On remarque une surenchère de chômage.

On remarque une surenchère de chômage.

aw ruh-maar kewn sew-rah-shair duh show-MAHZH. Click below to hear this.*

We are noticing an increase in unemployment.

Sadly, that’s not new news. But it is a good opportunity to use another interesting word.

If you go back to yesterday’s post, you’ll see the word surenchérir, to bid higher. Its original, basic meaning has to do with auctions and bidding up the price.

But it is also used in a figurative sense, meaning to increase all sorts of things. It’s often used in reporting the results of surveys: rates of violence, for instance, smartphone ownership, new housing, the cost of living, or chômage (unemployment), as in today’s sentence.

You can even use the verb to talk about political campaigns. Les candidats surenchérissent de promesses would be an apt statement in almost any campaign: The candidates are outdoing each other in promises, or, in a dirty campaign, d’injures (in insults). Another good English translation would be trying to top each other.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:


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