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un challenge


  1. challenge
  2. tournament
  3. trophy
Notre premier challenge, c'est de trouver un lieu pour la réunion - Our first task is to find a meeting place

Qui a gagné le challenge de foot ? - Who won the soccer/football tournament?

Notes: The first time I heard challenge pronounced à la française,* I couldn't believe my ears. When English words have no decent French equivalent, franglais makes some kind of sense, but why would the French say challenge when they have the perfectly serviceable défi? It turns out that challenge means more than just "challenge."

Un challenge can indicate un défi (that is, some sort of physical or mental obstacle to be overcome, or a task to be performed), but its more common meaning is that of a contest or tournament with a trophy at stake, such as la Coupe du Monde. Like coupe, challenge can refer to the tournament or to the trophy itself.

Etymology: While challenge was obviously borrowed from English, it was a boomerang. According to Le Petit Robert 2012, English had originally borrowed chalenge (debate, quibble) from Old French.

Official French: Le Petit Robert offers two official French recommendations for challenge: défi and chalenge. Bizarrely, the latter does not have an entry in the dictionary, nor is it offered as an alternate spelling for challenge. In fact, the only two places it appears in the entire dictionary are in the etymology and "recommendation officielle" sections of the challenge entry.

*Click the little graphic below to hear the franglais word challenge pronounced in French.
Pronunciation: [sha la(n)zh]Audio Link
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