"Comment vous débrouillez-vous ?"

Translation:How do you get by?

March 30, 2018

This discussion is locked.


For any non-native English speakers, the meaning may not be immediately obvious. Here "get by" is used in the figurative sense, as in to manage (living in) a situation.

Example from the wild: "Encore maintenant, je ne peux pas me débrouiller toute seule."

"Even now, I cannot manage on my own."

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I put "how are you getting along", but I don't know if it quite fits. To me, "getting along" has a less negative connotation--more like "how's it going". "Getting by" implies more of a struggle. Could a native French speaker comment on this?


There is no problem with the French, but the English is not "getting along", but in the sense of "get by" or "manage" (on your own, by yourself). One might think of it as "working it out". Example: vous devrez vous débrouiller = you have to work it out (or) you have to deal with it (or) you have to manage (it) by yourself (or very loosely) you're on your own there, pal. See comment by Selbosh, above.


Thanks, this was helpful


In my idiomatic English, "how are you getting along?" seems to be an acceptable variant , but it was not accepted.


See my note just above.


What is wrong with saying 'how are you coping.' which is what I would say but by adult children would say 'how are you getting by'.


How are you doing?


I read all the notes written here, and still feel that "How are you getting along?" is appropriate. It could signify that a person is on his own and someone is wondering how he is managing.

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