https://www.duolingo.com/Ryan.M1993

Need help with the phrase "je n'voulais p'tête pas"

This phrase is from the song "le vide est ton nouveau prenom" by La Femme. To give some context, the entire phrase is je n'voulais p'tête pas te garder dans ma tête, ni dans mon cœur. When I looked up the translation I found it to be translated as "maybe I didn't want..." is this just an expression that can't be explained in english because I know that there are other expressions using the word tête such as "je ne me prends pas la tête."

July 23, 2017

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Prenom.Pierre

Je ne voulais peut-être pas = Prehaps I did not want to

p'têt'e = peut-être (may be) It is a phonetic transcription of the word when it is pronounced quickly

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcD50

Yes, and the negation is generally simplified colloquially, so 'je n'voulais p'têt'e pas' is still too long, it should be 'j'voulais p'têt'e pas' (4 syllables, instead of 8 in a very formal pronunciation). Since it is a song, they have to fiddle with the number of syllables.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcD50

The expression 'se prendre la tête' (to hold one's head) is not completely silly, you know. It is like a shortened version of 'se prendre la tête à deux mains' (to hold one's head with two hands = in one's hands), in exasperation, frustration, disbelief, bafflement, or in front of difficulties that seem insurmountable. So very logically, 'je ne me prends pas la tête' means: 'I do not worry'.

It has another meaning, though: 'se prendre la tête avec quelqu'un' (to have words/an argument with someone), 'prendre la tête à quelqu'un' (to bother/annoy someone with constant bickering), but you end up holding your head in your hands all the same. ;)

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dominique2222

in this phrase, "tête" does not mean "head" but "be" = "être" p'tête = peut être = may be Je ne n'voulais p'tête pas te garder dans ma tête Je ne voulais peut être pas te garder dans ma tête

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Aiikickman

For me (I am a native French ) the translation is good. You can use "p'tête" to say "peut être", that is equivalent of English "may be".

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryan.M1993

Thanks a lot everyone for your help, I appreciate it very much!

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ctwil

tete means face o r head

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ctwil

except in this phrase of course

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dominique2222

"tete" est un mot inconnu en français :-)

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dominique2222

"tête" means head !

July 24, 2017
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