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  5. "C'est mon métier."

"C'est mon métier."

Translation:It's my occupation.

March 17, 2013

89 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchAddict7

Can travail and metier be interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

Usually, no.

  • Travail, boulot, and emploi all refer to the work one does to earn money.
  • Métier is one's profession, vocation, trade, craft, occupation, or special area of experience.
  • Career, though similar, is translated "la carrière".

It's true that métier is used informally as "job", but be aware that travail, boulot, and emploi are more common and of all these, "boulot" is the most informal way to refer to (just) a job. I.e., "boulot" is not your profession, trade, craft, or occupation; it's just where you go to put in your time and collect your wages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oskalingo

I translated as “This is my work”.

I am not necessarily arguing for this to be accepted (I didn't report it) but I used ‘work’ in the older sense of that which you wright in the world, that which occupies you both effortfully and vocationally. As an example, a sculptor may show you their studio in which there might be a partially finished sculpture and say “This is my work” and mean not just the piece they're currently working on but this is what they work at, this is their trade, their craft, their work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

And in the sense of one's trade or craft, yes, that is their work (métier). If you are showing a product of one's work, i.e., a (piece of) work, it is l'œuvre (f). The challenge from the English side is that we need to use caution about what French word we apply to a particular situation because "boulot", for example, has a decidedly mundane connotation to it. As you know, there is considerable overlap in both languages so sometimes it seems like splitting hairs when dealing with job, work, occupation, trade, profession, and career.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

N6ZS? Wouldn't the word "work" work in that sentence also? Can that be added? My work is office work. My job is an office job. My work is all-consuming. My job is all-consuming. My work is half time. My job is half time. They seem interchangeable in English. No?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColinCanuck

Overlapping, but not totally interchangeable. Words have connotations. "job" implies something you do for money but don't necessarily enjoy, you might say "it's just a job". Also you might have successive jobs that were very different, but equally unskilled. That would be "houblot"

Metier, is more like profession. It's what you think of yourself as, even if you are currently out of work. It's what you would write on your passport. "I am a computer programmer", "I am a dentist".

"Travail" is somewhere in between. It's the noun form of the verb "to work". so "Je suis un professeur. C'est mon metier. Je vais au travail en voiture."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom419655

"Craft" was not accepted. How many others among the valid synonyms you've listed here remain to be added to DL's list?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Actually, someone had surreptitiously removed "craft" from the list, so I added it again and released the correct answers stuck in the user-report box.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom419655

Profession is accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom419655

I was notified this morning that 'craft' has been added to the list of accepted translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/french4lcc

I am curious as to why "It's my job" wouldn't be a good English translation, since in English "job" is considered a proper characterization of one's profession.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

They are not necessarily equivalent. An actor may be working as a waiter - his job is waiter, his profession is acting. A microbiologist may be working as a tutor, etc., etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/french4lcc

Well, true, but just based on the sentence as it stands by itself, it's not really calling on lot of context to determine such distinctions. And what you're saying calls for more context than that simple statement calls for. My issue here is, "métier" means one's profession, which, just by this no-context statement itself, can also describe one's job. Are there more words in French that distinguish "job" from "profession" even when just used in a statement with no other context? If so, THEN I could see not translating "job".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jobeth.mur

Yes, travail is specifically a job, as opposed to a career or profession.

No one would say their profession is being a hamburger flipper at McD's. That is their job (travail) while likely on the way to bigger and better things, like a doctor (métier).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyB11

Métier (sometimes written - incorrectly - without the accent) is a word used in English to describe one's best ability, and/or the job for which one is best suited. "He's discovered his métier," can be said when talking about someone who's (finally? It can take some people a long time!) found the job for which they have the most talent and interest. So if you think of it in the English context, remembering "profession" or "craft" (in the work context: say, carpenter? Chef?) as the preferred translation might help. It doesn't have to be the sort of job one would usually call a profession over "just a job". If you're particularly good at something, and enjoy it, it can be your métier, even if others don't see it that way.

I hope I haven't muddied the waters here! I'll leave others to give you job synonyms :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mihaela6

I think that in English this should not be translated as "job". In fact someone can work as "baby-sitter" being a "nurse", for example. So "metier" should be understood as the "profession" rather than a current job.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

Métier is generally taken as profession/craft/trade/ocupation, but is also used informally as "job".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babybrotherangel

I tried field. what field of education are you in. I think it fits, non


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

When the top three hints are "profession", "trade", and "craft"? http://www.wordreference.com/fren/m%C3%A9tier


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cogges

I also tried "field", which was accepted as a translation of "métier" in a previous sentence. I thought it meant the field you work in, your area of expertise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

When you mean "field (of knowledge)", the French term of choice would be "domaine" (m). Source: Oxford French Dictionary


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EeshaniDasGupta

Why is the "It is my occupation" marked wrong? Can't "It's" and "It is" be interchanged?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Yes, they can. Duo, however, has a very difficult time with apostrophes, and not infrequently gets them wrong. You're right, Duo is wrong, you can try reporting it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Colibritastic

Seems like Boulot in French is like Chamba in Spanish. They seem to have a "Daily Grind" feel to them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gini558167

For métier I put field, which was rejected in favor of métier (in English). In a previous question, I used job for métier, and was told it should be field. Hard to please DL sometimes. I might well use métier in English, and both of my friends would understand, but nobody else.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"my field" = mon domaine.

To translate "mon métier", you can use "craft/trade/profession" but there is no exact translation. "Un métier" is a combination of know-how and experience.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wmconlon

It's been a long time since school for me, but I thought I would try 'It is my major,' which would be the field of study/expertise of a student.

How would your major subject of study be translated?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

C'est mon domaine (field of knowledge).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorothyDel2

Metier is an acceptable translation in English, meaning trade or profession. Why is it marked incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Métier" is back again on the list of accepted translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaggsQ

Because metier is a masculine word, 'mon' is always the correct direct possessive to use, right? I don't/can't change it to the feminine version because I'm a female speaking?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Avencia_

Yes; in French, possessive words match the gender of the thing owned, not the gender of the owner.
The exception is when the thing owned starts with a vowel, in which case you use the masculine possessive word to make the sounds flow better: Mon ami = my friend, mon amie = my female friend


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lbark

Isn't metier an English word too?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

It's métier in British English, which is a bit odd of itself since it is spelled with an accented character which exposes it as a borrowed word. I have never heard the term used in US English. I would not use it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peephole

I definitely use and hear the word in US English. It's my métier!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisaskier

It's definitely a word used in British english, so much so that I really struggle to think of the non-french equivalent! ;}

Duo marked me wrong for using it :[


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewMas366978

I'm an American with British parents and I grew up hearing this word. So I tried the same thing and was surprised Duolingo didn't take it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is accepted now, even if it is much less common than other translations, including among British English speakers. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/metier


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haedehr

why is "il est" is not used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janncole

Because the possessive mon is used to modify the noun. About.com French language c'est vs il est gives more info.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimSCasey

Can 'metier' mean 'hobby'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

"Hobby" is "passe-temps" (m). "Métier" is profession, trade or craft.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saibroniq

can "métier" also mean career?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

For "career", the natural choice would be "carrière" (f). Although "carrière" is sometimes translated as "profession", "profession" does not back-translate to "carrière". Go figure. In which case, use "profession" (f).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanTheFit

It's my field should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2265

When you mean "field (of knowledge)", the French term of choice would be "domaine" (m). Source: Oxford French Dictionary


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanTheFit

Yes, and "It's my field" should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No, sorry "field" is too wide to mean "métier". Your field can be aeronautics but your métier can be "metal welder" and tomorrow, you can change jobs, keep your métier and change field (automobile, construction...).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanTheFit

Sorry, but I just can't accept you and n6zs attempting to teach me the meaning of English words, a language in which I have almost 70 years of experience, not to mention a baccalaureate. Perhaps the two of you would be happier (albeit just as inaccurate) in the English language area of Duolingo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sean.mullen

It's not really about the meaning of English words, but métier. Métier is "profession, craft, trade", etc., whereas domaine is used for "domain" or "field (of study)". While they are close in meaning, they're not synonyms. I'm a native English speaker, too, and I'm afraid you're wrong on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hllsen

Why "this is my expertise" is not accepted ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sean.mullen

"My expertise" would be better translated as « ma compétence ».


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"expertise" and "compétence" are not quite the same.

"expertise" should be "une expertise"

"une compétence" should be "skill, ability, competence or competency" depending on context.

"un métier" is a combination of an area of expertise and the experience gained in this area.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dVMP6

What about when someone is thanking you for something and you say back " No problem, it is my job!" Would that be métier? Also, how would you say "a job well done?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"no problem, it is my job" = pas de problème, c'est mon travail / c'est mon boulot (informal)

"a job well done" = un travail/boulot bien fait


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Colin178883

What is wrong with it is my speciality


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rumactree

I think you’d use « spécialité »


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam98991

@sitesurf: I work at a jewelry store. Sometimes when I help the customers with something, they thank me and I say ‘no problem, that’s my job’ Can I say ‘ pas de problemme, c’est mon métier?’ Merci


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

If what you do for your customers is on the task list of your job description, "c'est mon travail" is enough.

If you go beyond that, with insights about a specific aspect of your profession and experience as a whole, and they comment on your deep knowledge or helpful advice, you can use "c'est mon métier".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rumactree

Could I have written: “it is my calling” for this? Or would that be another word?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I think it would be "c'est ma vocation".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d10MplTj

I tried "vocation" just to see what Duo might think' but was gonged. I think I was correct and n6zs seems to agree, and he is never wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Vocation" is "une vocation", which basically is a feeling, not an activity which is what "un métier" is. If you read the rest of the thread and open a dictionary, I'm pretty sure you will understand what "un métier" is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kannayuki

can you say "it's my job"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa.Simone

My answer was literally, "it's my occupation". Duo marked it wrong because I didn't capitalise the letter "I"? When I tried to flag it the list of options didn't include "my answer should have been accepted"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amy315157

I used the word "field" and was counted wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clive204188

Well job was rejected for occupation when I used it on here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew986472

If métier mean occupation, what's the word for career?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Une carrière.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliviaLiu32

my french tutor says i pronounce it right but duolingo says im wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

You have a human being, why struggle with the highly unreliable computer? You can turn off the microphone option. I did years ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bella-Swan14

Does occupation mean work, or job?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam220011

C est =it's and this is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam220011

C est can be used for both "its" and "this is" right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

C'est can be used for "it is" and "this is". The contracted form of "it is" is "it's".

"Its" is a possessive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BisiOsibog

Translated this as 'It is my occupation'. Why was my answer not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hrcoble

Would "career" not work here for métier? I'm pretty sure that's what I learned in school (although it has been a while).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxy

What about "It's my business"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikitakimba

I'd say not. I might work at Apple, and someone could ask "Why are you doing that?" and I reply "It is my job." I wouldn't say "my business" if I'm not the owner.

Also, don't forget that if you say "it's none of your business" has nothing to do with work or jobs..... I think in French, they use "enterprise" and "affaire".

My point is that perhaps Duo doesn't want to introduce any more confusion then there already is :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/french4lcc

N, you're right about "affaire", translating out to "business", ie, personal affairs. Hence: "T'occupe tes affaires" = Mind your own business. So "It's my business" would be more like a response given when someone seems intrusive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanTheFit

@sean.mullen: This would really not be worth the effort to argue, were it not for the nit-picking, fussy, arrogant attitude of some of the im-moderators here at Duolingo. This is not the first, second, or third instance where a minor shading of meaning has gotten these Guardians of Accuracy up on their hind legs, shields polished and pikes thrust forward, proclaiming "Thou shalt not pass!"

As to the specifics of this discussion, you may be right -- provided, that is, that four out of four online thesauri that I checked are all wrong. Each of them, including Merriam-Webster.com and Thesaurus.com list "field" either as a synonym or related word to "métier." But perhaps you have a better authority?

I wish to stress that the real argument here is whether Duolingo French ought to be teaching English to English speakers. I feel that it should not, and that if it does, it should at least be right!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Let's face it: English does not have a perfect translation for "un métier", which describes a combination of know-how and experience in any given field.

http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/m%C3%A9tier/50997?q=m%C3%A9tier#50887

In any event, "un métier" belongs to the professional field and "field" by itself does not.

The Moderators' job is to keep the forums focused, clean and safe for the Community. Some of them can also volunteer to help learners with grammar, cultural aspects and Duolingo's method, mechanics and constraints.

They can also give tips to those experiencing their first foreign language, like: let go of your native language's logic and reflexes; start thinking in the target language as soon as possible; you are not learning the art of translation but the basics of another language; forget about what sounds the nicest to you in your mother tongue and translate as closely as possible; back translate all your translations to check that the reverse gets back to the original sentence exactly; an awkward or even awful English translation can better draw your attention to the target language's way of expressing the same ideas, etc.

You may ignore all of that, of course, it's up to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanTheFit

Sitesurf, I have found you to be quite a helpful moderator any number of times, and I thank you for your efforts. I would love to get into a philosophical discussion with you about what Duolingo does and how it does it, but I hardly think this is the place.

Although I have noodled with French on and off for more than 50 years, I'm still not very good at it. Still, I have strong opinions about how people communicate with each other, and I enjoy expressing those opinions here from time to time. Please feel free to put me in my place when you disagree with me, and forgive me when my BS scale tilts my prose toward sarcasm.

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