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Topic: A little help with French  (Read 2279 times)
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stiching sister
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« on: March 13, 2006 07:40:18 AM »

I'm working on a gift for a friend and am wanting to embroider her favorite saying in French which is: What do I know?

Could someone help me out with translating it? I know that Que is usually added in the beginning to form a question is a question mark needed at the end too?  Thank you so much!
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nasty_wench
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006 07:46:49 AM »

"But what do I know?"

=

<< Mais, qu'est-ce que je sais? >>
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006 08:01:28 AM »

"But what do I know?"

=

<< Mais, qu'est-ce que je sais? >>

Thanks for such a quick response!!!! Would it be any different if the "but" wasn't in there? I friend who speaks a little French told me it was "Que sais-je?" But I take your word over there's any day!!!

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nasty_wench
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2006 12:55:29 PM »

Without "but", it would just be, <<Qu'est-ce que je sais? >>.

Maybe your friend is using a short, inverted way of asking the question. I am not 100% bilingual, so  I don't know a lot of the shorter ways to say things. Like, I'd normally say, "Est-ce que vous voulez..." where the shorter more relaxed way would be, "Voulez-vous...". Both correct. One's more formal (the longer version).

« Last Edit: March 13, 2006 12:59:08 PM by nasty_wench » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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ppp
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2006 03:43:54 PM »

I would have said "qu'est-ce que j'en sais ?" which is a little more 'casual' than "mais qu'est-ce que je sais ?"
(the meaning in that case is something like 'I don't know nothing about this, so stop asking me')

"Que sais-je ?" is the name of a famous reference book collection in France... could be interesting ( http://www.puf.com )
It is a more litteral translation, grammatically correct, and it means a real questionning.

and what I was always told at school (in France, being french myself) is that the casual way is "est-ce que vous voulez..." and the formal, frenchly correct is "Voulez-vous..."
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nasty_wench
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2006 05:44:02 PM »

?

Guess I was wrong.

?
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