A recent question concerning the translation of the word drive, and especially #mouviviel’s comment :
‘Rouler’ also works for bicycles, whereas in English one says ride [a bike] instead of drive [a bike].
got me wondering if the decision to choose between the two French verbs conduire ou rouler (en) (or any other suitable French verb for “riding as a passenger”) should depend on whether the speaker is the driver (conduire) or a passenger (rouler or voyager? or faire [de] la route? etc?).
Was/is it proper for a PASSENGER in a personal automobile to use conduire (drive) instead of rouler (ride) or any other suitable French verb for “riding as a passenger” in the following scenario?:
After 8 hours of driving all through the night with my (French) wife snoring beside me, she wakes up at dawn declaring:
Wow, on a conduit toute la nuit !
to which I answer:
D’accord pour moi, chérie, car oui, effectivement j’ai conduit toute la nuit, mais toi, je dirais plutôt que tu n’as que roulé (tes pouces ?) toute la nuit !
to which she replies (PAS pour me donner raison, j’en suis certain!)
Alors-là mon chéri, tais-toi et conduis !
Although she acknowledges the point that I am making in my snarky (anal?) reply, she insists that it’s ok for a French passenger to use conduire in this case. Is she correct? Or is this just another instance of her having lost some of her French from living in an English-speaking country with an anal-retentive husband for the past 35 years?
I understand and agree that rouler (or voyager, etc.) works for both the driver and the passenger, because both the driver and the passenger “roulent”, “voyagent”, etc. (even if, in my opinion these diminish a bit the role of the driver), but when a passenger speaks of having conduit (driven) I find that a bit presumptuous (except in cases where the driving duties are shared or when the passenger serves as navigator or some other function of the 'Driving Team').
Of course I’ve heard fellow Anglophones (even done so myself, I'm sure) use 'drive/drove' when 'ride/rode' (travel/traveled) would have been a better choice of words, but it has been my experience that Anglophones will readily admit to their little error, whereas my wife feels that there is no real error for her to admit. Again (and finally), is she correct?