited:

    windsmith

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Thank you Dear Prudence & Kelly B ...

    When I inquired about 'Ça ne se voit pas' to my Canadian francophone colleagues, they asked me whether I was trying to express the idea that some object was 'invisible'. They didn't think that expression would be used in the context.

    I don't mean to be impudent, but I swear that 4 Quebecois just affirmed that "Ça ne parait pas" would work :eek: in the context. (Although I'm still not sure that I have written it down correctly)

    Now I have some kind of cognitive dissonance on this question.

    I suspect that there is a regional aspect to this?

    Thank you again for your thoughts and corrections.
     
    Last edited:

    kiefer

    Member
    Bonjour windsmith :)

    Expressions are quite different from Quebec to France.
    But in France, we will not use "ça ne paraît pas" in this context. It would sound odd.

    both Dearprudence's and Kelly B's words are quite right.
     

    windsmith

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Okay thank you Kiefer for removing the lingering doubts that were in my mind. And my apologies to Kelly B and DearPrudence for having had those misguided doubts in the first place! :eek:

    Since I'm living in North America, my final request for this thread is to ask a North American francophone in the WR community to corroborate that the expression suggested by my Quebecois colleagues is in fact an expression that would typically be used in the "North American dialect of French" (and it appears to me that there is indeed such a dialect) in the context provided.

    Then in my mind the question will be settled à jamais! :D

    Thank you everyone.
     
    Last edited:

    windsmith

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    update: lest this thread give the impression that the France/Québec expression divide is greater than it really is ...

    one québecoise has told me that both 'Ça ne se voit pas' and 'Ça ne parait pas' would sound natural and appropriate in this context.

    Case closed, I guess. Thanks everyone.
     
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