I know what it means, however, I don't know how to phrase this. I know it says my friends are, but then in "légers" I'm confused a bit. I just get stuck on the word légers since I know it means something along the lines of light or slight. I know what the phrase is saying, however, I don't know how if I'm right. The best thing that I've come up with is "My friends are making light of the situation, but it's not a joke".

  • 1
    "my friends are easy-going, but this situation is no joke". My guess is: It could be for example, you made a joke that is extremely offensive about your friends, and you think they'll not make a big deal about it because they are easy going but they are taking the joke seriously.
    – user614287
    Dec 11, 2018 at 16:47
  • Or the situation is tragic, but the friends can still make light of it
    – user13512
    Dec 11, 2018 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


It is rare to see this kind of sentence with this acception of légers in everyday life. People would usually describe the situation as: Mes amis prennent la situation à la légère, instead of characterizing their friends as légers (that would certainly make it less confusing).

Léger : Qui manque de sérieux, qui fait preuve d'imprudence

French people will say: Mes amis prennent la situation à la légère. This means their friends are not putting unnecessary pressure on themself whereas the situation shoud be taken seriously. Translation: taken lightly.


This sentence is not that easy to understand, even for a native speaker. I have an interpretation, but it depends on the context.

Could you maybe provide some context for your sentence? Where did you read it? What was the speaker talking about before?

Anyway, here's my interpretation: léger can be used in the phrase "un ton léger", meaning "a light tone", or "light-hearted", when you're not too serious about something.

The sentence would then mean something like:

My friends are light-hearted [when talking about it], but the situation is no joke.

I assume the text is from a book or a play, because omitting the part about the ton would then be a stylistic figure of speech. It needs the reader to make some effort to understand the sentence, making it more subtle and interesting.

Does that make sense in the context of your sentence?

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