"The bourgeois"

December 19, 2012


The heck? I've never seen that word before.

January 20, 2013

It's a French word. It indicates in a slightly pejorative way well-off people with very conformist views, etc. Italian has the correspondent 'Borghesia'. Methinks Bourgeois and Bourgeoisie are terms probably more known in mainland Europe.

March 14, 2013

I do not believe it was only french. In my dictionary it says in English it was bourg and then later in the 16 cent it was combine with the french word and now it is just bourgeois. But I do seriously hate this word I can barely pronounce it right

August 26, 2013

Bürger simply means citizen if I am not mistaken. Why this weird term bourgeois then? Are we taking lessons in Marxism? :S

March 30, 2013

Yes, but I believe Bürger has connotations in German that citizen doesn't have in English. Ein Bürger is going to be a solid, middle-class guy -- well-off, even, but never an aristocrat -- that's a different class entirely. It goes back to the days when people were citizens of their particular town, and had voting rights there, and had other rights in consequence of their town citizenship.

But in the US, anyway, if you refer to an individual person as "the citizen" you sound, gasp, like a communist (very scary to US folk) even though you can talk about "being a good citizen" and sound perfectly patriotic.

"The townsman" might get a little what Bürger means in German.

I believe "bourgeois" before the French revolution meant the same thing as Bürger; they were the middle class who had property and voting rights within their towns, and were making money, as opposed to the Aristos who had even more power and wealth, and the starving populace.

So this all gets tied up in franchise, and economics, and class conflict...

July 26, 2013

Should we avoid using Burger when only referring to citizens, then? If it has similar connotations to bourgeois, that's pretty political.

August 23, 2013

No, you can use Bürger; although the etymology of the term is similar to bourgeois, it never picked up those connotations, what with Germany having a very different economic and political history than France.

It just makes it hard to translate into English. If you can, maybe just leave it as "Bürger".

August 24, 2013

Would be nice if you introduced the words to us in German before asking for their translation. Unless we are supposed to just look words up in the dictionary.

January 28, 2013

In American English, "bourgeois" is only used to mean "citizen" in the broadest, figurative sense. It is much more likely to be thought of as a specific class distinction of the citizenry. The average American wouldn't consider it to be a synonym for Bürger. Therefore, I would flag this question for removal on the basis that it is a poor choice for learning.

June 11, 2013

the bourgeois is also plural

December 19, 2012

The problem is that the translations provided when one clicks on a word are not always the ones that the program later asks for. The definitions are less sophisticated than the exercises.

February 10, 2013

Also, this could be plural.

February 10, 2013

LOL, SlyRatchet, I have to agree what the heck is that?

February 14, 2013

I've never seen such English word so it's kinda difficult to translate it...

April 28, 2013

you can always mouse over "Bourgeuois" and if you see a German word you have recently learned, it's probably the one the program is looking for. No need for a dictionary! ; )

June 2, 2013
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