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  5. "A slight emotion?"

"A slight emotion?"

Translation:Une petite émotion ?

November 30, 2017



This is interesting. I am being asked to translate from my own language into French. My answer was correct, but I would never use the phrase "a slight emotion". In English I would say "I have a slight feeling of doubt about this."


Why not sentiment, is there a subtle difference?


The difference is not subtle in French.

"Une émotion" is clearly distinct from "un sentiment".

"Une émotion" is a sudden, purely physiological disorder, sometimes violent, but only transitory, caused by fear (dry mouth, paralysis, coldness), surprise (quicker heart beat) or joy (warmth, excitement, agitation)...

"Un sentiment" is deeper, more complex and durable mental construct and psychological state (love, hate, anxiety, disappointment, resentment...).


""Un sentiment" is a deeper [...] mental construct"


The English words are derived from the French and have the the same (or very similar) meanings

Emotion: A person's internal state of being and involuntary physiological response to an object or a situation, based on or tied to physical state and sensory data. eg fear, anger, happiness etc

Sentiment : a general thought, sense or feeling. It is a thought that has been influenced by emotion. A sentiment allows the individual to convey his emotion through expression.


This has been a question of mine for a while... What is the nuance in French?


Perhaps, the emotion is conveyed as, for example,
Il est très heureux ! This emotion might be expressed outwardly by Il affiche un large sourire. You may have no idea of the emotion but the outward expression - the smile - indicates the person is happy.

The first is the emotion of happiness. The second is the expression of that happiness by smiling broadly.

Émotion is from the verb émouvoir - to move, to touch
Sentiment is from the verb sentir - to feel


Yeah, I'm wondering about this too. I put "un petit sentiment" and it's marked wrong even though when you hover over the word emotion it lists both émotion and sentiment as translations. Maybe they're not as interchangeable in French as the words emotion and feeling would be in English?

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