Producing oneself

I came across an interesting expression in a French newspaper article I read today – se produire – which means to produce, occur, take place, perform, appear, and appears in such phrases as:

- devoir se produire = to be bound to happen
- se produire sur scène = to appear on stage
- ce qui risque de se produire = what could well happen; what might happen
- laisser se produire = to allow to happen
- se produire en concert = to play in a concert

One literal translation of this expression is “to produce oneself”, and I like the idea that I produced myself (as if from a hat :) at a gig last week.

Source: Reverso

This entry was posted in English, French, Language, Words and phrases.

3 Responses to Producing oneself

  1. MadFall says:

    Yes the perceived pomposity of the Latin derived languages to an English ear is great fun. Thing is though, if one of those languages is your native tongue you can hardly perceive the pomposity.

  2. pittmirg says:

    In Polish there’s a verb produkować się (produce REFL) which I use (and hear) in the meaning along the lines of ‘exert oneself’ (e.g. ‘harangue, talk verbosely with a lot of effort’ OR ‘write profusely’ and so on).

    However, the PWN’s online Dictionary of Polish Language defines the verb as “appear in a show, on stage; show off some skill”. I suspect this is a more conservative sense and the verb is ultimately calqued from the French ‘se produire sur scène’.

  3. Zeppelin says:

    German has a lot of reflexive-ish verbs like that — I assume that they are common in French due to Germanic influence, since a lot of French syntax is quite Germanic and un-Romance, and they don’t seem to be common in the other Romance languages.