"Il est désespéré parce qu'il a perdu son portable."

Translation:He feels hopeless because he lost his cell phone.

June 28, 2020

This discussion is locked.


This set of sentences consistently uses the word 'hopeless' incorrectly. Perhaps he could feel hopeless if losing his phone was just one of many events that collectively made him feel that way. From the information given in this sentence he is more likely to feel dispirited, frustrated, cross. If he is addicted to having a phone with him all the time he may feel lost, isolated or even helpless. But 'hopeless' has a much stronger meaning.


I agree. Hopeless is such a strong word for losing a cellphone. Frustrated, worried, ready to give up, discombobulated, any of those would be better.


Have a lingot for discombobulated. :-)


From what 'information given in this sentence'? It should be easy to imagine a back story where losing a cell phone would be devastating, and there is nothing about the sentence that suggests that such a story would be unlikely.


Why wouldn't this be "Il se sent désespéré..." then? Thanks.


Its a question of finding a suitable english expression for désespéré - "hopeless" on its own tends to mean lack of capability rather than having lost hope. "In despair" is probably how we would most naturally express it in English.


I think my translation, "He is in despair because he lost his cell phone" should be accepted.


I agree. Suggested. "He feels hopeless" is inappropriate

  • 1821

I agree. The current English sentence is very unnatural.


he's desperate because he lost his phone


I think this is the safest answer, doublelingot.

"Desperate" matches my Larousse and also WordReference. "Hopeless" is the only other translation given by both. To me it is smarter to use a dictionary definition rather than try to imagine how this imaginary "person" felt.

So I would say he "feels desperate" or just go along with "hopeless."



Agreed, Neil, so reported via flag Apr 2021 that "He is in despair because he lost his mobile phone." should be an accepted translation.


So isn't "desperate" suitable?


Apparently the French word means something like he has lost all hope. The implication is that he is ready to give up. The English word desperate doesn't mean the same thing as it it suggests that the person has nothing left to lose and is likely to now take reckless action.


I think "dispirited" probably comes closest in meaning to the French, and also appears to have the same root words. But it's not widely used in English conversation.


-------- not "desolated " ? . . .

Big 30 jul 20


I agree that desperate can suggest recklessness, but there's a more relevant meaning here. When I lost my phone, I felt desperate, not hopeless. I was desperate (frantic) to find ways to lock my accounts and find a replacement, not feeling hopeless that there was nothing that could ever be done about it, nor feeling worthless, the other meaning I'd associate with hopeless. If "désespéré" doesn't mean desperate, they should find a different example to relate the meaning.


I'd suggest maybe "despondent" as a good translation here.


I also agree. Have previously queried with other sentences the use of the word "hopeless" It conveys a sense of inadequacy in English. Does that sense also apply in French?


Pretty sure Sitesurf has told us that a portable can be a mobile phone OR a laptop, but laptop does not work here. Reported


I agree totally with the statement below. You just don't say that someone feels hopeless because they lost their phone. It's too strong a word


he despairs because he lost his cell phone, could be correct ?


'He is distraught because he lost his phone' seems like a good translation to me? But no.


Would switching the adjectives to impuissant / helpless restore harmony here?


I agree with Richard Homa


He feels as though his right arm has been cut off because he lost his mobile phone!


Hmmm, it looks as if "Il est désespéré" means exactly the same thing as "Il se sent désespéré" ! Comments from francophone(s)???

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