Questions from Brickman (A Short Course in Reading French)

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
By the way, "the [...] forms which [...] creativity takes from groups and individuals" would have been "les formes [...] que la créativité [...] prend aux groupes et aux individus" (cf. Latin alicui aliquid auferre).
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
You've still got the same mistake here, and have also introduced a new one. You were right the first time that "pris désormais etc." modifies "des groupes ou des individus". What you were, and still are, getting wrong is the translation of "des groupes ou des individus". This does not mean "from groups and individuals", but "of groups or individuals", and modifies the "créativité": "the dispersed, tactical, and makeshift creativity of groups or individuals".
Somehow I misread your statement as "This is a participial phrase modifying the "creativity"." Well that makes more sense, then:

...but with exhuming the surreptitious forms which dispersed, tactical, and makeshift creativity of groups and individuals caught from now on in the webs of "surveillance" takes.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Somehow I misread your statement as "This is a participial phrase modifying the "creativity"." Well that makes more sense, then:

...but with exhuming the surreptitious forms which dispersed, tactical, and makeshift creativity of groups and individuals caught from now on in the webs of "surveillance" takes.
Good, though I would perhaps change it to "the surreptitious forms taken by..." in order to avoid having the verb "takes" awkwardly separated from its subject by so many words. But that's only a stylistic matter, maybe debatable as stylistics often are.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Good, though I would perhaps change it to "the surreptitious forms taken by..." in order to avoid having the verb "takes" awkwardly separated from its subject by so many words. But that's only a stylistic matter, maybe debatable as stylistics often are.
Yes, that would definitely sound better.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Just a little thing here, but it's bugging me. This is from an Essai sur le goût by Montesquieu. He's talking about how, if we (our physical body, which he calls notre machine) had been made differently, we would have different tastes. I don't understand how the ce que works together with d'une certaine façon.

...enfin toutes les lois établies sur ce que notre machine est d'une certaine façon, seraient différentes, si notre machine n'était pas de cette facon.

"...Finally, all the laws established upon that which our machine is of a certain type/in a certain way would be different if our machine was not of this type/in this way." ??
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
"the fact that"
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Ah. I didn't know that ce could be used in that way -- thanks.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's only like Latin. In eo quod.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Here's another little thing from the same Montesquieu excerpt.

...et comme la perfection des arts est de nous présenter les choses telles qu’elles nous fassent le plus de plaisir qu’il est possible, il faudrait [i.e. if our sensory capacities were different] qu’il y eût du changement dans les arts, puisqu’il y en aurait dans la manière la plus propre à nous donner du plaisir.

...and since the perfection of the arts is to present us with such things as can produce in us the most pleasure possible, there would have to have been change in the arts, since there would be [???] of/from them in the manner most likely to give us pleasure. :doh:
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
"there would have to be (not "to have been") change in the arts, since there would be some (sc. change) in the manner..."

"Of/from it (= change)" would be literally right, just not what makes sense in English.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
there would have to be (not "to have been") change in the arts
Huh. My textbook actually glosses that phrase as "there would have to have been" (we haven't covered subjunctive yet, though it's coming up soon.)

"Of/from it (= change)" would be literally right, just not what makes sense in English.
En is such a confusing pronoun. :shakehead:
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Huh. My textbook actually glosses that phrase as "there would have to have been"
That's not quite right. Either they slightly misunderstood the French or they were fuzzy about English tenses themselves — I know it isn't so uncommon to find things like "I would have liked to have done this" where "I would have liked to do this" would be more correct and it could be something similar happened here.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
En is such a confusing pronoun.
Perhaps you know this already, but it comes from Latin inde, so it was originally an adverb, and still is in sentences like "J'en viens" = "I'm coming from there". In my opinion, you can even argue that it is still kind of an adverb even where it has a practically pronominal function. When it has that function, it may perhaps help to keep in mind that there must originally have been an implied "some" or "any" with it.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Oh, come on.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
I can't speak French. This makes me sad. I can't even go abroad and depress francophones with my inability any more, which makes me sadder.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Perhaps you know this already, but it comes from Latin inde, so it was originally an adverb, and still is in sentences like "J'en viens" = "I'm coming from there". In my opinion, you can even argue that it is still kind of an adverb even where it has a practically pronominal function. When it has that function, it may perhaps help to keep in mind that there must originally have been an implied "some" or "any" with it.
I didn't know that; that actually really does help.
 
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