Les forces rebelles ont revendiqué la victoire.
lay for sruh-bell law ruh-vah-dee-kay lah veek-TWAAR. Click below to hear this.
The rebels have claimed victory.
Revendiquer is a cool word. It means to lay claim to something, but that something can’t be just anything. It has to be something you feel you have a right to. Did you know that revendiquer is related to vindicate? The word is often used by the news media. It may describe workers demanding a higher salary, teachers demanding smaller class sizes, rebel forces (as in today’s example) claiming a victory.
It can also refer to terrorists claiming responsibility for an attack. Yes, it has that meaning too! I’ve heard revendiquer used twice in the last week alone, with different meanings: la Tunisie, la Libye, and not so long ago, la Thaïlande.
As for les rebelles, while the word looks like a feminine, it is both masculine and feminine, and both noun and adjective. It doesn’t just refer to people who object to the established order, or teenagers who want nothing to do with parental control. It also refers to bad hair days, as in des cheveux rebelles, flyaway hair. Now there’s something you probably don’t want to revendiquer. You’ll want to cover it with a ski cap and pretend it doesn’t exist.