Désolé pour le désagrément!

Désolé pour le désagrément!

day-zo-lay poor luh day-zah-gray-MAH. Click below to hear this.

Sorry about the inconvenience.

Désolé is the way you say sorry when you are apologizing for something. I saw this particular apology on a tweet from a French social website. Their site had been down for several hours, and they were announcing that it was now fixed.

There is a perfectly good French word that looks like inconvenience, but it doesn’t mean quite the same thing. Un inconvénient is a disadvantage of one thing as compared to one or more others. Un désagrément, on the other hand, is a bother that temporarily takes away a bit of the fun in life. It’s not a big deal, but it may be an annoyance.

A disagreement, on yet another hand (I’m running out of hands here; hold yours out for a moment, will you?), is un désaccord or une dispute in French. Don’t mix up these “false friends”!

So when your computer goes down, that’s un désagrément, even though you may be en désaccord with its failure to cooperate, and having to buy another would be a real inconvénient, given the fact that you had planned other uses for your time and your money.

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