je nage (sens figuré)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by FreddieFirebird, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. FreddieFirebird Senior Member

    I am having a little trouble understanding "je nage" in the context of a song I found. Here's the Chorus:

    Quand vient le mois de janvier je nage
    Même au mois de février je nage
    Et d'année en année je n'ai fait que passer
    A côté de mes promesses
    Quand arrive l'été j'enrage
    Je n'ai fait que brasser dommage
    Brasser de l'air jusqu'au prochain hiver
    D'autres résolutions

    I am not sure if she means je nage literally, that is, she starts exercising in winter and she prefers to swim (she later states a goal is to exercise)
    Or does she mean by Jan and Feb she's already completely messed up her resolutions?
    I also thought "je nage" could be related to the English expression "it's going swimmingly", which means things are going well for the moment, but when the summer comes she's angry at her failure at her goals.
  2. Kecha Senior Member

    French (France)
    "brasser de l'air" = talk a lot of hot air

    But since the French expression uses "brasser" ("brasse" = breaststroke), she extends the image with "je nage"
  3. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    It's going swimmingly: there is a related expression = ça baigne, not je nage - which indeed means that she is messed up :).
  4. rolmich Senior Member

    french (France)
    I always understood "ça baigne" (dans l'huile) as = all goes well/couldn't be better!
  5. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    It seems to me that based on what we can tell from the song lyrics, je nage here means I'm at sea, I'm lost, I don't know what I'm doing.

    nager vi familier (ne pas comprendre) be lost vi + adj
    (figurative, informal) be all at sea, be completely at sea v expr
    Quel dossier, je nage complètement !
    What a file - I'm completely lost!
  6. Laurent2018 Senior Member

    french belgium
    Yes, I'm lost with a lot of promises I expressed, I can't manage nor hold them.
    But next december...I'll try not to initiate another cycle, "maybe"...
  7. FreddieFirebird Senior Member

    Thanks guys! We had fun talking about this in class, and learning figurative uses of words we've known forever
  8. Esperluète

    Esperluète Senior Member

    England & France
    French - France
    As wildan says, it means "to be lost", "to be all at sea", to which we could add "to be out of one’s depth" to stick with the water theme. Basically, it means to be clueless.

    Examples found on the Internet :

    Salut tout le monde, les maths déjà quand j'été jeune je n'y pompais pas grand chose mais là je nage complètement

    En anglais, il nage complétement !

    Commonly used in French, and this being France it sometimes comes with a culinary flavour, eg « Je nage dans la semoule », « Je nage dans la soupe » etc. (adapted from « Je pédale dans la semoule »).

    Là, pour le coup... je nage dans la semoule !

    Je me permets de vous écrire car je nage dans la soupe.

    « Je nage » is equivalent to the more frequently-used « Je patauge »:

    Bonjour, j'ai vu plusieurs posts sur ce sujet mais je patauge toujours autant.

    Déjà que je trouvais que Photoshop n'était pas évident, alors là, je patauge.
  9. Cigaloune

    Cigaloune Senior Member

    France ( Bourgogne)
    French (France)
    Oui, et quand je nage et que je patauge autant, je rame! C'est la galère!:D
  10. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    D'ailleurs, je vais couler à pic... :p
  11. Laurent2018 Senior Member

    french belgium
    Et ramer, c'est pas gai
  12. Esperluète

    Esperluète Senior Member

    England & France
    French - France

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