2

Je vais peut-être vous choquer, mais ni elle ni moi ne sommes doués pour les relations à distance.

In conversation, I find myself using "choquer" like this more than I care to admit to express the idea of:

{In English}: It may shock you, but ...

{In German}: Das mag dich jetzt überraschen{surprise}, aber ...

The verb "shock" in English is about making someone (mentally) feel very surprised with something unexpected, eliciting a reponse like an incredulous "What?!".

I've always wondered if "choquer" in French, on the other hand, might lean more towards the idea of evoking a negative emotion: "offenser / bouleverser / troubler" than the intended "surprise someone a lot by saying something unexpected" -- especially as I can't seem to find a dictionary entry that supports the use of "choquer" in the sense of "surprise".

Is this specific use of "choquer", whether anglicism or not, considered acceptable in French?

3

Yes, "choquer" has a negative meaning, though it can be used in the sense you meant in colloquial french. In your case, I would use "surprendre" or "étonner", but it's a bit less strong.

1

In your example, it feels (in both French and English) like '[I am so wild, such as rebel that] what I say may shock you'. Interestingly, in this context people will not say 'ce que je dis est choquant' (but may say 'ce que je dis est peut-être choquant') : only other people are genuinely 'choquants' (I am 'peut-être choquant', i.e. a rebel).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.