1

"I am lucky to have a chance to meet you."

Is "avoir l'occasion" the correct translation of "have a chance" in this context?

J'ai de la chance d'avoir l'occasion de vous rencontrer.

Is it correct to say any of the following?

J'ai de la chance d'avoir une occasion/opportunité/possibilité/chance de vous rencontrer.

Similarly, what about "Very few people have a chance to meet you. I am lucky to be one of them."

Très peu de personnes ont ___ de vous rencontrer. Je suis chanceux d'être l'un d'eux.

Two other examples:

I haven't had a chance to read your email yet.

Do you think you'll have a chance to go to Paris next year?

  • I think "I am lucky" should be translated as "J'ai de la chance" or "Je suis chanceux", and "Have a chance to..." should be "avoir la chance de...". Isn't the idea of the sentence strange ? It looks like a repetition to me (with a slight difference, indeed, but still a repetition)... – Random Jan 4 '17 at 14:27
  • @Random Perhaps it's a bit repetitive, but I think saying "I am lucky to have a chance to meet you" is one step more polite than simply "I am lucky to meet you". I would say the first sentence if I meet someone very famous, for example. – user11550 Jan 4 '17 at 15:08
  • Nice, so it wouldn't fit this way, since "avoir la chance d'avoir l'occasion" doesn't look more polite at all in french. You have to rephrase it. In your update, your last sentence feels much better and natural in this way. I would maybe say "Je suis heureux" instead of "chanceux", but it's roughly the same... :) – Random Jan 4 '17 at 15:21
  • "Chance" being a false friend, using "chance" and "luck" in the same sentence really adds a lot of confusion... Could you make a version without the "luck" part ? Also, I agree with @Random about the part that using both "lucky" and "chance" is not necessary in French. Maybe it makes it more polite in English, but it's idiomatic. I'd say something like "J'ai de la chance de pouvoir (enfin) vous rencontrer". (adding "enfin" can be a way to be more polite, it has the idea of having to wait a lot to meet the person) – Teleporting Goat Jan 4 '17 at 15:45
  • @TeleportingGoat Yes, in my second example, the first sentence does not contain "luck". – user11550 Jan 4 '17 at 15:46
3

Chance is a false friend, the simplest way to tell it would be:

J'ai de la chance1 d'avoir l'occasion de vous rencontrer.

or simply

J'ai de la chance de pouvoir vous rencontrer.

About your second sentence:

Très peu de personnes ont l'occasion de vous rencontrer. J'ai de la chance d'en faire partie.

When chance is not associated with luck, you can't use the French chance:

I haven't had a chance to read your email yet.

translates to:

Je n'ai pas encore eu l'occasion de lire ton mail.

but you are more likely to hear:

Je n'ai pas encore trouvé le temps de lire ton mail.

and

Do you think you'll have a chance to go to Paris next year?

translates to:

Tu crois que tu auras l'occasion d'aller à Paris l'année prochaine ?

1 Canadian French will likely use instead je suis chanceux which is rare in France.

  • Sorry, I think the sentence doesn't really reflect what I want to ask. Please see the updated sentence. – user11550 Jan 4 '17 at 15:04
  • @user11550 Thanks, I overlook the tense and started with the first French translation attempt. – jlliagre Jan 4 '17 at 15:06
  • Thanks for your update. For the second sentence, would any of "Très peu de personnes ont l'occasion/l'opportunité/la possibilité ..." work? – user11550 Jan 4 '17 at 15:09
  • @user11550 yeah I would fit, except "possibilité", which meaning is not the same (I guess it's the same difference than in english...) – Random Jan 4 '17 at 15:18
  • 1
    I disagree with the last sentence. "Très peu de personnes ont la chance de vous rencontrer" is "few people are lucky enough to meet you". "to have a chance" means to have the possibility to do something. – Teleporting Goat Jan 4 '17 at 15:37
1

Looking at your sentence, I would translate it one of 3 ways:

  1. Je suis chanceux d'avoir eu l'opportunité de vous rencontrer *

  2. Je suis chanceux d'avoir eu la possibilité de vous rencontrer

  3. Je suis chanceux d'avoir eu l'occasion de vous rencontrer

The first presents the idea of an opportunity, signifying that the speaker views it not just as a lucky chance, but also that this is a somewhat rare thing that he has been lucky to experience.

The second conveys more the idea of having the option available. In other words, the speaker is glad that they had the possibility open to them so that they could meet the interlocutor.

The third carries the idea of time; that the speaker is glad that he had the occasion, that he was able to meet them at this time.


They're basically the same; you can use them interchangeably (at least in my area!). However, those three nuanced forms are the forms I would personally use.

Très peu de personnes ont l'opportunité de vous rencontrer. Je suis chanceux d'être l'un d'eux.

J'ai pas eu l'occasion de lire votre courriel encore.

Pensez-vous avoir la possibilité d'aller à Paris l'année prochaine ?

ou

Pensez-vous avoir l'opportunité d'aller à Paris l'année prochaine ?

...dépendant du sense.

Edit (*):

Selon l'office de la langue française, cet usage du mot "opportunité" est critiqué de nos jours, étant donné que son usage a été répandu davantage sous l'influence du mot anglais "opportunity."

Cependant, jusqu'au 19ième siècle, c'était un usage valide du mot.

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