Bonjour à tous et bienvenus! Je suis content de vous revoir. Let us expand our French vocabulary with today’s word of the day, ‘Ralentir’!
It is estimated that ‘Ralentir’first appeared in oral tradition beginning around 1711; in written text the word first appeared in the year 1837.
Louis Viardot, French author, art historian, art critic, theatrical figure, and translator first used the word in his French translation of the Spanish novel El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The word appears in Volume I, Chapter XXXIII:
«... Lothaire commença à ralentirpeu à peu, par réflexion, ses allées et venues dans la maison de son ami.»
The word is derived from the archaic and now obsolete French word ‘alentir’.
The prefix originates from the Old French, a-, which stems from Latin, ad-, which denotes entering a state or making progress toward a goal, etc.,
The root originates from the Old French, lent, which comes from the Latin lentus. The word lent in turn translate to ‘slow’ in English. Collins Dictionary defines the word slow in the following ways:
The suffix -ir is used to denote that the word’s ending denotes that the word is a verb that may be conjugated in any of the French tenses.
Now that you have this information, do you think you can guess the meaning of this word?
No? Need a little help?
Try this! Lets use arithmetic equations to assist us…well not necessarily, but let’s use the structure of formulas to help us with this.
[R]a- + lent. + -ir
(toward) + (slow) + (verbal suffix)
If I had to guess based off this equation alone, I would say that the word means to move slowly towards something or to slow down. Am I right?
Keep reading to find out.
Collins dictionary translates the French verb ‘ralentir’ to mean “ to slow down”.
Can You Use It In A Sentence?
Victor ralentissait sa vitesse quand la pluie commence à tomber.
French Language and Culture enthusiast, fashion trend-setter extraordinaire. My goal is to provide students with resources, materials, and insight that will help French Language acquisition less intimidating and more enjoyable.