Learn to Read French With a Maupassant Story
At Bermuda Word we’re offering a way to learn a language fast and easy and with fun. Just read stories and let the software make sure the new vocabulary that you pick up is retained in your memory. You’ll need a desktop PC or laptop to see the pop-up translation below however. Read more about the software here >>
The Manually Translated Pop-up Text*
La nuit venait, emplissant d’ombre le ravin.
The night came, filling of (with) shadow the ravine.
Et le soldat se mit à songer.
And the soldier himself set (started) to think by himself.
What went he do?
What went he become?
Rejoindre son armée?
Rejoin his army?
Mais par où?
But by where?
Et il lui faudrait recommencer l’horrible vie
And it him would be necessary to begin again the horrible life
d’angoisses, d’épouvantes, de fatigues et de souffrances
of stresses, of scares, of tirednesses and of sufferings
qu’il menait depuis le commencement de la guerre!
that he led since the start of the war!
Non! Il ne se sentait plus ce courage.
No! He not himself felt (any)more the courage.
Il n’aurait plus l’énergie
He not had (any)more the energy
qu’il fallait pour supporter les marches
that it was necessary for to support the marches
et affronter les dangers de toutes les minutes.
and face the dangers of all the minutes.
Mais que faire?
But what to do?
*doesn’t work on smartphones or tablets
- ’emplissant’ is de gerundive of the verb emplisser (to fill). The gerundive describe actions that are continuous, and can also be used as adjective, “la fille chantante (the singing girl)” or formed into a noun, for example; the gerundive of épouvanter (to scare) is used in above sentence “l’horrible vie d’épouvantes (the horrible life of scares).
- French often uses past tense verbs where english uses a construction with “would”; “Qu’allait-il fair? (literally: What went-he do? in better English; What would he go (and) do?)”, or in “qu’il fallait pour supporter les marches (literally: that he needed for to support his walks, or in better English; that he would need to keep walking / for the long marches)”
- In this case English uses “did”, “Il n’aurait plus l’énergie (literally: He not had more the energy, or in better English; He didn’t have the energy anymore)”.