This is something that it has puzzled me for some time. I'm feeling that a word-by-word translation would not work in French. How can one convey colloquially in French:

Learn (or know) Enough to Be Dangerous

as in

The name “Learn Enough” refers to the philosophy is that you don’t have learn everything about most subjects—you just have to learn enough to be dangerous.

In this context, “dangerous” is meant to have a positive meaning, indicating that you are able to get things done.

taking from:


See also a relevant question here:


Here is an application in an academic context:


  • 1
    "En apprendre juste assez pour être dangereux" seems to fit just fine... but to me conveys the idea of not knowing enough still to be efficient. Like knowing a bit of chemistry can be enough to be dangerous and you need more to be safe...
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 10 '20 at 11:40
  • 1
    Yes I think the word is ironic, it's what we could call "minimum vital" knowledge.
    – Valentin
    Nov 10 '20 at 21:58
  • le bagage minimal? les bases du métier? guide de survie?
    – OznOg
    Mar 20 at 19:46

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