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Bonjour tout le monde! :-)

I think I've seen this mentioned somewhere before, but would somebody be able to clarify exactly what is meant by bien joué and particularly bien fait?

From what I understand bien joué is a fairly standard way of saying 'well done', but I can't seem to find a concrete definition for bien fait. Does it have a sarcastic undertone? I am always tempted to use it a jokey way, as in 'oh well done, genius!' when someone does something stupid, or as in 'nice one!' in a sarcastic way. Does that make sense at all?

Thank you, any help would be greatly appreciated! :-)

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I don't think I am being sarcastic myself but are you trying to translate something that can't be translated?

I remember when the American comedian  Hunter S Thomson was describing the way the Brits  berate each other as a kind of a compliment ("let me introduce  Jim - he's a complete idiot..."  kind of  an example) and implying that this was strange/incomprehensible behaviour viewed  through  his American eyes.

I have the feeling  that this could be equally unnatural to a Frenchman or at least they would do this far less often and to  a lesser degree.(of course they use plenty of sarcasm and bitter sarcasm but it means what it says on the tin) 

Ah I see! Thank you for your detailed explanation, I hadn't thought about it in that way. Merci beaucoup! :-)

it is just my opinion.I could easily be wrong but I think it is a possibility.

Bonjour Amy,

I use "Bien joué" more often in a sarcastic way than as an actual compliment.
I will say "Bien joué grand !" when someone does something stupid or completely fails in doing something.

I can of course use "Bien joué" as an actual compliment but it's rather rare, instead I would say "joli coup", "bien pensé", "beau mouvement"...

I'll have hard time trying to explain "Bien fait" (I'm not good enough in English), but let's try this:
When someone hurts himself and doesn't deserve your pity because he made something really stupid (or is punished or makes a mistake with negative effects for himself) you will say "Bien fait !" or "Bien fait pour toi !"

But to be fully complete, I should mention that you can also hear "bien fait" as a compliment (cf. "joil coup"...) but it's rather rare (at least I don't use it this way very often).
And if you see an handsome guy you can say "hum, il est plutôt bien fait..."

I hope it helps...


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