Tu bâtis des châteaux en Espagne.
tew bah-tee day shah-toh ah nes-PAH-nyuh. Click below to hear this.
You’re building castles in the air.
Unsubstantial? Oh, yes. TechnologIcal advances in architecture and construction have made many daring projects possible, but building castles in the air? That’s just a pipe dream.
The French version of this expression brings things a little more down to earth. Tu bâtis des châteaux en Espagne means You’re building castles in Spain. Sounds doable, right? Setting aside issues of property ownership, taxes, building codes, all that practical stuff.
It’s about as doable as the screened-in porch we always wished we could add onto our house. As doable as the château in France that our younger son, at age 10, promised to provide us with, for our retirement. (We haven’t let him forget it, but it won’t, and shouldn’t, happen.) As doable as any project any of us might dream of accomplishing: fun to feast our thoughts on, maybe even theoretically possible, but ultimately not one of the important things in life, not worth the time or the money it would take to realize it.