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Our French prof at our university assigned us about 30 questions aimed at brushing up on our speaking skills, and one of the questions completely escapes me. So basically, we need to create a natural French sentence like the one French people would really use, based on an English sentence given as a clue, and the French sentence needs to include a keyword given, in this case, the noun "moyen" to denote the meaning of the bold part.


"Though we just increased their salary, they still don't stop complaining! So no one can work anymore without complaining, for crying out loud?!"


So we need to create a natural French sentence roughly corresponding to this English sentence, and we need to somehow include the noun "moyen" in the French sentence of the bold part. I consulted many dictionaries and such, but I can't understand how the noun "moyen" can be used to denote the meaning "stop" or "complaining". Am I missing something? The prof said "Be flexible!" and it doesn't have to the exact translation of the English sentence but rather something similar in meaning that French people would come up with.

  • This is weird indeed. You can use moyen in y'a pas moyen, meaning "there's no way", which could be used somewhere else in your sentence (ex: "Y'a pas moyen de travailler sans se plaindre, ici ?"), but I don't quite see how it can replace the bold part. – Teleporting Goat May 15 at 15:31
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    As a feeble attempt at word play (my French wife never gets/appreciates my attempts, so I'll leave this as a comment), maybe you could play on the connection between a salary raise and the "financial means" sense of moyen by negating the "trouver-le-moyen" notion suggested in the two answers given so far, perhaps as follows: ... "Bien qu'on ait juste augmenté leur/s salaire/s, ils trouvent toujours pas le[s] moyen[s] de s'en (se) contenter (de leur/s salaire/s)! .... , nom/n d'une pipe!"..... (see what my poor wife has to deal with?) – Papa Poule May 16 at 21:56
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The only colloquial phrasing that comes to mind is:

On leur augmente leur salaire et ils trouvent encore le moyen de se plaindre ! Est-ce que plus personne ne peut travailler sans râler, bon sang ?!

It's not as much an established idiom as it is phraseology at work here:

"When someone insists on doing something despite X", you can say "et ... trouver encore le moyen de ..." with the literal meaning of "and yet ... still find a way to ...".

Which essentially amounts to the same thing as "Despite X, ... still don't stop ..." in your example.

Note: the definite article "le moyen" is used in French, as opposed to the indefinite article "a way" in English.

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This is what I would say:

Bien qu'on ait juste augmenté leur salaires, ils trouvent toujours le moyen de continuer à se plaindre! Alors aujourd'hui, personne ne peut plus travailler sans se plaindre, ce n'est pas vrai!

Given that it's obviously spoken language, rather than written one, I would even say (even if that's not grammatically correct):

Bien qu'on ait juste augmenté leur salaires, ils trouvent toujours le moyen de continuer à se plaindre! Alors aujourd'hui, personne ne peut plus travailler sans se plaindre, c'est pas vrai!

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    « c'est pas vrai ça ! » is another likely possibility. – LPH May 15 at 17:36
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Other answers showed how people complaining always find a mean to keep at it. They are perfectly fine.

The way I envisionned it initially was slightly different, but could probably work as well:

Même en les augmentant, pas moyen de les arrêter de se plaindre. Est-ce qu’il y en a encore pour travailler sans rouspéter pour un oui ou pour un non ?

Even by increasing their wages we can’t stop their complaining. Is there still someone willing to work without whining about everything?

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