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Transfert s01e22, Quiz 9: je me suis toujours dit

    Some great phrases fill this moderately fast quiz: “Je me suis toujours dit”, “pas comme les autres”, and “j’arrivais pas à toucher”. Do you know them all? Take on today’s quiz and fill in the blanks as we begin this story…

    Learn French with a podcast snippet! This clip is is from Transfert s01ep22. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    12 seconds, 30 words
    ',, '.
    dit ',fonctionnaiscommeautres, j'arrivaistoucherémotionsarrivaienttoucher.
    Jeditque j'étais,quefonctionnaiscommeautres,que j'arrivaistoucherpartémotionsqueautresarrivaientàtoucher.

    The above audio sample and transcription is from Transfert s01ep22. We do not own the content. Listen to the entire episode here.

    I always tell myself

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    The snippet in English

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    Je me suis toujours dit que j’étais, que je fonctionnais pas comme les autres, que j’arrivais pas à toucher une part de mes émotions que les autres arrivaient à toucher.

    I’ve always told myself that I was, that I didn’t function like the others, that I couldn’t touch a part of my emotions that the others could.

    The above translation from Deepl

    What does “je me suis toujours dit” mean?

    Meaning and Usage:

    “Je me suis toujours dit” translates as “I’ve always told myself.” It’s a reflexive construction in the French past composed tense that expresses a personal belief or mantra that someone has maintained or reiterated to themselves over time.

    Examples:

    1. “Je me suis toujours dit que l’honnêteté est la meilleure politique.” (I’ve always told myself that honesty is the best policy.)
    2. “Je me suis toujours dit que tout arrive pour une raison.” (I’ve always told myself that everything happens for a reason.)

    Context:

    The phrase is often used in reflective, introspective moments or when discussing personal philosophies and life lessons. It can be found in both casual and formal contexts.

    Synonyms and Antonyms:

    Synonyms:

    • “J’ai toujours pensé” (I’ve always thought)
    • “J’ai toujours cru” (I’ve always believed)

    Antonyms:

    • “Je n’ai jamais pensé” (I’ve never thought)
    • “Je n’ai jamais cru” (I’ve never believed)

    Variations:

    While “je me suis toujours dit” is a specific construction, the reflexive verb “se dire” can be modified to fit different temporal contexts:

    • “Je me disais” (I was telling myself)
    • “Je me dirai” (I will tell myself)

    What does “pas comme les autres” mean?

    Meaning and Usage:

    “Pas comme les autres” translates to “not like the others” in English. It implies that someone or something is different, unique, or stands out in comparison to a standard or majority. It can be used to describe people, objects, situations, or even ideas.

    Examples:

    1. “Elle est vraiment pas comme les autres, elle a sa propre façon de voir les choses.” (She’s really not like the others; she has her own way of seeing things.)
    2. “Cet album est pas comme les autres; il a un son très distinct.” (This album is not like the others; it has a very distinct sound.)

    Context:

    The phrase can be used both positively and negatively, depending on the context. Positively, it might highlight someone’s uniqueness or originality. Negatively, it could underscore a deviation from what’s considered “normal” or “expected.”

    Synonyms and Antonyms:

    Synonyms:

    • “Différent” (Different)
    • “Hors du commun” (Out of the ordinary)
    • “Exceptionnel” (Exceptional)

    Antonyms:

    • “Comme tout le monde” (Like everyone else)
    • “Ordinaire” (Ordinary)

    Variations:

    • “Pas comme tout le monde” (Not like everyone else)
    • “Pas du tout comme les autres” (Not at all like the others)

    What does “j’arrivais pas à toucher” mean?

    Meaning and Usage:

    “J’arrivais pas à toucher” can be translated to “I couldn’t touch” in English. At face value, this phrase refers to the physical inability to touch something. However, in broader contexts, it might be used metaphorically to express not being able to achieve, reach, or connect with something.

    Examples:

    1. “J’arrivais pas à toucher le ballon pendant le match.” (I couldn’t touch the ball during the match.)
    2. “Malgré mes efforts, j’arrivais pas à toucher son cœur.” (Despite my efforts, I couldn’t touch her heart.)

    Context:

    This phrase can be used in various contexts, both literally and figuratively. The literal interpretation involves physical touch, while the figurative sense can range from emotional connection to the inability to achieve a particular goal.

    Synonyms and Antonyms:

    Synonyms:

    • “Je ne pouvais pas atteindre” (I couldn’t reach)
    • “Je n’arrivais pas à joindre” (I couldn’t get through/connect)

    Antonyms:

    • “Je pouvais toucher” (I could touch)
    • “J’ai réussi à toucher” (I managed to touch)

    Variations:

    • “Je n’arrive pas à toucher” (I can’t touch)
    • “Je n’arriverai pas à toucher” (I won’t be able to touch)

    Idiomatic Usage:

    When used metaphorically, “j’arrivais pas à toucher” can allude to emotional distances, unattainable goals, or unfulfilled desires. This makes the phrase adaptable across a range of situations where something remains just out of one’s grasp, whether emotionally, physically, or metaphorically.

    Cultural Notes:

    In French literature and cinema, there are recurrent themes of longing, unfulfilled desires, and unreachable goals. Phrases like “j’arrivais pas à toucher” encapsulate these sentiments, painting a picture of characters in pursuit of dreams, yearning for connections, or navigating emotional landscapes. As with many languages, the idea of “reaching out” or “being unable to touch” something desired is a universal feeling, and in French, it’s given poetic treatment in many cultural forms.

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    Comment below with the words you thought you heard, where you struggled, where you surprised yourself, or what you thought about this clip. Every little bit inspires other learners, thank you for being that inspiration to others on their French fluency journey!

    Some great phrases fill this moderately fast quiz: “Je me suis toujours dit”, “pas comme les autres”, and “j’arrivais pas à toucher”. Do you know them all? Take on today’s quiz and fill in the blanks as we begin this story…

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