Friday, March 2, 2012

Three Letter Words

One would expect that after having studied French for an year or so, I would at least know all the commonly used one-lettered, two-lettered and three-lettered French words. But no! Every once in a while I encounter a small word that has escaped my attention before.

Tas [hear] is one such word.

The following extract is from first chapter of Le Petit Prince:

J’ai ainsi eu, au cours de ma vie, des tas de contacts avec des tas de gens sérieux.

The above sentence is not as difficult as it appears to be at first glance. ‘Eu [hear] is the participle of ‘avoir[hear] (to be), ‘ainsi [hear] means ‘so’ or ‘therefore’, ‘vie[hear] means ‘life’, 'avec' [hear] mean with, ‘gens [hear] means ‘people’ and 'sérieux' [hear] is exactly what it sounds like - serious. Therefore, a word to word translation comes out to be:

I have therefore had, in the course of my life, lots of contact with lots of serious people.

Tas = lots.

Some more details on tas is available here.

I am glad I am reading books. I have noticed that French Teaching Courses tend to focus on similar topics and, therefore, on limited number of words. It’s only when you start looking beyond these courses that you learn more. Reading books, watching French movies, reading French newspapers is a great way to do that.

No comments:

Post a Comment