I want to say

When you text someone instead of speaking to them, it is easy to be misunderstood, and you could offend the other person.

How would I say this?

  • Welcome to FL Élise. We do not use "Thank you" and "xxx" when asking a question on SE. "xxx" never at all.
    – None
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 8:05
  • 3
    When asking a question you are expected to say what you have found by yourself so far, for example if you have looked in a dictionary what deos it say? In short, do not ask for a translation.
    – None
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 8:15
  • To repeat what Laure said, the French Language & Usage Stack Exchange is not a translation service! It's to help you understand things you're having trouble figuring out on your own. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 6:13

5 Answers 5


«D'être mal compris»

Is "to be misunderstood". Voir le verbe comprendre II.2.a

  • Micromégas! Great story. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 6:13
  • Pouvez-vous svp. préciser... II.2.a ?? Vous voulez dire II.A.2.a) ? Si oui, dans la rubrique syntagme ? le cas échéant quel élément ? J'aimerais comprendre le lien que vous faites... Merci !
    – user3177
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 9:10

To answer the question in your title and given the context of the situation you are describing, the appropriate translation of "misunderstood" is "mal interprété".

As for your sentence, on way to go would be, for example:

Les communications écrites, contrairement aux communications orales, peuvent être facilement mal interprétées et sont susceptibles d'offenser leurs destinataires.

  • 1
    This is very formal and might not fit any situation.
    – None
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 8:12

"Mal compris" and "incompris" are the two most plausible translations. "Il est facile d'être mal compris" is better (because "incompris" is more formal).


I misunderstood. can be

Je n'ai pas compris.
J'ai mal compris.
Je me suis mépris (formal)

misunderstood (adjective) can be

mal compris
mécompris (formal)

The Micromégas answer seems to be the best to me

D'être mal compris

One could use for instance Deepl for translations like this and then posing here a question for a specific subject.

Lorsque vous envoyez un message texte à quelqu'un au lieu de lui parler, il est facile d'être mal compris, et vous pourriez offenser l'autre personne.

Depending on the context, pronoun you could be replaced by on

Lorsqu'on envoie un message texte à quelqu'un au lieu de lui parler, il est facile d'être mal compris, et on pourrait offenser l'autre personne.

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