make them shake their heads


New Member

"Cette remarque n'est pas la seule qui a fait les Français secouer leurs têtes."

Does this sentence make any sense?

What I am trying to say, is that "this remark (or statement) is not the only one which has made the French shake their heads (in confusion/bewilderment).

I have a feeling that the french sentence does not work very well, am I right? Is there an alternative way of expressing the same thing?
  • GuiPeel

    New Member
    Français - France
    Bonjour !

    Maybe you can try this :
    Cette déclaration n'est pas la seule qui a fait secouer la tête aux français.
    But "secouer la tête" is not very used in French.
    I would say "Cette remarque/déclaration n'est pas la seule qui a exaspérée les français." but i'm not sure. If someone else could answer :)


    New Member
    Merci beaucoup! :)

    Yes, I have a feeling that "secouer la tête" is not very good in this context, I think it might be a too literal translation. How about the following sentence:

    "Cette remarque n'est pas la seule qui a agacée les Français." ? (I am talking about a statement made by Eva Joly, if it helps knowing the context..)


    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    Maybe this is a cultural problem. English people would use this phrase. The Duke of Edinburgh often makes gaffes and people just shake their heads (in amazement/bewilderment/confusion). Perhaps the French just shrug their shoulders and say "Bof! quel con!".
    Ask guipeel if this is possible : Cette déclaration n'est pas la seule qui a fait que les français se haussent les épaules en l'entendant.


    Senior Member
    France French
    Hausser les épaules ne traduit pas du tout l'idée de bewilderment mais plutôt de dépit ou d'indifférence.
    J'aurais dit : Ce n'était pas la seule remarque(???)/ saillie/déclaration/intervention qui ait stupéfié les Français.
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