Le gouvernement a pris un train de mesures.

Le gouvernement a pris un train de mesures.

luh goo-vair-nuh-mah a pree uh TRAAD muh-zewr. Click below to hear this. 

The government has taken a series of measures.

Governments are known for measuring things, interminably sometimes, before taking action. How much will it cost? How many people will be affected? Who wants it? That’s called bureaucracy, and it’s usually guaranteed to drive ordinary folks crazy, and maybe even take a train (prendre un train) to somewhere else.

But here, the government has made its move: Il a pris un train de mesures. Nobody’s taking a train, but now they will begin measuring something else: the effectiveness of the new measures.

How does a bunch of legal measures get to be called un train? Simple: Just as a train is a series of cars pulled by an engine, a group of related measures may be pulled along by an objective, a concept, or a political ideology. You’d think they’d stuff it all into one law, but for various reasons it may be more pragmatic to break it up into a package. And maybe they aren’t all laws. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Wait, how did that cat get in here? That belongs in a different post. Get it out of here, it is distracting me from my train of thought!

Alternate audio file link: un-train-de-mesures

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