• Gabriela Kouahla - Beyond Words Translator

French English business expressions (and their true meaning)

Let's say you have started a new project with a French company... When you communicate with the French team (in French - or even by reading the emails sent between your colleagues or the marketing manager and his/her colleagues before sending you the documents to be translated, for example), you may be lost... in the language, and ask yourself: should we keep it in English or French?

There are many English words or expressions used by your French colleagues or manager. And for the funny part, here is their REAL meaning.

dans la boucle

If someone asks you "Peux-tu me mettre dans la boucle" (lit. Can you put me in the loop?) it simply means to copy your interlocutor so that he/she is informed of the progress of the project. More generally "être dans la boucle" means being part of the project.

Or simply saying: Send me a copy so that I can check that you're doing your job.


aussi vite que possible = as fast as possible. You will have to put this project in your top priorities to satisfy your manager!

Or simply saying: Hurry up!


A "FYI" (= for your information) is still a sign that your colleagues / boss wants to involve you by informing you about issues that are not necessarily yours. Don't neglect these emails!

Or simply saying: No need to answer, but you need to know.


Yes, the English word "deadline" is quite used even in French. Deadline means the last date by which you must submit your project. 

Or simply saying: Think twice before you exceed it.

prendre le lead

When your boss asks you to "prendre le lead" (lit. take the lead) it means that you become the leader of this project, he/she is counting on you to complete it!

Or simply saying: You're in control, don't screw it up.

dans ton scope

If a colleague tells you that this project is "dans ton scope" (lit. in your scope), it means that it is part of your responsibilities.

Or simply saying: You must do it, not me.

from scratch

Making a project "from scratch" means you will have to do everything from A to Z.

Or simply saying: You have to do everything, EVERYTHING.

These expressions are just a few examples, but in France, as in other countries, English words or expressions from the business environment are mixed with French both orally and in writing. So, it's up to you if you keep a bilingual touch, while knowing clearly what they mean.

Take care & till soon...

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