"C'est n'importe quoi."

Translation:That is nonsense!

March 2, 2018

73 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dr24jane

Hmm. I thought this meant "It doesn't matter (to me)". Similar to 'N'importe qui" - it doesn't matter who. Am I way off base here? .. J


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelWood7

Technically, you'd be right. But the phrase « n'importe quoi » has a pretty negative connotation, and it's only ever used to refer to things that are less than desirable. "Nonsense" or "who knows what" are better translations.

For example, take the sentence, « Il fait n'importe quoi. » One might assume it means something like "He does anything," but in reality, the translation is closer to "He's doing who knows what." (such as getting himself into trouble)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tweed903443

I was married to a French person for 20 years. I have to say that every time he used this phrase he meant "That doesn't matter."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xy16j3

I have never heard the expression in that way, however it is very frequently used for saying "that doesn't make sense".


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

Tu dis n'importe quoi. = You're spouting nonsense.

Tu fais n'importe quoi. = You're out of control.

"N'importe quoi!" = What nonsense!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NadezhdaMu4

My french-speaking friend also told it means "That is nonsense" - smth has no meaning, no sense. And "it doesn't matter" he translated "ce n'est pas important"


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

Not sure if anyone has said this already, however, when living in France, my family used it to mean something along the lines of "whatever," which I feel has a different meaning than "it doesn't matter." Would love to know how others feel on this!


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

Why was "est" highlighted


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

This lesson in the start of the course, so in this time you shouldn't know this word, i guess


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimMitchel709962

French scenario where this would be said, please. And thank you kindly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neharika6565

Isn't "That is rubbish" correct? Is it necessary to use the word 'nonsense'? 'Rubbish' was in the dictionary hint after all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monkey_47

Same question. DL marked the answer "that's rubbish" as wrong even though it is shown as translation in the hints. In English "that's rubbish" is equivalent to "that's wrong".


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

That would be the British equivalent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henri232

I always thought of it as meaning something like "whatever".


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

Agree with dr24jane, I thought this meant it is not important or does not matter as in "What do you want for breakfast?" "n'importe quoi". Can anyone explain?


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

It's an other use of it, which means more something like "nonsense", and has for sure a negative connotation. In general, "n'importe quoi" has this negative connotation, that's why we don't use it that much with the meaning you're proposing. It is the same construction as "n'importe qui" or "n'importe quand", but it bot really the sale semantic. In your example, to express that we don't care about what will be serve for breakfast, we would more probably use "je m'en fiche" than "n'importe quoi". Some other examples:

  • "c'est n'importe quoi" : it's nonsense

  • "tu fais n'importe quoi" : (I'm not sure how to translate it in an idiomatic ways so i'll explain) no one understands why you're doing it, it doesn't make any sense, it's probably very stupid, dangerous or useless.

  • "Je mangerais n'importe quoi" : I would eat anything (we would probably understand that you are so hungry that you would literally eat anything we'll give you, even not very edible stuffs...)


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

It helps me a lot! Thank you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tweed903443

That is helpful. Thanks. As someone with a language degree, I have to wonder if this particular phrase varies by region and by age. My ex would be about 67 now, and he is French. He always used it to mean "It doesn't matter at all." - Which would equate a modern "Whatever." As all language does, idiomatic expressions evolve with generations. It could well be that someone in their 40s may use it very differently..


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

This is complete nonsense!


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

So what does that n stands for here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arabella210259

N' from ne, ne........pas, to negate the verb :)


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

I thought it meant that's none of your business, or that is of no matter to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreea.iorga29

Hmm, doesn't this mean "it doesn't matter"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa786

It's in the lesson on idioms, so by now I understand that Duo wants an equivalent English (usually American) idiom and not a word-for-word translation. I looked here: https://www.thoughtco.com/nimporte-quoi-1371318 "That's nonsense" seems a good fit here, or "whatever" but neither are truly idioms in English. Freer and more amusing idiomatic options might be found here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/64162/12-old-timey-ways-saying-nonsense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

I think we're learning French idioms that don't necessarily translate to English idioms. But great link from Thoughtco! I was going to share it myself, so now I don't have to!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/L-homme-de-dino

Shout-out to Remi Gaillard


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

Well, "that means nothing" didn't work.


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

I've never heard this before...is it kinda like saying "That's stupid"? Or no...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arabella210259

Apparently it's like saying whatever, but I'm not sure :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NielsRobin1

Sound is not working


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

the first time you told me it was " no matter what"!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

It has a lot of meanings from anything to whatever to nonsense and beyond.

www.thoughtco.com/nimporte-quoi-1371318


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

I would have thought 'It doesn't matter what" too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gunjan825003

French it's not easy it's too hard that is very helpful it's will be royal


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

There was no audio here. I love more quality content from our friends at Duolingo


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

It would be great if Duolingo also gave us the literal translation, especially in this lesson. We need at least some understanding of how the sentence is constructed to mean what it means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasVil8

I have completed idioms level one twice and it does not progress to the next level!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cutty312

This is an idiom?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kayra91680

I like 'whatever" as a translation. =-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tweed903443

That means "That doesn't matter."


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

Doesn't qoui mean what? I don't understand the structure of this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken976855

The audio is missing


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

No sound for this one!


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

There is no sound for this one!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Meera45_cool

The audio was missing?


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

C'est mon expression préférée.


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

Why do we use the word 'quoi' here?


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

It literally translates as "no matter what".

You can also say "N'importe qui", "n'importe où", "n'importe quand", "n'importe lequel" or "n'import comment" for their respective meanings: anyone, anywhere, any time, whichever, or "no matter how".

N'importe quoi just has a special meaning as an insult, saying that something is nonsense. "Tu racontes n'importe quoi!" "You say whatever," as in you are spouting nonsense.


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

I refuse to believe that this could be a french idiom (This is nonsense)!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/corey986015

Pronunciation button does not work on this question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Coral87382

The sound button isn't working for this phrase


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xhh911

This exercise is not spoken. Maybe problems with the recording. All others are heard loud and clear.


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

C'est en faisant n'importe quoi qu'on devient n'importe qui.

-Rémi Gaillard


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

The audio is missing


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

How is this an idiom or a proverb? It doesn't meet any requirements for either.


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

Please what does this idiom mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glenn806511

Pressing the button to play the audio recording of the phrase does nothing. There is no audio!


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

In other places i see this translated as 'That's crazy' is this accurate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaddyONeil5

That is nonsense-translate to C'est in non-sens


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.57uIKQ

Why 'quoi' is used here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Persian-Speaker

If there were sentences to comprehend the exact meanings of idioms & proverbs part !

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