Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wordsmith Wednesday: Come 'Voler' with Me

In this installment of Wordsmith Wednesday, which -- I know -- is being posted on Thursday (oh, like you've never gotten your days of the week wrong in French?), we look at how two sentences below differ:

- Je vole souvent means "I fly often."
Je vole souvent means "I steal often."

Yes, they're identical. I learned, the hard way, by declaring myself a kleptomaniac at French language school in Provence, that the verb voler means both "to fly" and "to steal." I pointed out this idiosyncrasy to one of the instructors (in the context of "how do you expect me to learn this language?"), who pointed out that in English, the word "fly" also has two meanings: to become airborne and an insect that buzzes around the room.

"But," I protested, that's not the same thing at all!  Flies fly!
"So do burglars," she said.

I knew this was one argument I wasn't going to win, so I went back to my conjugations.

Happy Wedne Thursday!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.