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Il y a cinq mois, je réfléchissais à ce que je commencerais à apprendre comme ma septième langue. J'hésitais entre le français et l'allemand. Mais il m'a suffi d'un jour pour décider que moi et l'allemand... ça fait deux !

Content de m'être tourné vers le français, {après tout / en fin de compte / en bout de ligne}. :)

This is part of an email I sent. I think that "après tout" best suits the context, suggesting that I have finally reached a decision after pondering it for a while. On the other hand, I’m not sure if the other two expressions fit in here as well.

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    À éliminer « en bout de ligne » qui ne s'emploie pas dans un sens figuré en France, c'est vraiment le dernier élément d'une chaîne physique. Je crois que ça se dit au Québec donc tout dépendra de à qui tu t'adresses pour savoir si ça sera compris par ton interlocuteur. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Sep 30 '16 at 5:41
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To add to jlliagre's answer, I would rather add finalement after être :

Content de m'être finalement tourné vers le français !

Or if you want to put it in initial, explicit the pronoun :

Finalement, je suis content de m'être tourné vers le français !

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I would start the sentence with either "finalement", "en définitive" or "en fin de compte":

Finalement, content de m'être tourné(e) vers le français !

"Comme septième langue" is more idiomatic than "comme ma septième langue" et j'aurais plutôt écrit "pour comprendre que moi et l'allemand, ça fait deux".

  • Considering the nice way (tourné vers) used to express that French was chosen AND the 1st sentence re it being the 7th language, I think it’s important to choose, as you have, a word/phrase & its position that keeps focus on the “German vs French” choice & not one that could be seen as focusing on it having taken so long to try French (finally, after 6 languages) & that’s why I prefer your “en fin de compte.” Granted, “finalement” at the start as you suggest helps keep the focus on the “Ger vs Fren” choice, but I think putting it elsewhere (as @Evpok suggests) could make it ambiguous. +1 – Papa Poule Oct 1 '16 at 21:24
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    @PapaPoule Thank you for digging into this matter. :) After perusing your post, I came up with an entirely new solution. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 2 '16 at 22:03
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I think the best way to avoid the first ambiguity that could arise by using “finalement” ...

(ie, the one I tried to explain in this comment and which you expressed well in another of your French Language questions as wanting to avoid sounding like [Il s'agit de prendre] la mesure de tout le chemin parcouru (depuis le tout début de [votre] apprentissage des autres langues étrangères jusqu'à ce que [vous vous soyez] enfin mis au français")

... would be to add something like “au lieu de l’allemand” to the existing sentence:

Content de m'être finalement tourné vers le français [au lieu de l’allemand]!

However, if you don’t want to add au lieu de l’allemand (or "et pas l'allemand") to your nice sentence, I think the best way to avoid all the possible ambiguities that could arise by using “finalement,” including the one mentioned here by Evpok in response to that other question ...

(ie, “[if placed first or last it could mean] that at first you weren't happy you chose French, but that after some time, your opinion changed and that now you are glad you chose it”)

... would be to avoid using “finalement” altogether (which is not totally inconsistent with either the fact that “finalement” was not among your first three choices for "after all" in this question or with Evpok’s correct observation in that response to your other question that even in English, “finally” might imply things that you don’t mean to imply depending on its placement in the sentence).

With all of the above in mind, I think, in English at least, that the notions of “all things considered” or “at the end of the day” would be less likely to be seen as referring back to anything other than your happiness for having chosen French instead of German and that they would also be less likely, regardless of their position in the sentence, to give the impression that you are “finally” happy with the choice, but only after having at first been unhappy with it.
They would of course imply that a careful weighing of the options had occurred prior to you making the decision that you’re now happy with (which is required for all legitimate decisions), but neither of them, in English at least, would imply that you had originally regretted the choice after it was made.

So going from these two notions/phrases as I interpret their meanings in English, I think good French equivalents that you could consider using in your sentence as originally written (without the "au lieu de l'allemand) would include “tout bien considéré” or “tout compte fait” (for “all things considered”) and perhaps a combination of your last two suggestions (i.e., “en fin de compte” + “en bout de ligne”) to get “au bout du compte” (for “at the end of the day”).

As for the position of the above suggestions in your sentence, although the above link to Reverso-Context gives examples of “au bout du compte” being used at the beginning, the end, and in the middle of sentences, I’d suggest, just as Reverso-Context seems to in its examples of “tout bien considéré” and “tout compte fait,” that all of them would be more idiomatic either at the beginning (my preference, except maybe for "au bout du compte") or the end of sentences in general and yours in particular:

“Tout bien considéré/Tout compte fait/Au bout du compte, [je suis] content de m'être tourné vers le français [au bout du compte] !

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@Papa Poule

Your great analysis has given me a whole new perspective on this matter.

The problem inherent in placing an adverb (whichever it is) at the beginning or the end of the sentence is that the chosen adverb becomes a sentence adverb, thereby modifying the part "je suis content" rather than the intended "m'être tourné vers le français".

It would be ideal if we could insert one of those (three-word) adverbial phrases between "m'être" and "tourné" without making the wording cumbersome, but alas... On the same note, "finalement" or "enfin" gives rise to ambiguity in the interpretation.

So I would like to propose:

Content d'avoir fini par arrêter mon choix sur le français !

  1. The expression "arrêter mon choix sur" (in place of "se tourner vers") clearly indicates that I have settled/decided on French rather than German (after some thinking). The other six languages (previously learnt) have absolutely no business getting into the mix here!

    As long as we use the expression "se tourner vers", we cannot shake off the wrong impression that I turned my interest to French after all the other six languages.

  2. The verb "avoir fini par" (all too conveniently) takes the place of any adverb with the meaning of "finally", and expresses the idea of "(finally) ended up". Not to mention that the "avoir fini par" can only modify (in a manner of speaking) the part "arrêter mon choix sur", not the problematic "je suis content".

All in all, I believe that this combination of "(finally) ended up" + "taking French (rather than German)" solves the problem nicely.


UPDATE:

« J'hésitais entre le français et l'allemand. Mais il m'a suffi d'un jour pour comprendre que moi et l'allemand... ça fait deux ! »

Me voici content de m'être tourné vers le français !

= "Here I am, feeling glad to have gone for French!"

I expressed the idea of « finalement / in the end » with the alternative expression « Me voici / Here I am ». This phrasing clearly gets across the idea that "after wavering back and forth between the two languages, I eventually picked French and I'm pleased with that decision."

I think this is it! I’d love to hear your take on it, @Papa Poule. :)

  • I, too, think you've found the solution, but it's a shame to have to condemn a lovely, nearly poetic choice of words such as "se tourner vers" to the chopping block (and that's probably why I struggled so much, alas in vain, to try to find a way to keep it)! – Papa Poule Oct 2 '16 at 22:26
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    @PapaPoule Oui. Dommage qu'il faille renoncer à cette expression... J'espère bien qu'une solution plus ingénieuse me viendra à l'esprit après m'être ressourcé. :) – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 2 '16 at 23:06
  • @PapaPoule At long last... I've come up with an expression that I'm perfectly comfortable with. :) – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 8 '16 at 22:00
  • Personally I think it’s fine, especially with the nice “tourné vers”, but I took the liberty (read “made the mistake”) of asking my French wife for her opinion and of course she disagrees and thinks that “Me voila, content de m'être tourné vers le français!” (with “voila” preferably followed by a comma) would be more idiomatic than “Me voici content …” (either with or without a comma) and therefore the better of those two choices, so maybe you should go with that and/or wait for more input from other native speakers (my wife's in her 50s and hasn't lived in France since she was 21). – Papa Poule Oct 8 '16 at 23:56
  • @PapaPoule I'm glad that she pointed out the voici vs voilà because the question of which to use is not always crystal clear to me. Actually, I went with "voilà" first in this sentence, but eventually swapped in "voici", since I needed to describe my current feeling (thereby "Me voici content"), as opposed to someone else's (in which case "Le voilà content"). As much as I myself hate how weird "Me voici content" sounds, I wasn't certain if the use of "voilà" was valid, either. Merci. :) – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 9 '16 at 7:59

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