les francais sont des veaux

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elenaqwerty

Senior Member
english
" Les Francais sont des veaux" disait le général de Gaulle

What does this mean? And would this be translated as "little lambs" in English, or would you keep the calf metaphor?
 
  • JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    Au figuré, un veau est une personne sans personnalité, pas très intelligente, sans réactions...
    (On le dit aussi d'une voiture : c'est un veau, cad pas puissante, sans reprises)
     

    Micia93

    Senior Member
    France French
    " Les Francais sont des veaux" disait le général de Gaulle

    What does this mean? And would this be translated as "little lambs" in English, or would you keep the calf metaphor?
    It is not "little lambs" ! :D
    this is very rude and derogatory in fact : it means that french are really stupid and uneducated
    keep the calf metaphor, if it has the same meaning ing english !
     

    Omelette

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well I was going to suggest 'bovine' which isn't very racy, but is the same idea.
    But if now you're going to bring puns into it!
    Please!
     

    elenaqwerty

    Senior Member
    english
    does calf really keep the same metaphor? how about sheep? as in, somebody who just follows the crowd
     

    franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    The idea is that calves follow one behind the other, not asking any questions - the herd instinct (they're easily led)
     

    pointvirgule

    Senior Member
    langue française
    - "Les Français sont des veaux." Il a réellement employé cette expression ?
    - Il l'a souvent employée quand il les voyait ne pas réagir ou se considérer comme battus avant même d'avoir engagé le fer. (This was said by De Gaulle's son, Philippe, in De Gaulle, mon père.)
    I already gave my suggestion. It has nothing to do with herd instinct.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Sheep :tick: has exactly the same idea of following blindly, calves :cross: doesn't.

    If you wan't to rest bovine, then say cattle. (But it was Hitchcock who said that about actors, not the French.)
     
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