General Question

flash74686's avatar

Is this proper French?

Asked by flash74686 (478points) April 25th, 2010

I was arguing with a friend and made a good point, so he said, “Touché.” He and I flirt all the time, so I thought a funny comeback would be “I wish I had touched you,” but in French.

I put it into one of those online translators and got “Je souhaite que je vous avais touché.” I only went up to French 2, so I have no idea if all the words/grammar are correct, ‘cause you can never really trust online translators. . .

So yeah. . . What would be the correct way to say it?

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13 Answers

bhec10's avatar

That is the correct way to say it.

iaresven's avatar

“J’aurais aimé te touché…” is a little more informal and “flirty.” Your version is quite formal, so try this one.

LuckyGuy's avatar

While holding a glass of red wine.

Fyrius's avatar

Proper French, I think yes, but it’s a bit unnatural in this situation.
Like @iaresven said, using “vous” rather than “tu” here is a bit awkwardly formal for a close friend. (Compare it to “I wish I had touched you, sir.”)
I also think it’s a bit too literal a translation. Je souhaite as you write here sounds more like a wish for the future than a regret about the past. “I hope I touched you.”
I think.
So I second his alternative. J’aurais aimé te toucher. “I would have liked touching you.”

flash74686's avatar

Thanks @iaresven and @Fyrius!

One last thing, if you don’t mind- how would you stress it? Like in English, you’d stress the had. What syllables would you stress in French to get the same idea?

Fyrius's avatar

I’d stress rais in aurais. “J’auRAIS aimé te toucher.” “I WOULD have liked to touch you.”
But I’m just a third language speaker and @iaresven has actually lived in Quebec, so I think a second opinion would be nice.

Edit: On second thought, perhaps aimé might be better. “J’aurais aiMÉ te toucher.” “I would have LIKED to touch you.”
There’s probably a subtle difference in implications, like in the first intonation it’s like literally touching him was his idea and you’re reacting to it, and in the latter you’re the one introducing the idea of literally touching. The latter would best convey what your original English intonation would have implied.

Okay, now I’m probably taking this way too seriously. :P

gailcalled's avatar

The verbs of volition in French take the subjunctive.

Je veux que je puisse te toucher. Awkward, however, and not very passionate.

Better is Je veux pouver te toucher.

J’ai envie de te toucher avoids the issue by also allowing you to use the infinitive.

And one doesn’t use the same method of intonation in English as in French. There is a pretty set rhythym and pitch in a sentence like ^^. And of course, a Frenchman talks so fast that even if he varies things a bit, you can’t tell.

gailcalled's avatar

La vache! Je veux pouvoir te toucher.

susanc's avatar

@gail: il n’y a pas de vache. Calmes-toi, o reine de sagesse.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Now we have a cow on the scene!?!?!!?

gailcalled's avatar

Tabernac! Ol a vache! means Damn it. The French love cows:

If you want other, more arcane choices; here is the refrain from a song about cursing, by Georges Brassens.

Tous les morbleus, tous les ventrebleus
Les sacrebleus et les cornegidouilles
Ainsi, parbleu, que les jarnibleus
Et les palsambleus
Tous les cristis, les ventres saint-gris
Les par ma barbe et les noms d’une pipe
Ainsi, pardi, que les sapristis
Et les sacristis
Sans oublier les jarnicotons
Les scrogneugneus et les bigr’s et les bougr’s
Les saperlottes, les cré nom de nom
Les pestes, et pouah, diantre, fichtre et foutre
Tous les Bon Dieu
Tous les vertudieux
Tonnerr’ de Brest et saperlipopette
Ainsi, pardieu, que les jarnidieux
Et les pasquedieux

Fyrius's avatar

The French sure are skilled at stealth blasphemy, aren’t they?

iaresven's avatar

@Fyrius was right the first time, the stress is on the J’auRAIS. There is also stress on the TE, referring specifically to this sentence as you are saying “I wish I had touched YOU.” Like said as well, the aiMÉ should have slight stress too, but not as pronounced as the first too.

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