New Times,
New Thinking.

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11 September 2012

“Get lost, you rich bastard“? It was so much ruder than that.

The real translation is not so safe for work.

By Mark Nayler

There is little love lost, it would seem, between the French newspaper Liberation and Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and CEO of luxury fashion conglomerate LMVH.

Rumours are circulating that Arnault is planning to apply for Belgian citizenship after Francois Hollande proposed a new 75 per cent tax rate on earnings over one million Euros. Liberation didn’t waste many words in letting the country know what exactly it thought of Arnault’s proposed relocation: “Casse-toi riche con!” screamed its headline today.

The English speaking press has rather quaintly translated this savage announcement as “Get lost you rich bastard”. However – this is not quite correct. In my early twenties, I went out with a French girl for a couple of years; by the end of our relationship my French had improved somewhat and, in particular, I had learnt a few juicy put-downs. “Con” is certainly one of them and refers to at least one bodily… area. Have a Google (not at work).

This article can be read in full at Spear’s.

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