Quote from Candide:

Sa physionomie annonçait son âme. Il avait le jugement assez droit, avec l'esprit le plus simple ; c'est, je crois, pour cette raison qu'on le nommait Candide.

If I understand correctly, this means (loosely translated) something like:

His face expressed his soul. He got a pretty upright appearance, with a simple mind. That's why, I belive, he was called Candide.

Now I've got some questions:

  • Is this correct?
  • Is jugement obsolete for describing a person? What is its meaning today, if so?
  • 1
    He had a [straight-forward/righteous](?) intellect, with the simplest spirit. It is, I believe, for this reason that he [was called/they called him] Candide. Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 13:42
  • Complexion or constitution. It's the honest simpleton. This translation may provide further insight.
    – user3177
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


No, here jugement is synonymous to thinking ability, it is described here in D.1.

However, this is not used any more outside of philosophy or literature, it has become very outdated in this sense and is now almost always used in the legal sense (A. in CNRTL's article linked above).

  • Thanks so far! Would you mind telling me whether the rest of the sentence was translated more or less correct? Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 10:42
  • 1
    Really? It seems alive and well in Quebec French (and probably North American French in general).
    – Circeus
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 14:04
  • 4
    The phrasing “avoir le jugement droit” is certainly a bit odd. But jugement is clearly not outdated. It's alive in France too. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 14:45

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