bienveillant

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SimoneSimon

Senior Member
English, Canada
I'm trying to figure out the precise sense of "bienveillant."

Could I say,

"Merci beaucoup pour votre bienveillant aide" to mean, "Thank-you very much for your gracious help"?

Thanks for your help!
 
  • verbivore

    Banned
    USA, English
    Wow! That's a mouthful even in English. I would rephrase the English first to something like: Thank you for being so gracious. Thank you kindly for your help. This would be much easier to translate and would sound more natural.

    Merci beaucoup pour votre gentillesse.
    Merci beaucoup. Vous être très aimable.
    Merci beaucoup pour votre aide dont je suis tout reconnaissant.

    But "bienveillant aide" just doesn't seem natural to say since "help" in and of itself cannot be "gracious", only the person giving it.
     

    adamacs

    Member
    UK, English
    'Thank you for your gracious help' is an example of hypallage (the transfer of an adjective from one noun to another). Is this literary technique commonly used in french?
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    'Thank you for your gracious help' is an example of hypallage (the transfer of an adjective from one noun to another). Is this literary technique commonly used in french?
    I'm sorry, but I don't see any adjective transferred to any noun here.
    Do you mean gracious is not to be used to qualify help?
    :confused:
     

    adamacs

    Member
    UK, English
    I'm sorry, but I don't see any adjective transferred to any noun here.
    Do you mean gracious is not to be used to qualify help?
    :confused:

    Exactly, by using gracious to qualify help (which can never be gracious) we are being told about the character of the person giving the help, if that makes sense. It's not the help that is gracious, but the person giving the help.
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    Exactly, by using gracious to qualify help (which can never be gracious) we are being told about the character of the person giving the help, if that makes sense. It's not the help that is gracious, but the person giving the help.
    I think I got what you meant.
    It is probably as much common in French as in English, if you consider I didn't realise this in any of both languages.
     

    Green Linnet

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Perhaps, in this context, "generous" might be OK? That would give something like "your generous assistance" in the example in the original question. "Kind" might sometimes be appropriate too.
     
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