To take someone lightly

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Senior Member

I'm trying to say "I think that they couldn't have taken Rosette lightly, if she were not a peasant girl" in French.
My try is: "Je pense qu’ils ne pouvaient pas badiner Rosette si elle n’était pas une paysanne."
I'm doubtful of the word choice here--would "badiner" a right word for this context? Thanks very much!
  • jierbe31

    Senior Member
    French from France

    I don't think "badiner" is appropriate here.
    I'd rather take the expression in its literal sense of "prendre à la légère", that is "to not consider someone seriously".
    Moreover, unless I'm totally wrong, you've made a mistake on the tenses.
    I'd say: "Je pense qu'ils /n'auraient pas pu/ auraient été incapables de/ prendre Rosette à la légère si elle n'avait pas été une paysanne."


    Senior Member
    Un peu plus éloigné de l'original :
    "Je pense qu'ils auraient pris Rosette plus au sérieux si elle n'avait pas été une paysanne".

    "prendre au sérieux" opposite of "prendre à la légère"

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    I can't tell why, but I wouldn't say prendre quelqu'un à la légère. Yet I would accept prendre quelqu'un au sérieux. I guess it has to do with the fact that prendre à is usually applied to a thing, not to a person. prendre quelqu'un au sérieux might be a recent evolution (recent being relative of course).
    If you want to retain the idea of lightly, I would suggest: prendre R avec légèreté...

    non rien!

    Senior Member
    English- England
    WHat about if someone kept taking the mickey out of us in a light hearted way, and we were to say
    'Oh you should take it more lightly, he is only mucking about!'

    What would it be in this context?

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