Quarryquest (quarryquest) wrote in linguaphiles,

Help with a French idiom?

Can anyone explain "tomber en panneau"? I'm a little confused!
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March 5 2014, 10:57:34 UTC 12 months ago

Not a native French speaker, though I have studied it. According to wordreference.com's compound forms for "tomber", "tomber dans le panneau" means to fall into a trap. There's a chance that may be a slightly different expression, I suppose.


March 5 2014, 11:16:33 UTC 12 months ago

Thank you. I couldn't get the word 'pannier' out of my head and the image of a head falling into one ... Apparently panneau is a panel of some sort ...


March 5 2014, 12:35:18 UTC 12 months ago

There's an expression "tomber dans le panneau" as mentioned by mack_the_spoon, and there's an expression "tomber en panne" which means to break down or stop working. But I've never heard of "tomber en panneau"… Perhaps the author of your source was trying to make a joke or a play on words? Or just made a mistake?


March 5 2014, 20:30:58 UTC 12 months ago

+1 "tomber en panneau" doesn't exist (I'm a native speaker). Maybe provide the context in case it's a pun or something, or check your source? There's tomber en panne and tomber dans le panneau, but no tomber en panneau.


March 5 2014, 20:59:06 UTC 12 months ago Edited:  March 5 2014, 21:01:26 UTC

Hmm ... in that case the person who dubbed Jim Moriarty on this French DVD of the BBC's Sherlock (bravo Gilles Morvan et Yan Piera you give wonderful French voices for our crime fighting duo) got it wrong. That is what I am watching at the moment. My [English O level ;-) ] French is reasonable when I know what is being replaced is. Except in this case! The subtitles (now I have turned them on) even give "tomber dans le panneau' as you say, but that is not what the actor dubbing Moriarty says!

English: 'I knew you'd fall for it, that's your weakness"

French dub: << Vous etes tomber en panneau. C'est ça de votre faiblesse>>

Now I am even more confused ... and there I was thinking I was giving my brain a bit of a work-out.