1. mjearnshaw New Member

    English, Canada
    A friend of mine asked me to translate some Paul Verlaine poems that a 'potential suitor' had sent her. I came across an expression that I had never seen before, and can't really make sense of: 'je me meurs.' It obviously has some meaning beyond the literal. Anyone know?
     
  2. Gardefeu Senior Member

    French (France)
    No, not really, it just means I'm dying (je meurs) in a poetic and old-fashioned way.
     
  3. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
    je me meurs (d'amour pour elle) I am pining(with love for her)
     
  4. mjearnshaw New Member

    English, Canada
    So, say, spoken during passion, it would mean something like, "I could die" in idiomatic English?
     
  5. Gardefeu Senior Member

    French (France)
    Why don't you give us more of that poem? edwingill has a point, it might mean that too...
     
  6. mjearnshaw New Member

    English, Canada
    Here is the part in question:

    Et l'enfant répondit, pâmée
    Sous la fourmillante caresse
    De sa pantelante maîtresse :
    "Je me meurs, ô ma bien-aimée !":

    "Je me meurs ; ta gorge enflammée
    Et lourde me soûle et m'oppresse ;
     
  7. Gardefeu Senior Member

    French (France)
    Yes, it's the ecstasy of love: I'm fainting, I'm passing away, I'm [nearly] dying...

    PS: I've just realised that it's a woman talking to another woman...:cool:
     
  8. mjearnshaw New Member

    English, Canada
    Okay, thanks for your help.
     
  9. TheLinguist New Member

    American English
    I have a similar question!

    On the ride "Phantom Manor" at Disneyland Paris, which is basically a French version of "The Haunted Mansion," Little Leota at the end says:

    "Revenez! Revenez! Vous venez à peine d'arriver et je me meurs de solitude."
    As far as I know, this in English is: "Come back! Come back! You've just barely arrived and I'm dying of loneliness."

    However now in Modern French, wouldn't it be more proper to say this:
    "Revenez! Revenez! Vous venez à peine arrivé et je meurs de solitude."

    Perhaps the ride's writers were trying to be poetic too. I think the original version sounds more poetic and the other sounds more conversational.
     
  10. laverdure2 Senior Member

    correct, in modern French and /or poetic.
    but it is "vous venez à peine d'arriver" or "Vous êtes à peine arrivé".
     
  11. TheLinguist New Member

    American English
    So was it wrong for the writers to say "Je me meurs de solitude" in the original recording? Can you please explain to me why they said "Je me meurs" when they could have said "Je meurs"
     
  12. Guill Senior Member

    Français - France
    In fact, writers used to say either "Je meurs" or "Je me meurs". But today, as far as I know, absolutely nobody says "Je me meurs".
     
  13. TheLinguist New Member

    American English
    That's what my French teacher said. He said "Je me meurs" is kind of like "I am dying myself" which doesn't really make sense. I'm guessing the writers of Phantom Manor were American and weren't using a good translator, or maybe they were just trying to be poetic. Thank you so much for your help!
     
  14. laverdure2 Senior Member

    Nothing wrong. Original sentence is more poetic than "je meurs de solitude".
    Because you can say "Adieu. Je me meurs...." gasp.
    When you use "me", it is more emphatic, theatrical.
     
  15. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Like Laverdure, I see it as poetic/literary usage.
    There is nothing wrong with it, it is perfectly good French, although you wouldn't hear it in everyday conversation.
     
  16. TheLinguist New Member

    American English
    Thank you for explaining that to me! I understand now. So it is proper to say it, but rare to use conversationally.

    Thank you so much for your help!
     
  17. securimedeu Banned

    français - Belgique
    "je meurs d'amour pour toi" but "je me meurs sans toi"

    first sense = my love for you is too intense
    second sense = I suffer too much without you

    what would be wrong : "je me meurs d'amour pour toi" and "je meurs sans toi"
     
  18. Unreadable Member

    Russian
    What about "Et je me meurs d'indifférence" from Jacques Brel's "Sans Exigences"? Is that wrong, then?
     
  19. Kecha Senior Member

    Paris
    French (France)
    It's the same as "Je me meurs de solitude" above, but with a different reason for dying.
    A more modern way to say it could be "loneliness/indifference is killing me". You're not really dying though.
     

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