Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Never say never or fountain
Jamais-- at first glance and because I'm still scraping myself off the Autobahn of Tohu-Bohu-- seems to me short for for j'aimais or j'aimerais. However, far from loving, jamais means never.
How quickly never turns into love, anyway!
In the morning I am telling my friend, "je n'achèterai jamais deux paires de la même chaussure" (pre-French days, so actually I was saying "I would never buy two pairs of the same shoe"). Blasphemy for those words to be said by a woman- and une philippinienne no less.
Shortly after, I go into town to replace my worn-out favorite shoes. I didn't know it then but I'd come to the proverbial French fountain from which I declared I wanted no water.
I take off my shoes, point to the replacements and tell the salesclerk, "J'aimerais deux paires!"
"Yes," I assure her, "the same shoe, the same color."
In the afternoon I am back at my friend's. I am eating my words and washing them down with French fountain water while happily showing her my new shoes. J'aime mes deux paires de chaussures!
Moral of story: I'm no good at refusing drinks from a French fountain.
ne . . . jamais = never
j'aimais = I was loving ... (l'imparfait, French imperfect)
j'aimerais = I would love ... (conditionnel, conditional)
Il ne faut jamais dire jamais = Never say never
Il ne faut pas dire fontaine = Never say fountain
shortened from: Il ne faut pas dire, "Fontaine, je ne boirais pas de ton eau"
= Never say, "Fountain, I will not drink your water"
J'aime mes deux paires de chaussures! = I'm loving my two pairs of shoes!
la photo: mes chaussures préférés à Monterosso, Les Cinque Terre en Italie
en juillet 2003