Ciel rouge du matin, la terre va pas bien; ciel rouge du soir, le réacteur repart.

English Translation

Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherds’ warning.

This initially looks like a “jokey” bad translation into French, but …

If you look at the French sentence on Tatoeba then you can see that the original English sentence (from which the French is a translation) reads -

  • “Red sky in morning; global warming. Red sky at night, reactor’s alight.”

There’s no record on Tatoeba of the ‘traditional’ English saying of “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight …”.

I don’t understand why this was changed, as the sentence pairing on Tatoeba seems fine to me :person_shrugging: (and is somewhat amusing).


The German translation from English suggests that the reactor’s in distress (on fire?), whereas the French makes me think of a jet taking off.


That’s true, in fact the hint for the cloze word réacteur is “Jet plane/reactor”.

N.B. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t add that hint.