s'en venir/venir

Charlie Parker

Senior Member
English Canada
I've never been terribly clear on the difference between these two. For instance, right now I'm pretty busy with marking and writing report cards. It's a stressful time for teachers. We whine a lot don't we. I'm inclined to say Les bulletins scolaires s'en viennent instead of just ... viennent. I don't know why. Are they perfectly synonymous or do francophones sense a subtle difference? Vos idées m'intéressent.
 
  • Corsicum

    Senior Member
    Corsu in casa è u Francese à scola
    A confirmer ? :
    viennent : décrit l'action de venir.
    s'en viennent : décrit aussi l'action de venir, mais je perçois une certaine aisance, une facilité.

    Tout comme :
    vient
    ça vient
    s'en vient
    ça s'en vient : qui est analogue aux expressions que l'on retrouve dans certaines autres langues latines. La notion d'aisance et de facilité est dans ce cas évidente. L'expression avec "ça" est je crois spécifique au Québec.
     
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    Albert 50

    Senior Member
    Canada: French and English (bilingual)
    Just a couple of comments, Charlie, about the verb "s'en venir". It is the case that "s'en venir" (in opposition to "s'en aller") is no longer used in Europe and is considered to be "archaic" by many linguists. However, the verb "s'en venir" is alive and well in Canada, and is used as much as the equivalent verb "s'en aller".

    "S'en venir" is sometimes used in cases when "arriver" would be used in Europe (not exclusively though) and also replaces "venir" at times when it seems to need a little more emphasis. My family in Manitoba would tend to say "L'autobus s'en vient" but most Europeans would use "L'autobus arrive". Another phrase I've often heard in our family "Mes arrière-grands-parents ont décidé de s'en venir au Manitoba en 1885"...
    To just use "venir" in our family would have somehow de-emphasized the length and difficulty of the journey made by these early "colons".... (Just my opinion here...)

    Another common usage has to do with plants. I have often heard (in early spring) "Mes plants de tomate s'en viennent" (My tomato seedlings are coming along). On the other hand Europeans and a good number of Canadians too would tend to say "Mes plants de tomate profitent bien".

    I tend to think that your translation is based on an underlying English phrase such as "The report cards are coming along".... (i.e. I'm getting though preparing them but it's not been a breeze). I'd probably not use "les bulletins s'en viennent" which to me doesn't sound quite right. I might say something like "Pour les bulletins... ben, ça avance, lentement mais sûrement"...

    Cordialment
    Albert
     

    Corsicum

    Senior Member
    Corsu in casa è u Francese à scola
    "Pour les bulletins... ben, ça avance, lentement mais sûrement"...
    Albert
    Vous avez parfaitement raison, pour toutes vos remarques

    et effectivement on dit couramment :
    "Pour les bulletins, c’est en cours".
    "Pour les bulletins, ça vient". Mais la, le ton est un peu impertinent, on sent une certaine tension, cela se dit mais ne s’écrit pas. L'usage écrit de "venir" est compromis dans ce type de situation.

    Une remarque : J’ai travaillé deux ans avec une équipe technique de Montréal, il était très fréquent d’entendre en réunion de travail :
    « Avec cette solution ça s’en vient »
    «Oui, la correction est faite ça s’en vient bien »
    On s’exprime exactement de la même façon …en corse.

    Pour :
    « Avec cette solution ça fonctionne bien »
    «Oui, la correction est faite , ça fonctionne correctement »
     
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    Charlie Parker

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Thank you both. Albert, I don't know why I didn't think of bring this post immediately to your attention. Indeed, I knew that it was a Canadian usage. I probably usede the expression incorrectly. I used it in an e-mail to a francohphone friend. She probably understood my sentence as you do: that my reports are coming along nicely. They are not. I haven't even started. What I meant was more along the lines "The reports are looming on the horizon." Or "Report cards are upon us." Maybe I should say Les bulletins menacent/sont imminents. Or Je suis aux prises avec les bulletins. The French instruction method that I use suggests that I say upon leaving the class Je dois s'en aller but I've heard Il faut que j'y aille.
     

    frenchlady

    Senior Member
    French- France
    So maybe : "les bulletins se profilent à l'horizon" ? ou "Bientôt les bulletins..." si ce n'est pas commencé)
    "ça avance" implique une action qui a débuté.
    Albert is right, we don't use "s'en viennent". It is archaic (or poetic, sometimes)
     

    frenchlady

    Senior Member
    French- France
    "les bulletins, et le stress qui les accompagne, se profilent à l'horizon" could be better to explain that you'll be under pressure.
     
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    Albert 50

    Senior Member
    Canada: French and English (bilingual)
    Sorry, Charlie, for being slow on the draw...

    If I were talking to a fellow teacher and wanted to express panic, knowing I'd barely begun to fill out the RC's, I might say something like "La distribution des bulletins approche à grands pas et je suis hyper stressé"... The phrase "approche à grands pas" is often used when talking about running out of time eg: "Noël approche à grands pas"...

    Many native speakers wouldn't sense a huge diference between "Il faut que j'y aille" and "Je dois m'en aller". But, when you study languages and teach them, you can't help but notice a certain slight difference in focus and intensity.

    The "Il faut que j'y aille" construction puts focus on strong obligation and this is often imposed by an outside source. Example: If your boss is strict and you get your pay docked if you don't arrive on time at work, you will probably choose "Il faut que j'y aille" meaning "I've really got to leave now or else".

    The "Je dois m'en aller " construction has a slightly reduced sense of obligation and the source is often your own inner sense of obligation Example, if your mother-in-law is coming to visit and your need to leave in order to buy her a gift before she arrives, I'd tend to use "Je dois m'en aller" and the meaning here is closer to "I need to leave now" than it is to "I have/have got to leave now"..

    Most native-speakers don't really "sense " this difference and assume the two are interchangeable (which they are, to some degree) but when you teach languages you dig into fascinating stuff like this. I think selling used cars or vacum cleaners is much less exhausting than teaching but not half as much fun...

    Cordialment
    Albert
     
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