1. Ptiboudelard Member

    Hello everybody !

    I must learn some vocabulary in the "Journalease". But, there are often some words which are not explained, or that we can not identify in an accurate context ... So, I file a claim and hope that you will be able to help me !

    The word is " rank and file " . I've tried to understand, seeking on the internet, and I think that I've found the fitting meaning : " un niveau de base " . Does it mean the same thing as " a grass roots level " ?

    Thank you in advance !

  2. little_creatures New Member

    English - Australian
    Hi Edward,

    Usually "rank and file" is used to people who have no status, or who are at the bottom of an organisation... so in something like "The boss was never kind to the rank and file employees," it would mean those employees who deliver mail and answer phones and so on. I guess in French you might say "modeste"? But it tends to be used in a pejorative sense.

    Hope that helps!
  3. Ptiboudelard Member

    Hi little_creature,

    thank you for having replied quickly !

    In French, "modeste" suggests a kind of subjectivity . We consider somebody as "modeste", but it's our own opinion: maybe he is not.In addition, I think that "modeste" means that this person does not boast about anything even if she could.

    So ... isn't there any other translation for this word ? Furthermore, does "a grass roots level" have the same meaning ?

    Thank you for your help !

  4. little_creatures New Member

    English - Australian
    I definitely would not use "grassroots level" and "rank and file" interchangeably.

    "Rank and file" is about status, if you describe people as being members of the rank and file you are essentially saying they have quite low status. "Lowly" is a good English synonym but I'm afraid I don't have a good French translation - you're better off asking a native French-speaker for that!

    A "grassroots level", on the other hand, isn't really a term you would apply to people - you would more likely use it to describe a process or an organisation. If you say "The politician was an excellent grassroots campaigner", it means that the politician went out and talked to ordinary people on the street. So "grassroots level" means something like "local level" - it doesn't really reflect low status, per se.
  5. Ptiboudelard Member

    Ok ! Thank you very much for your help ! It 's a shame that workbooks do not give the accurate meaning ! So, it is reassuring when a English-speaker can help us ! :)

    See you !

  6. weena Senior Member

    français (de France)
    Je suis souvent confrontée à l'expression "rank-and-file employees" dans mes traductions et je suis toujours embêtée par sa traduction. Je trouve qu'"employés de base" a une connotation péjorative. En même temps, le statut d'employé est celui "de base" (par opposition au cadre), donc le terme lui-même ne suffirait-il pas? Qu'en pensez-vous?

  7. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    In English terms, all people receiving a salary from a company are its employees (= les salariés ????), whether high-ranking, middle-management or rank-and-file workers.

    So if, in French, employé = salarié de base, your problem is solved.

Share This Page