flâner

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
"Je n'ai pas le temps de flâner."
I looked flâner up in the dictionary. It means "roam" but I would like to use "wander". Is it possible?
>> I have no time to wander.
Thanks.
 
  • marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    I think that it is okay, "wander" or "ramble" seems accurate like "roam".
    So if I say :

    I have no time to wander
    I have no time to roam
    I have no time to ramble

    It is completely similar, or there are some differences ?
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, marcolo.
    I don't know if there are any differences but I think "roam" is only used for animals all the time. :)
    I only think so I don't know if it is correct.
     

    Smartypnts

    Senior Member
    USA; American English
    Doesn't flâner also have a connotation of idleness, as in to roam with no particular purpose?

    There are many words in English you could use, depending on the context and the sound you want: meander and amble come to mind.

    (Smartypants, flâneur) ;)
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    In this context "flâner" means "not being in a hurry". I don't think "wander" could apply here.

    I would rather say "I've got no time to hang about".

    Now let's see how the natives will put it.
     

    Smartypnts

    Senior Member
    USA; American English
    In this context "flâner" means "not being in a hurry". I don't think "wander" could apply here.

    I would rather say "I've got no time to hang about".

    Now let's see how the natives will put it.
    In that case, use amble. Amble implies no particular hurry, whereas ramble and roam imply no particular direction, and meander sort of implies neither a hurry nor a direction.

    ("mosey" could work, too, but it's a bit informal and slightly archaic.)
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you very much for helping me.
    Yes, I like the word "amble" most in this case.
     

    marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    In dictionary.com, they say :

    Roam
    to walk, go, or travel without a fixed purpose or direction;


    so when you say "roam with no particular purpose", it is redundant, no ?

    Anyway, I think that Smartypnts is right, "roam" means more "errer" (walk
    without purpose or direction), whereas "amble" fits more to the context of "flaner" (walk without hurry and without purpose).

    Edit:

    Often we can say :

    Je flanais dans les rues de la ville

    which is well translated as

    I was ambling in the streets of the town ?

    flâner dans les rues means wander randomly, slowly.
     

    Smartypnts

    Senior Member
    USA; American English
    I just looked back at your original post, and now I feel I gave you bad advice!

    "Je n'ai pas le temps de flâner."

    One would never say, "I don't have time to amble." (One might say, "He ambled down the street looking in shop windows.")

    I think you want to say, "I don't have time to dawdle."

    Other words that work: linger, dilly-dally, hang about, although dawdle implies motion whereas these imply staying in one place.
     

    marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    That's interesting, dictionary.com gives as a translation of dawdle : flâner.
    And with other verbs roam, wander, meander, amble, ramble, he doesn't give that translation. So you found the good verb, Smarty :)
    That's awesome !
     

    Smartypnts

    Senior Member
    USA; American English
    If I were not such a flâneur, I would write my own dictionary! ;)

    Now, WR.com gives the definition of dawdle as musarder (as well as prendre son temps).

    What is the difference between musarder and flâner?
     

    marcolo

    Senior Member
    France, french
    Définitions de wiktionary :

    Flâner
    Se promener sans but, sans hâte et sans objet déterminé ; ou Passer son temps à des bagatelles.

    Musarder
    Flâner, perdre son temps.

    :warn:Dans la définition de musarder, quand ils disent flâner, il faut comprendre la seconde définition de flâner et non la première.

    Personnellement, je pense que quand on utilise flâner, on l'utilise principalement pour la première définition avec l'idée de se promener.
    Musarder n'a pas cette notion de se promener, c'est plus "to be idle", "waste your time", dreaming, thinking, doing other stuff, instead of doing what matters (work, homework ...)

    We would say :
    J'ai flâné dans les rues de la ville
    J'ai musardé toute la journée au lieu de faire mes exercices.

    in the second sentence, probably, you did other stuff instead of doing your homework, probably not walking.
     

    Smartypnts

    Senior Member
    USA; American English
    All of these posts point out why context is SO important, and that it is often very difficult to find exact word-for-word translations.

    All of these words mean almost the same thing, but sometimes with a subtle difference that helps describe something exactly. Often, two words have exactly the same meaning, but are never used in a particular construction of a sentence.

    We say that "a river meanders through the woods," meaning that it is winding and slow moving.

    A person meanders down the street, meaning he may stop to look in windows, cross back and forth, and not proceed directly to some destination.

    But someone would never say, "I don't have time to meander." We would say, "I don't have time to dilly-dally" or "There's no time to dawdle," or more formally, "There's no time for delay."

    But a person can't dawdle down the street, nor can a river dawdle through the woods.

    We stroll down the beach, and that implies a relaxing, unhurried walk with no particular purpose, but we also say "I strolled right up to him and told him how angry I was," implying a very purposeful action.

    A person who rambles is nomadic, moving wherever chance or impulse takes him over a long period of time, but a person who "rambles on" talks too much and hops from topic to topic. People can ramble, and a written passage (like this one) can ramble; animals and rivers cannot ramble.

    But animals and people can roam, meaning they can cover vast distances, usually not in any one direction, but just slightly less haphazardly than if they were rambling.

    When a person ambles down the street, he has an easy stride and not a care in the world, just slightly more relaxed and in less of a hurry than the person who strolls down the street, but on a more direct path than the person who's meandering down the street. People can do all these things. Rivers and animals cannot amble or stroll.

    I could ramble on and on about this, but I won't. But this is what makes language so interesting -- and so vexing!

    :)
     
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