Oh well

  • Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    Tant pis = Oh, well / Too bad (accompanied, optionally by a resigned sigh) when the speaker is addressing her or his own situation.

    In my experience, however, when directed at someone else -- and especially when accompanied by the infamous "Gallic shrug" -- it means something more like "Well, that's your look out" (sous-entendu: "I don't care". This is the "tant pis" uttered by the officious railway official who will not let you onto the platform when the last train is about to depart.

    -- "But if I miss this train I'll miss my flight too"
    -- (Shrug) "Tant pis".



    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    xanana said:
    On the opposite side of the coin, what does "tant mieux" mean ?
    So much the better / All the better.

    Just as "tant pis" can have the meaning "that's tough", so "tant mieux" can often be translated as "that's good news".

    L'Afrique progresse et c'est tant mieux pour nous tous
    Africa is progressing and that's good news for all of us



    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I heard it in conversation with my French teacher just the other day. The context: complaining about the stupity of someone whose bullheadedness caused him to lose an opportunity. The teacher said "Tant pis". It could be translated perfectly into Italian as "peggio per lui" or in English (sort of) as "he gets what he deserves" or "so much the worse for him".

    Very long answer. Fire me.


    Kelly B

    USA English
    Tant mieux.

    I suspect that "your answer was too long" may have been intended to mean "your answer took too long," although 40 minutes is really quite fast for volunteer assistance; on n'est pas dans le corps des pompiers....


    New Member
    Candada - French
    Actually if not mistaken... "tant pis" is most likely Germanic in background when France was occupide by the Northern kin (Germanic Language)

    Note: French is the only Latin language that has Germanic influenced language. Very interesting look it up!

    So saying that - "tant pis" is actually comes from "temp pire" which literally means "bad times" but more in the sense as a for seen event; as in "bad times to come" or " bad times are coming". When we (French Canadian - Quebecois and French from France) say "tant pis" (I guess we most likely would write it like this as it is considered an expression/slang) we do mean it as "too bad" or " slang : "too bad, so sad"
    if a sense that you could not give a damn!

    "Temp mieux" Litterly mean "good times" This is in the sense : "I really studied hard and got an A+" the reply to this that would be equivalent to "temp mieux" would be : "Good for you!" either with sincerity or sarcasm!

    Here's an exit with "tant pis

    Bien, tant pis si vous n'avez pas compris qu'est cq que j'ai assez de vous expliquer. Temp mieux si vous avez enregistrés.



    Senior Member
    USA, English
    i beg to differ

    latin itself is full of germanic influences that came across the limes .
    most of the troops in the later empire were paid mercenaries and germanic.

    the most famous example of a germanic word in latin is the word for window, fenster in modern german.

    or the example i remember from my latin teacher back in the middle ages


    Senior Member
    English - America
    Je voudrais préciser que selon les explications-ci, "oh well" ne veuille pas dire "tant pis" sauf peut-être en mode particulier, voire sarcastique. Donc, on doit toujours préciser le sens où "tant pis" pourrais vouloir dire "oh well".
    Je crois que la meilleur traduction est "eh bien" ou "bon" comme dit ici : http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1201467&highlight=oh+well
    et non comme ici : http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1233615&highlight=oh+well
    ce dernier ayant le sens que ça ne m'inquiète pas, au contraire à « tant pis ».


    New Member
    I don't understand the response by Mr Vivic. First, he says inconsistently that tant pis is (a) from Germanic and (b) from temps pis, when temps is from Latin tempus.

    In any case, surely tant pis is from a Latin phrase like tantum peius ( if that's grammatical ), meaning so much the worse.