Back in November 2011 we launched our Blog Competition to find a student as passionate about language as we are to contribute to our blog once a month for six months.
We are very pleased to announce that out of over 600 entries Emma Wilberforce, who is studying English Language and Linguistics at York University, is our first winner! Here is her winning entry – check back in on the last week day of the next six months to read her contributions;
I was talking to my friend the other day and complaining about this and that when I found myself replying “C’est la vie!”. It got me thinking is there not an equivalent English phrase that would have the same effect as this well-used French one? Somehow saying “That’s life!” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Some people have argued that we’re just too lazy to translate the French phrase into its English equivalent, however I beg to differ. I believe that this phrase has a certain charm to it which perfectly summarises the situation at hand, whereas our English counterpart fails to convey the same feeling. It’s odd how even though they both mean the same thing they can evoke different sentiments.
To me, if someone retorted “That’s life!” I would take it to be a rather blunt end to the conversation topic and it would convey more the sentiment of “get over yourself”. Whereas, if the reply was “C’est la vie!” I would be more inclined to think they were being sympathetic.
It is a well known stereotype that the English are usually very indirect about things, favouring “Would you mind possibly giving me a hand with this?” over “Help!” and this also ties [...]