Does anyone know how to say these 2 things in French?

Can anyone please tell me How to say

“they’re playing for time” in French. ie delaying tactics.

Also if receiving a faux-naive explanation, which completely ignores the obvious true explanation, How to say

“I find this answer disingenuous”, or something similar.

What are the formulas of words the French might use, to say something similar?

Happy to explain context if requested, but think I’ve already bored people enough on another topic this week :slight_smile:

Jouer la montre?


Vouloir (ou essayer de) gagner du temps

Je trouve la réponse (de …) pas sincère

Courtesy of Reverso, my French isn’t that good :slight_smile:

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I would use the verb temporiser, or temporiser en attendant, myself. Which is neutral. Il joue la montre is a bit slang’y to me.

And how snarky or otherwise do you want to be for disingenuous?

for disingenuous, moderate snarky suggestions at most…
As it’s a business so a level of decorum must be maintained :slight_smile:

On playing for time, Yes I think referring to “une stratégie de temporisation” will do nicely. Thank you.

@Billy loved the jouer la montre but a bit sporty - seen MAN U do that so many times to waste time as soon as they got ahead in Extra Time

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Steady on there Karen…

In any case if that ever happened (which I doubt) it was in the old days (under Fergie) even more unlikely these days albeit for unfortunate reasons (they’re so seldom ahead in ET)

Dr Mark (formerly Stretford End '66)

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In terms of an answer being disingenuous I find “ah bon” with the right inflection works in multiple situations. :joy:


that’s a particular favourite of mine… as you say… it’s the inflection which “says it all”…

another I’ve noticed and chuckled at… is “mon oeil” with the finger touching the cheek bone… or sometimes pulling downwards (gently) :rofl:
first time I struck enough courage to use that one… everyone fell about laughing… although they did admit it I was using it correctly… :wink:

Karen mentions this is a business setting!! Just a touch too familiar :joy::scream:


yep… I was replying to and chuckling with… @EmilyA :wink: :wink:

For Disingenuous I was wondering whether something like saying their explanation or response seemed “fraîche” might do it. As I think I’ve seen something like it in auto-moto articles - they’re often good at sarcastic little swipes at things that make me grin

I’d probably say something along the lines of, “cette réponse me semble fallacieux” or perhaps “la réponse manque de sincérité”… But I’m often accused by French friends and colleagues of being not direct enough for fear of offending.


jouer la montre

C’est une réponse [un peu] déloyale/ (de) fourbe / (de) malhonnête.

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fourbe: Qui trompe ou agit mal en se cachant, en feignant l’honnêteté.

Wow… I’m don’t think I could accuse someone of being dishonest…
I would waffle on about… not understanding… “can you use another phrase ?”
until their proposition is crystal-clearly laid out… and then I would say (incredulously)… "you surely don’t mean… blah blah blah??? " :dizzy_face:
thus giving them the chance to do the decent thing or slink away :wink:

best of luck @KarenLot :+1:

A disingenuous answer can be une réponse faussement innocente.


Thanks all.

Malhonnête and fourbe seem to generate a stronger response than expected when I’ve used them for ‘dishonest’ or ‘sneaky’ here. Certainly malhonnête seems to have more a more extreme meaning than just dishonest. They seem to react to malhonnête as though I’ve said they are a criminal, rather than that they just said one dishonest thing.

I’ve used malhonnête a lot, as I have, or should say in principle I was supposed to have, many deliveries of Chronopost. Each time I’ve said they’re malhonnête to them or the odd other, the reaction is the same : far too extreme than for just 1 dishonest thing told.

Similar but lesser effect when I say they’re giving me mensonges. The extremity is just bit stronger, than ‘lies’. They like “blagues” instead, that seems better to match the level of lies at “,porkies” level in English.

Would something like “cette réponse semble vouloir faire l’ingénue” work?

Malhonnête and fourbe are strong and much more personally insulting than dishonest and sneaky.
You might be better saying c’est n’importe quoi :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t think they would understand.

Thank you Vero, ils disent n’importe quoi [eg pour me balayer], I had forgotten as an option on “lies”. I like a bit stronger though so I’ll alternate with “des blagues” for “lies” as mensonges is too serious apparently.

I think it’s going to be réponse faussement innocente or something close for disingenuous.

Thankyou all again.

PS Jane I did ‘temporisation’ for ‘playing for time’ esterday and it went down a treat. I was able to explain to Chronopost’s Area Manager who called me, that it’s been their local depôt’s repeated strategy the first week of school holidays, as they have a driver who takes vacation and they have nobody to replace him.

So the depôt manager must choose who he can deliver to, and chooses to deliver to his professional clients, of which there are many across the industrial / commercial area next door to him.

Anyone with a code postale limitrophe for the territory of this dépôt has a good chance of not being delivered during the week their driver is on vacation. If they are a particulier and not a professional, even less.

And if a new driver (and they’re always new and know nothing at this depôt, we don’t get the drivers they give l’Elysée deliveries to) and a Lieu dit address (as the mairie only just finally got around to issuing us street names and numbers after the delivery was ordered), absolutely no chance to receive delivery at least Monday to Thursday, if not that whole week, when the depôt is a man down.

Hence stratégie(s) de temporisation and non-delivery by Chronopost, repeatedly in the same week of school holidays at points in the year, year after year, the dates moving with the date of vacances scolaires for the Zone.

When you see the same pattern repeatedly, year after year eventually you twig. She commented she couldn’t understand why the current package they’re not delivering, hasn’t been delivered by now so I told her this was the evolution of my understanding over years of it :slight_smile:

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