Bad Luck!

Article published on Aug. 16, 2006
Article published on Aug. 16, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

In Germany, ein Unglück selten allein trouble rarely travels unaccompanied. In the Anglo-Saxon world, it is also said that misfortunes accumulate: when it rains, it pours. And worse still in Germany, you step out of the rain only to stand under the gutter.

The French are less technical and more inclined to refer to mythology. Tomber de Charybde en Scylla means that one falls from the dangerous whirlpool Charybdis into the claws of the sea monster Scylla! Do you need more proof that misfortunes accumulate in France? Un malheur ne vient jamais seul, they will respond. And yet the French understand the word Malheur to mean misfortune or disgrace whereas in German Missgeschick simply means bad luck.