Who was I to argue

Quantz

Senior Member
French
I don't catch it exactly
I know it's along the lines of
"Au nom de quoi, en quel honneur aurais-je pu discuter ?", mais c'est lourd
 
  • Ha_na

    Senior Member
    France/je suis française
    En français, on a la même phrase d'humilité: "mais qui suis-je pour argumenter (au sens de pinailler, contredire?)..." Pas de contexte.
    Maintenant, il reste effectivement à savoir si c'est le sens exact.
     

    anangelaway

    Senior Member
    French
    Bonjour, :)

    That's funny. In English we're in the past, as opposed in the present in French.

    I like the 'qui suis-je...' for 'Who am I...', but as to keep it used with a past tense (Who was I...): dur-dur.
    Perhaps, we could combine the two suggestions above:
    'De quel droit me suis serais-je permis de 'pinailler' ? (I like pinailler, yes :p)
    Just another suggestion.

    Edit: Now with more context, it may not make sense anymore... Sorry!
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    En français, on a la même phrase d'humilité: "mais qui suis-je pour argumenter (au sens de pinailler, contredire?)..." Pas de contexte.
    Maintenant, il reste effectivement à savoir si c'est le sens exact.
    Arrius' discuter sounds better to me than argumenter.
    Respecting the tense would make it Qui étais-je pour discuter ?
     

    anangelaway

    Senior Member
    French
    Arrius' discuter sounds better to me than argumenter.
    Respecting the tense would make it Qui étais-je pour discuter ?
    Ah oui ! :thumbsup:

    But now that we can read the whole sentence, I would suggest something like :
    ''Je n'allais pas la contredire''. (sur un ton légèrement ironique)
    But also, to me in English, the 'Who was I to argue' in this (limited) context makes me think that the husband is a regular drinker, hence he problably is the last person who wouldn't like to have a drink.
    It is only my interpretation, and of course I can be wrong.
     

    Ha_na

    Senior Member
    France/je suis française
    Yes tilt, bonne résolution du problème du temps.

    LOL anangelaway, I love your comment about the regular drinker husband: I think you're a fairy.

    I wanted to ask about the meaning of argue: is it only "discuter" or is there an idea like this one: "la disputer". meaning = Qui étais-je pour la disputer, l'en empêcher, moi le mari qui ne connais pas la modération lorsqu'il s'agit de boire un coup/la tempérance?
     

    mungolina

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    It certainly has the sense of 'la disputer' - although it is possibly a little harsh to assume the poor man knows no moderation when it comes to drink! Let's be nice and assume that he too likes a little tipple...
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Salut tilt,
    "Respecting the tense would make it Qui étais-je pour discuter ?"

    I see your point but with Et moi, de quel droit je vais discuter?,
    I was thinking in general terms and of future altercations liable to flare up at any moment as is usually the case.
     

    orlando09

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Bonjour, :)

    That's funny. In English we're in the past, as opposed in the present in French. !

    But it would be OK in the present in English too.. "you want a drink? sure, who am I to argue with that?"

    However perhaps in recounting a past incident I in English we would prefer "who was I...." (although the present's still possible, I think) whereas in French you might more readily keep the present -- elle voulait boire, et qui suis-je pour argumenter? (to use ha-Ha's translation)? Then again, I presume qui étais-je would still be useable..
     

    anangelaway

    Senior Member
    French
    But it would be OK in the present in English too.. "you want a drink? sure, who am I to argue with that?" Totally agree, the similar situation can be in the present in both languages.

    However perhaps in recounting a past incident I in English we would prefer "who was I...." (although the present's still possible, I think) whereas in French you might more readily keep the present -- elle voulait boire, et qui suis-je pour argumenter? (to use ha-Ha's translation)? Then again, I presume qui étais-je would still be useable..
    Bonjour orlando,
    Well, a very good point, but I'm not that convinced we should use the present tense in French here on the second part.

    "My beloved wife fancied a drink, and who was I to argue ?"

    For instance (past+past):
    = Ma tendre épouse désirait prendre un verre, je n'allais pas la contredire.'
    = Ma tendre épouse désirait prendre un verre, qui étais-je pour la contredire?
    (past+present)
    = Ma tendre épouse désirait prendre un verre, qui suis-je pour la contredire/pour discuter/pinailler/etc...?
    Mmm, it does not sound right for some reason.

    I would have been tempted to use the past simple, but it is too much, and does not sound right either.
     
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