Il a perdu son équilibre.
ee lah pair-dew saw nay-kee-LEE-bruh. Click below to hear this pronounced.
He lost his balance.
If you read yesterday’s post, you will recognize the faux ami (“false friend”, or false cognate) here. If balancer means to swing, then how do you say to balance in French?
The answer, of course, is équilibrer. I’m sure you recognized it right away when you saw it. And the noun that goes with it is équilibre. It’s masculine, though you can’t tell for sure in this sentence because it starts with a vowel, and thus would require son before it even if it were feminine.
The word has a wide variety of applications: in physics, chemistry, architecture, nutrition, psychology, and so on.
It could simply mean what happens when you trip over a rug. It could mean what happens to your diet when you eat nothing but doughnuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It could describe the façade of a building, where an ungraceful addition creates an appearance of heaviness on one side. Or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
So, whether you write poetry or design intricate machinery, plan meals or balance budgets or worry about your mental state, strive for équilibre. It’s not just balance; it’s symmetry, harmony, an element of beauty, wholesomeness, a safety factor, and much more. Maybe it is life itself!
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