Words (17)

wordsWhen writing about Based on a True Story , I used the words vrai and véridique in French.  I did not think using  true in both cases would be right in English  and in the second case  I chose the English word credible, expressing “reflecting a concern for truth” (and I could have used truthful). I wondered what the difference in meaning was  between these  two words and véritable , another word of the same family . It is not surprising that vrai  “true” comes from Vulgar  Latin veracus, as a  result of the natural evolution of the word to French, because  French words (and not those  borrowed from Latin at a later date) are generally short. Véritable   comes from classical Latin: it is a noun derived from  the noun vérité “whose existence or reality can not be doubted.” Véridique  “reflecting a concern for truth” also comes from the Latin and classical veridicus  and  dicere “say”. Different shades of meanings  for each of these words: the first word’s emphasis is on the true / false distinction, the second emphasises  on the reality (often translated by   real in English), and the third on  accuracy. It is fascinating to note that these words are used in the appropriate context by native speakers without them  not necessarily being  aware of the subtle nuances between words.


11 thoughts on “Words (17)”

    1. Quite right Cynthia, I should have mentioned it, although it seems that “veritable” has developed a different meaning in English, as is often the case (but I may be wrong), and was not aware of “veridical”, which seems to have the same meaning. Thank you for bringing it to my attention Cynthia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am working on changing the link on the right. My apologies. As for the discussion about words, after Cynthia’s remark, I went back to research “veritable” in English and found it comes from what is sometimes called “Anglo-French” which is the British branch of Norman French. It has developed a new meaning in English :
      ‘used to describe something as another, more exciting, interesting, or unusual thing’. As for me, once again, I am enchanted by the beauties of languages, their flexibility, their mysteries 🙂 Thank you for visiting. I enjoy your comments in both English and French (but quiet visitors are also welcome).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always feel lucky to be visited by you. My Internet is not working well at present and I can’t update the link but I will as soon as the Internet issues have been resolved 🙂

        Sent from my Samsung device


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