I have heard the following sentence in the TV series Marseille:

  • Ces bâtards m'ont empêché de te voir, mais je me suis battu.

Context: Eric, a former friend of the journalist Julia got in love and obsessed with her. After she is almost killed following a lead, her father Taro decides to isolate her in a remote house, far from Marseille. Eric asks Taro where Julia is, but Taro refuses to tell him. Eric becomes more obsessed, follows Taro's car and tries to kidnap Julia. The line above is the first thing he says to her.

What "je me suis battu" mean here? The literal translation "I fought"/"I got into a fight" does not make much sense in English in this context. Have the speaker meant "I didn't give up" ?

  • I'm very frustrated with the downvotes given to my question and no constructive criticism. The literal translation of "se battre" to "fight" in English found in popular dictionaries such as Word Reference didn't make much sense in the sentence in question. Different languages express the same idea using different expressions and metaphors and I'm still getting used to the French ones. Sometimes I feel that FSE prefers etymology/linguistic questions than practical ones about word usage (which are more useful to most people). – Alan Evangelista May 1 at 11:41
  • Hi Alan, I'm part of the people who downvoted this question and I wanted to apologize for not providing an explanation to it. The reason for me to close this question is that "to fight" is actually the literal answer to your question (Greg said it in his answer). It's not the first meaning (to fight physically), but the figurative meaning: "struggle to overcome, eliminate, or prevent". Since this seemed pretty easy to find (I only typed "fight definition" on Google), I think this question doesn't belong here as it shows a lack of research from your end. I hope this is clearer for you. – Reyedy May 27 at 16:46

It is just the common meaning "to fight", but used as a metaphor. It is very common and it means indeed that you do not give up and keep on acting or working to reach a goal.


La ministre s'est battu pour imposer sa réforme

Je me bats tous les jours pour donner une bonne éducation à mes enfants.

J'ai dû me battre, mais j'ai réussi à remporter le marché.

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