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Old 22.01.2015, 02:51
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Translation of French to English

Hello,

My partner recently purchased me a beautiful pendant with a French inscription on it. I've tried to directly translate it but I feel like some of the mean is getting lost in the translation. Please if you feel you may be able to explain what it means better than the average google translator it would be most sincerely appreciated.

It says the following:

"Tu Parles, Je Suis
Tu Te Tais J'etais"

Thank you in advance
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  #2  
Old 22.01.2015, 03:36
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Re: Translation of French to English

Tu te fais j'etais ?
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Old 22.01.2015, 03:42
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Re: Translation of French to English

It definitely says "Tu te tais j'etais", does that not make any sense in French?
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Old 22.01.2015, 04:09
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Re: Translation of French to English

Then my best guess is:
You state that I am , but mean that I was

Disclaimer: my French is not strong.
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Old 22.01.2015, 04:26
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Re: Translation of French to English

Thank you, I am new to this forum so I dont know how to formally thank you but I appreciate it
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Old 22.01.2015, 07:14
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Re: Translation of French to English

"Tu parles, je suis...
Tu te tais, j'étais..."

You talk, I'm...
You stop talking, I was


Alternatively you could say:

"Tu parles, j'y suis...
Tu te tais, j'y étais..."

You talk, I'm there...
You stop talking, I was there...


The French "y" directly before the verb is an adverb meaning "there"

Se taire is a reflexive verb meaning "to keep quite", "to be silent"...

Not to be confused with:

Se faire which has several meanings:

Se faire mal: to hurt oneself
Se faire des amis: to make friends
Se faire couper les cheveux: to get a haircut
Se faire la belle (informal): to escape
Se faire chier (very informal): to be bored
Se faire tabasser: being beaten up
Se faire rembourser: to get a refund
Se faire vacciner: to get immunized
and so on...

Last edited by Linnéa UZH; 22.01.2015 at 07:25.
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Old 22.01.2015, 09:00
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Re: Translation of French to English

You speak / I am
You stop speaking / I was

A bit weird to be honest. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
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Old 22.01.2015, 09:08
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Re: Translation of French to English

It appears to be a known quote.

If you google it, a few results come back - mainly FB-type sites, where you have to trawl through to see whose quoted it.

A couple of results come back with the addition of the name Edmond Jabes who was an Egyptian Jew who wrote a lot of post-war poetry, in French, - whether he was the originator of the quote, it is hard to tell.

Interestingly, if select 'translate this page' before clicking on one of the links, the translation comes back as the following (according to google):

Quote:
"You bet I am, you are silent, I was." Edmond Jabes
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Old 22.01.2015, 09:33
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Re: Translation of French to English

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A bit weird to be honest. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Au contraire. It is beautiful. I feel alive as long as/when you speak to me but I die if you stop.
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Old 22.01.2015, 10:00
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Re: Translation of French to English

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Au contraire. It is beautiful. I feel alive as long as/when you speak to me but I die if you stop.
The meaning is certainly beautiful, but the phrasing - at least in French - is weird. It might make more sense in a whole poem.
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Old 22.01.2015, 10:01
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Re: Translation of French to English

Quote:
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It appears to be a known quote.

If you google it, a few results come back - mainly FB-type sites, where you have to trawl through to see whose quoted it.

A couple of results come back with the addition of the name Edmond Jabes who was an Egyptian Jew who wrote a lot of post-war poetry, in French, - whether he was the originator of the quote, it is hard to tell.

Interestingly, if select 'translate this page' before clicking on one of the links, the translation comes back as the following (according to google):
I'm very disappointed with Google Translate's rendering of poetry. It somehow does not seem to capture all the subtleties and nuances.
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Old 22.01.2015, 15:54
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Re: Translation of French to English

"You bet ..." is plain wrong. Could Google be misreading it as Tu paries ...?
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Old 22.01.2015, 19:10
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Re: Translation of French to English

Could it be you are supposed to think the first "suis" is from "suivre"?
You speak, I follow

But then the next line you then realise it was actually "suis" from "être"
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Old 22.01.2015, 19:35
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Re: Translation of French to English

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"You bet ..." is plain wrong. Could Google be misreading it as Tu paries ...?
Google's just being hip.
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Old 23.01.2015, 03:21
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Re: Translation of French to English

Thank you all for your help. I'm much happier now I understand what it means. Pity the french isnt perfectly correct, but not I can go and do a bit more research behind the origin of the Edmond Jabes.
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Old 25.01.2015, 01:41
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Re: Translation of French to English

You talk (to me) / I am (thrive, have reason to live)
You're silent and I die (wither away)

I find it very beautiful. To say it's grammatically incorrect (which may be true or not) seems like a petty issue.
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Old 25.01.2015, 08:25
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Re: Translation of French to English

Nice translation UM.
Yes it is quite beautiful.
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