mal dans ma peau

x_Sarah_x

Member
Scotland - English
I was listening to "SOS d'un terrien en detresse" from Strarmania and noticed the line "Je suis mal dans ma peau". I thought mal was a verb like froid, soif, peur etc that take avoir rather than etre. Does "je suis mal" have a different meaning from "j'ai mal"?

thanks in advance

Sarah x

Moderator's note: several threads have been merged to create this one.
 
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  • geve

    Senior Member
    France, French
    "mal" isn't a verb, and neither are froid, soif, peur ;)
    "mal" is either a noun, an adjective or an adverb (see WR entry about mal)

    But here "mal dans ma peau" is a set expression used as an adjective (hence the verb être), that means not very self-confident... I don't know if there's an equivalent idiom in English ?
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    geve said:
    But here "mal dans ma peau" is a set expression used as an adjective (hence the verb être), that means not very self-confident... I don't know if there's an equivalent idiom in English ?
    I would suggest "I don't feel good about myself" but there are many other ways of saying this.
     

    geve

    Senior Member
    France, French
    french4beth said:
    I would suggest "I don't feel good about myself" but there are many other ways of saying this.
    I'm interested !

    "I don't feel good about myself" - couldn't that also be a "temporary" state of being ? "mal dans sa peau" relates more to a permanent feeling of "self underestimation" if I can use this term... or not feeling at ease with who one is...
    eg: à l'adolescence on est souvent mal dans sa peau
    (and then you imagine the blossoming teenager who rips off his/her skin just like a snake slough, to reveal his/her true, radiant inner self :p )
     

    Kelly B

    Curmodgeratrice
    USA English
    Do you think this would have been a good answer to that "low self-esteem" thread?

    "Uncomfortable in his/her own skin" exists in English too, but it is rather rare.
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hi geve,
    geve said:
    "I don't feel good about myself" - couldn't that also be a "temporary" state of being ? "mal dans sa peau" relates more to a permanent feeling of "self underestimation" if I can use this term... or not feeling at ease with who one is...
    eg: à l'adolescence on est souvent mal dans sa peau
    I think that "I don't feel good about myself" is a more long-term state of mind, perhaps due to a lack of self-confidence, etc. (I'm not familiar with the term 'self underestimation' but I know what you mean - it would be a good descriptive phrase, though!).

    By the way - I love your image (about teens sloughing off their skin).
     

    geve

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Thanks, Kelly, I was wondering if there was the same kind of skin metaphor in English.
    And thanks for clarifying, French4Beth ! so then, you wouldn't say "I don't feel good about myself" after having done something you're not very proud of ?

    I hadn't seen this thread (here) but it could be, yes ! Actually I think that "low self-esteem" was what I was trying to say with "self underestimation"... :rolleyes:
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    geve said:
    so then, you wouldn't say "I don't feel good about myself" after having done something you're not very proud of ?
    Actually, geve in your example, you could use the above phrase as this would be correct in the sense of "I'm not very proud of my behavior" - sorry, I didn't think of this sense of the phrase when I posted my reply :eek:
    so, the phrase could be a long-term state of ennui or malaise, or just a brief feeling, depending on the situation.
     

    johnblacksox

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Can you give context? There is a psychological term, "He is not comfortable in his own skin", but that has nothing to do with feeling physically ill.
     

    tchoupi

    Senior Member
    french
    par exemple on dit souvent qu'un adolescent est mal dans sa peau quand il a des complexes ou qu'il se cherche..Cela vous éclaire t il ?
     

    OLN

    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    [...] Sans contexte : feel or be unhappy, feel bad (about oneself), at odds (with...), feel akward, feel unfit, etc.

    (note : y a-t-il, éclaire-t-il )
     
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    johnblacksox

    Senior Member
    English - US
    par exemple on dit souvent qu'un adolescent est mal dans sa peau quand il a des complexes ou qu'il se cherche..Cela vous éclaire t il ?

    Ok, then yes, as I said earlier, there is a similar phrase in English: "He is not comfortable in his own skin".
     
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