Does an idiomatic meaning of "Je n'ai qu'une parole" make it impossible to say "I have only one word" that way? If so, how would you say "I have only one word"? I reported it as an error 01 April 2018.
It definitely does not translate to "I have only one word".
n'avoir qu'une parole is an expression meaning "my word is my bond / a promise is a promise / be as good as your word / always do what you say".
Therefore J'ai n'ai qu'une parole means "I keep my word"
Also see the discussion here:
A bit of French now:
- my word is my bond = ma parole me lie
- a promise is a promise = une promesse est une promesse
- you're as good as your word = tu vaux ce que vaut ta parole
- always do what you say = fais toujours ce que tu as dit / fais ce que tu dis
Also "je n'ai qu'une parole" is also expressed by "je ne reviens pas sur ma parole" or "je tiens mes promesses".
"Je n'ai qu'un mot" is what I was asking for. Although "parole" can be translated as "word," it has the sense of promise, not linguistic unit.
"Je n'ai qu'un mot" is possible, literally, in a context like:
- Je n'ai qu'un mot pour le décrire : génial !
Or a game of Scrabble, or charades, or a classroom assignment, or searching for synonyms.... Thanks.