Je veux t'embrasser

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by bryona, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. bryona New Member

    USA, English
    The dictionary lists "embrasser" as potentially meaning "to kiss" or "to hug," but until recently I have only heard it used as "kiss." How likely is it to mean "hug"? How would one say, "I need a hug," if the meaning is not at all sexual and the statement is not directed at a child?

    Merci pour votre aide!
  2. Sev

    Sev Senior Member

    Béziers, France
    France, french.
    If you say "Je veux t'embrasser" we would understand "I want to kiss you".

    Embrasser in the sens of hug is not used. If you want a hug, you'll say "Je veux/j'ai besoin/j'ai envie que tu me serres dans tes bras".
  3. beri Senior Member

    or fais-moi un câlin (between friends, "câlin" is understood as "hug")
  4. Sev

    Sev Senior Member

    Béziers, France
    France, french.
    I've thought about this one, but IMHO it can still be ambiguous, that's why I recommend to avoid it if there are any doubts about your real intentions. Anywat, it's what you will say to children.
  5. Jean-Michel Carrère Senior Member

    French from France
    I need a hug! : serre-moi fort dans tes bras !
  6. clochette New Member

    Paris, France
    France, French
    Yes, embrasser meaning to hug is not used anymore.
    But until, maybe, one or two century, it was used as to hug.
    So if your read classic litterature, you could meet this meaning...
  7. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    Yes, because in those days "baiser" still meant "to kiss" so there was no need for another verb for "to kiss"...The meaning of words often tends to change like a row of dominoes falling over.
  8. bryona New Member

    USA, English
    Thank you! This is the danger of literal translations -- to my anglophone ears, "J'ai envie que tu me serres dans tes bras" sounds decidedly romantic...
  9. bryona New Member

    USA, English
    These changes make it difficult for anglophones to define relationships in French -- especially if, like me, one's French teacher is not up-to-date. Mine taught that "aimer" still meant "like" when referring to a person (for "love" he said to use "adorer"), and that "baiser" still meant "to kiss." Imagine how much trouble I could have been in!
  10. Icetrance Senior Member

    US English
    What's very interesting is that it's often taught by French teachers that "aimer bien" can never be translated as "to love", but it can (although the "bien" softens the love it, showing "distance" or a "distant" kind of love when has for famous people, etc). You woudln't say it to people you really really love.

    A few years a famous French monk died who did a lot of charity work for the poor in French. When he died, I remembering seeing a banner which read: Abbeye Pierre = On t'aimait bien.

    I would not translate that as "Father Pierre, you were liked", but rather "Father Pierre, you were loved."

    Contexts is everything when it comes to translating "aimer." It took me a long time to understand its nuances, but I get it now. LOL.

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