I'm doing a project on Quebec's changing political influence in Canada.

I thought it would be interesting if the title one part would be in French, and the other in English. I eventually came up with:

Forever the Odd One Out: Quebec's waning influence in Canada” (With the italics in French)

The problem is that I find many figures of speech don't have the same impact in French. I wanted something that had the idea, so I searched for a translation for the word outlier, hoping to say something like “Toujours le [Outlier],” but I couldn't find any direct translation for the word in my dictionaries.

Is there any word that carries the same idea as the word “outlier”? And what kind of title in French would give the same idea as “Forever the Odd One Out”?

  • 2
    If I'm right, your project will be in English. Giving a (partial) French title to such work can for sure have an interesting stylistic effect, if the French part is very idiomatic, nearly without translation. IMO, starting with an English expression for which there isn't a good translation -- I like none of those provided and I'm unable to find a better one -- is not the way to build such title. (Stéphane's proposition is probably a step in the correct direction: stop trying to find a translation). Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 11:01
  • Agreed. Trying to write in French through English never really works out properly for me, anyway.
    – Zolani13
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 17:13

5 Answers 5


Not exactly a literal translation for outlier, but it conveys the same meaning and is already atemporal somehow:

Un cas à part, Quebec's waning influence in Canada.


I have a few suggestions:

  • Jamais à sa place
  • L'éternel mouton noir (this one adds a little hint of rebelliousness*)
  • L'exception de toujours

*Fun fact: this year marks the 175th anniversary of the 1837-1838 rebellions.


Pour insister sur la diminution :

  • Toujours dans le même sens, l'influence du Québec diminue au Canada
  • Toujours le même constat, ... (+)

Pour insister sur la mise à l'écart (out)

  • De plus en plus à l'écart, ...
  • De plus en plus isolé, ... (+)

Pour indiquer l'annonce d'une cause perdue :

  • Éternel perdant, ...
  • Définitivement second, ... (+)

Titre accrocheur :

  • Dans les choux, ...
  • Déclin assuré, ... (+)

Les (+) auraient ma préférence, mais il y a sûrement d'autres possibilités intéressantes.


Perhaps L'étranger perpétuel, but it lacks the notion of still being part of the group which outlier or odd one has. And I fear that the reference to Camus's book, which is part of the attraction for me for that title, will be missed by most of your readership.


A french expression, perhaps : toujours à la traîne.

  • 1
    Good expression, but doesn't that signify Quebec is behind the others? It's not the idea them being behind, but rather they'll always differ strongly from the group as a whole. Thanks, though. :)
    – Zolani13
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 17:17

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