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  5. "Il n'y a pas le feu au lac !"


"Il n'y a pas le feu au lac !"

March 7, 2013



why is it not at the lake too?


A few comments on this sentence:

  • the English use "on" while the French use "à" with usual variants: "il y a le feu à la maison", "il y a le feu au lac" (contraction of à-le).

  • this is a Swiss phrase, which we pronounce with a lagging tone of voice (imitation of the Swiss-French accent). The lake here is Lake Geneva.

[deactivated user]

    Are the Swiss generally perceived to be a bit slow? In Germany, we have this stereotype as well.


    I'm afraid it is the same here...


    But - le feu à la maison - could be "the house is on fire", but hardly "there is fire on the house". I think it would have to be "a fire in the house" if you insist on that word order. And with the lake, either one of "in", "at" or "on" are probably about equally bad, I guess?


    I imagine the translation about the "no need to hurry" is an idiom, then?


    yes, a Swiss one.


    I would like to know why as well.

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