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  5. "Être soi"

"Être soi"

Translation:To be oneself

February 5, 2013



Can this not also be translated as "be yourself"?


what does "be oneself" even mean? how is this line used in english? wouldn't it make more sense if we translate it as "be yourself"?


No, it would not. As this is a concept of a general / universal expression, that is used in French.

While it is not used as much in current common English, this is a concept that is used in French. The object of learning another language is to learn also concepts that are different to you first language, such as this, in the other language.

This concept of universal "one[self]", is different to the concept of a personal, individual "yourself".


It really should actually accept both"oneself" and "yourself". While traditionally "oneself" is correct when talking in general terms, "yourself" is now much more common and "oneself" has nearly disappeared. This should reflect how language is actually spoken, not how it thinks it ought to be spoken.


In French, soi is used to represent a universal "one[self]", in general statements or descriptions.

While it is becoming less common to use this concept in common English, this is common usage in French.
It matches the general meaning of on (we/you/people/one), or the impersonal il.

This concept of a general / universal expression, you will see, for example in verb tables, such as :


person present
je mange
tu manges
il/elle/on mange

And the stressed pronoun of soi, is likewise a further example of this general / universal concept used in French.


Some of us actually do say "to be oneself", and I'm glad they have it as one of the choices.

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