What's your background?

yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
Bonjour !

I was wondering how to say "What's your background?" in French. Would it be "Quelles sont tes (ou vos) origines ?" ?
(The answer could be "Ma mère est chinoise d'origine et mon père est canadien")
Merci d'avance !
 
  • yuechu

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Is it common to use the singular as well? (Quelle est votre origine ?, par exemple) Or is it usually asked in the plural form?
    Thanks!
     

    jekoh

    Senior Member
    Fr - Fr
    It's a weird way to ask the question, but you do hear it from time to time. Origines étrangères is implied.

    Regarding #3, the singular is as common as the plural. I for one would never write that sentence in the plural.
     

    clamor

    Senior Member
    French - France
    :confused::confused:
    The question was "What's your background?". Furthermore, "Tu as des origines?" is not usual at all to me.
    Yes, but it implies the persons has some foreign background. It is a non standard and indirect way to ask the question. I mentionned it only as something that can be heard, in order that yuechu and others not be surprised if they hear it :)
     

    Kecha

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Funny. I would reply to "What's your background?" with something like "I have a master's degree in this, I work in this and that" because I would expect it to mean my educational/professional background, not my ancestry. Is it the standard way of asking?
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    I would reply to "What's your background?" with something like "I have a master's degree in this, I work in this and that"
    So would I, but in the specific context of meeting someone about a job possibility or other professional context.

    NB: To ask this question related to ethnic origin is illegal in job interviews in the US! (And generally considered quite rude for minority people, unless you know the person well.)
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Funny. I would reply to "What's your background?" with something like "I have a master's degree in this, I work in this and that" because I would expect it to mean my educational/professional background, not my ancestry.
    So would I
    NB: To ask this question related to ethnic origin is illegal in job interviews in the US! (
    I hope it manages to stay illegal.

    ---
    'Quelles sont vos origines' est toute autre chose (to my ears) .
     

    balzar

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    So would I, but in the specific context of meeting someone about a job possibility or other professional context.

    NB: To ask this question related to ethnic origin is illegal in job interviews in the US! (And generally considered quite rude for minority people, unless you know the person well.)
    Quite agree! The point about ethnic origin is certainly quite rude!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top