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    Mlle. Fourmont,

    I really do try to limit my appearances here. I am loath to become the choking brambles in the garden which is your comment area. In this case, however, I just can't resist. Your latest post is about words. I love words.

    "Elle a un grand besoin de séduire" might be rendered as "she was supremely complaisant" in English, with "captivate" or "charm" or "engage" as possible translations of "séduire" in this context.

    "Légèreté" might be "buoyancy" or "ebullience" in English, or even "rapture" for a more spiritual connotation.

    The association of violence with physical acts is a modern trend, in English. Jane Austen wrote of characters being "violently" in love, for example.

    On a related note, there are word pairs in English like "hearty" and "cordial" which arose from the Norman conquest of England. The invaders, who all spoke French, installed themselves as the aristocracy. The conquered peasantry continued to speak Anglo-Saxon. Of course, "cordial" derives from the French "coeur" so, a "hearty welcome" and "cordial welcome" are both from the heart. Notice, however, that "cordial" is more formal while "hearty" is more colloquial, reflecting the disparate social strata from which the two words originated.

    Sincerely,

    [:-)] Mark

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    Mark, I thank you heartily for the comment (now I understand why hearty feels warmer than cordial). Choking brambles, never.

    I so enjoyed your post! I was bilingual since birth, now trilingual and I always feel the frustration of trying to convey a certain subtle emotion that I feel from French to English or Arabic or vice-versa.

    I loved the type ad commenting system very clean and very efficient.

    Love to read more from you on the topic above

    good luck

    Fantastic book! Thanks for your suggestion Liz - I just finished reading this book (on the beach in St. Barths of all places) and it was wonderful. Wow. I really felt her pain and could relate to the main character in so many ways. I loved her sense of curiosity and she made heartache look so elegant. I know the book was often described as a cross btwn "Eat Pray Love" and "Bridgette Jones Diary" but that is really selling it short. SO much more clever than both of those books.

    I was not expecting the ending, though maybe I should have looking back at the clues. And I did not believe the author was who she thought it was in the end. Some things didn't add up to me. But anyway, thanks so much for the recommendation! Best of luck with your studies!!

    Very best,
    Christina (sorry I missed you in February in Paris!)

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    Notice, however, that "cordial" is more formal while "hearty" is more colloquial, reflecting the disparate social strata from which the two words originated.

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    Mlle. Fourmont,

    Over the Christmas holidays, my mother, the linguist, reminded me of more English word pairs that date from the Norman conquest of the Anglo-Saxons.

    The herding of cows and sheep was a chore that was left to the conquered Anglo-Saxon peasants, who spoke (old) English. The consumption of butchered farm animals was a privilege reserved for the Norman aristocracy, who spoke (old) French. Hence, at the slaughterhouse, "cows" and "sheep" are transformed into "beef" (from boeuf) and "mutton" (from moutton), respectively.

    The words "glad" and "pleased" are another pair of words from Anglo-Saxon (English) and Norman (French), respectively. So, the word "glad" seems more colloquial, like a slap on the back, while "pleased" seems more aristocratic, like a faint smile and a slight bow.

    Sincerely,

    [:-)] Mark

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