On this webpage, there is a written description for a short stop-animated film called "Le Sujet". The following is this written description:

Gagnant de l'Iris du meilleur court-métrage d'animation - Un animateur fouille son propre corps pour en extirper les souvenirs, les émotions et les angoisses qui viendront nourrir son œuvre. De la peau d’abord coupée au scalpel surgissent divers objets symboliques évoquant son passé.

DeepL translates "les émotions et les angoisses qui viendront nourrir son œuvre." into:

emotions and anxieties that will feed his work.

I don't understand how DeepL's came up with this translation, but I also don't understand any other translation that comes from thinking of the typical meanings of "venir:

  • it is not that the futur prôche is being used, considering that that requires "venir de + infinitive"
  • looking at some entries of "venir" (but not "venir de") on WordReference, the meanings given don't seem to work, such as "to come", "to visit". "To arrive/appear" weakly works ("The emotions and anxieties that will arrive to feed his work"), but I'm doubtful if this meaning actually is the meaning being used here.

To add to the confusion, I'm not even sure what the English translation means. In the short film, the animator does indeed extract objects (symbolizing memories, emotions, and anxieties) from his corpse, but I'm not sure what "œuvre" is being "fed"; the fact that I cannot meaningfully understand DeepL's English translation makes me doubt its correctness.


  1. How would you translate "Un animateur fouille son propre corps pour en extirper les souvenirs, les émotions et les angoisses qui viendront nourrir son œuvre."?
  2. What is the use of venir + infinitive in this sentence?

2 Answers 2


An explanation seems plausible; it is found in the TLFi.

III. − Empl. semi-auxil.
A. − Venir + inf. 2. [Indique le caractère fortuit ou possible de l'action exprimée par l'inf.]
♦ On viendra sans doute dire que.
♦ Que le courtisan ne vienne pas ramper sur mon amour; que la vipère ne vienne pas jeter son venin sur mes fleurs. (Dumas père, Intrigue et amour, 1847, 7etabl., 3, p. 274)

There is not necessarily a well established reason why a particular emotion or fear will be the basis for a contribution to this author's work, and this construction is meant to express this idea.

The translation could then be as follows.

  • emotions and anxieties that will happen to feed his work.

An animator searches his own body to extract the memories, emotions and anxieties that (will) enrich his work.

I've put "will" in parentheses because it's not clear from the context whether the enriching will take place in the future or if the French future tense actually refers here to the present, as it sometimes does.

I believe the sense of venir in this case is the following (from the TLFI online dictionary):

    1. [Indique une mise en relief de l'action exprimée par l'inf.] Vous venez prétendre que; ne venez pas dire que. Le souvenir vague et confus venait étinceler par moments à son esprit (SUE, Atar-Gull, 1831, p. 18). Mais une occupation vint la distraire (FLAUB., Cœur simple, 1877, p. 25).

So venir doesn't have a specific meaning here. It merely emphasizes the action expressed by the following verb. That's why I left venir untranslated above.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.