Pour la première fois depuis des semaines…
poor lah pruh-meeYAIR fwah duh-pwee day SMEN… Click below to hear this.*
For the first time in weeks…
I am sitting on my back deck, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze. The temperature is just about perfect: 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Blue sky, puffy white clouds. I am supremely happy.
Why? Because we had some rain the day before yesterday. The drought has by no means ended, but the trees look greener, the grass isn’t quite so crunchy, and my wild petunias are blooming again.
Notice that English talks about the block of time as in weeks, while French translates literally as since weeks. The French is focusing on the time that has passed since the last time I was able to sit out here without melting in the heat.
Also, note how the two languages handle the fact that the number of weeks in question is unspecified. In English, you just gloss over it without giving a number: in weeks. In French, you have to say something in lieu of the number, so you say depuis des semaines, which is like saying some weeks. In many cases, French requires more specificity than English.
*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: