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I have heard the following sentence in the TV series Marseille:

  • Ça fait quoi de s'asseoir au siège de Robert Taro, Mr. le Maire?

Context: A journalist asks this question in a press conference to the newly-elected mayor of Marseille. Robert Taro is the former mayor.

What does "ça fait quoi de faire qqch" mean here? The literal translation ("What does it do to sit in Robert Taro' seat?") makes no sense. I guess it means "How does it feel to sit in Robert Taro's seat?". Would "Que sentez-vous en vous asseyant au siège de Robert Taro" be correct and equally usual?

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    "Ça fait quoi de..." is one of those French expressions that have no direct parallel in English (and perhaps other languages, but I wouldn't know), and reflects the slightly more informal way of speaking the French use... It's used in both informal and semi-formal settings, unlike "Que sentez-vous en...", which is much more formal and cumbersome – Still_learning Apr 7 at 14:29
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There's a fairly straightforward translation, I think, namely :

"What's it like to be sitting in Robert Tarot's seat, Mr Mayor?"

« Que sentez-vous … ? » doesn't work, it would mean "Can't you smell something?", implying Robert Taro had maybe let one rip before the mayor sat down. « Que ressentez-vous ? » would be closer to the mark.

| improve this answer | |
  • Note that "ça fait" is used also in affirmative sentences, not just questions. Ex:*ça fait drôle d'être ici, ça fait bizarre de te voir*, etc. – Greg Apr 8 at 5:05

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