Tuesday, 13 April 2010

To dream, perchance to think

The French think differently from the English. In English you will use the word think in various ways. For ordinary thoughts, thinking about things, the French will use penser. When negotiating and you want to think about it, the French will use réfléchir. And if you want to mention something while it's on your mind, while you are thinking about it, the French will use songer. And A Midsummer Night's Dream becomes Le Songe d'une Nuit d'été.

Hmmmmmm something to get my head around.

6 comments:

@eloh said...

I just know if I could pronounce French I might blush... I'm going to penser on this awhile.

Jonathan said...

This is what I love about language. It really does reflect the world view of the people who speak it and it allows subtleties unique to a parrticular culture.

What do you think about French attempts to protect their language from other influences? Whereas anglophones rejoice in additions to their vocabulary?

Me, I'm just glad we don't all speak
Danish.

Cogitator said...

I think the attempts by the French to protect their language are sincere but misguided. The richness of English is due in part to the many languages that have influenced it and been incorporated into it. Although the impact is minimal today, I believe the language will be poorer that it otherwise would have been, in years to come.

But I note that the texting generation seems to be making a vocabulary of its own; I don't see the Old Order remaining for too long.

Lia said...

You lot are way to clever for me!!!!!!!

Mind I do think that that A Midsummers Night Dream sounds better in French.

Much love
Lia
xx

Mark said...

This reminds me ion the inuit who reputedly have more than thirty words for snow.

julie70 said...

Sometimes, there are many English words for one French. But when I wanted to translate "enjoy" (from Hungarian to French) I found that I could not tell "I enjoy so many things, I enjoy music, I enjoy poèmes a good food and the breeze etc" I had to put another world for all those, and my meaning, in my diary (Retroblog) was exactly that they are somehow the same kind the "enjoyments" alas, "enjoy" in French become a world used mostly for sexual enjoyment, and is used very seldom for others.

I was happy to find that in English, you can still "enjoy" lots of different things, almost with the similar joy.

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