Tout se sait.

Tout se sait.

tooss SAY. Click below to hear this.*

Word gets around.

Have I mentioned how good the subtitles are in La Délicatesse? Not only are the translations excellent, but they are easy to read on-screen: large-enough letters, white where the background is dark, shaded where the background is light-colored, even within a single line of text. I have rarely seen such care taken!

This is a good example of context-appropriate translation. Literally, Tout se sait means Everything gets known, or Everything makes itself known, or Everything gets found out. A little like “Murder will out,” only there’s no murder here–just office rumors of a “thing” between Nathalie and Markus. A little office romance…that brightens up the day for people whose job is dull and stressful by turns.

The phrase is deceptively simple. Listen carefully to the pronunciation. The e muet of se gets dropped in rapid speech, which leaves us with two /s/ sounds in a row. The trick is to pronounce both of them without pausing between them. You can accomplish that by just stopping your breath for a split-second while you say /s/. If you can’t get the hang of it, speak the whole sentence more slowly, so each of the three syllables is heard distinctly: /too suh say/. Then you won’t sound as if you are stuttering.

*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file:

tout_se_sait.mp3

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