Friday, 13 February 2009

Bon Courage

How do you translate bon courage? Good courage? That's not English as I know it. I have a big French dictionary and I looked up courage. There are 27 lines of explanation which are mostly to do with courage or bravery but there is no bon courage. So then I looked up 'luck' because I had been told that bon courage was good luck. The dictionary said I could use le bonheur or bonne chance but no mention of bon courage!

Then I looked at the word bon and there are far too many lines about bon to allow me to count them, but I eventually found bon courage. The dictionary tells me that it means good luck. It was slightly easier to look in a small dictionary and find the same information. The point is that it is much more enjoyable to hear someone say bon courage to you than it is to look up a word in a dictionary.

My French desk diary today says bonne chance ce soir. I would prefer bon courage ce soir because you have to work a bit harder to translate courage than you do to tranlate chance. You can guess that chance is luck, but you can't say the same thing for courage.

Today's date is vendredi le treize février. Perhaps the French have the same superstitions.

A bientôt

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