Here are the subtitles of the beginning of a (Québecois) youtube video:

Plus on me demande de me prononcer sur un sujet, plus finalement, ça creuse l’écart entre mon désir vraiment de parler de ce sujet-là, et la motivation extrinsèque, qui est le fait de finalement répondre au besoin, et donc, performer à travers cette prise de parole-là.

and here is DeepL's translation:

The more I am asked to give my opinion on a subject, the more it widens the gap between my real desire to speak about that subject and the extrinsic motivation, which is the fact of finally responding to the need, and therefore, to perform through speaking out.

I couldn't understand the original French subtitles, and even when trying to understand DeepL's translation, I couldn't understand the DeepL translation! I understood it better when I took out "the fact of", and when I assumed that the "et donc" is just filler (ie, and does not mean "therefore"). So, my best attempt at rewriting the sentence, it makes a lot more sense to me:

.. the extrinsic motivation, which is finally responding to the need". [And so, it's as if I then] perform through speaking out.

I'm not confident in my rewritten sentence, or my guess that 'le fait que' is pure filler, because I still don't really understand why she adds "perform through speaking out" (performer à travers cette prise de parole-là). In other words:

  • The first part of what she is saying is talking about internal motivation to speak on a subject, vs the external motivation that comes from being asked a question, forcing her to finally respond to that question.
  • So, I don't understand where the idea of "performing through speaking out" continues / elaborates on this idea?


  1. Does "le fait de" add any meaning to the sentence, or does it pure filler, ie where taking out "le fait de" would make the sentence mean the exact same thing?
  2. Is it true that "et donc" is pure filler?
  3. Why does she say "performer à travers cette prise de parole-là"? It doesn't seem to fit with any of what she says before. What meaning is she trying to communicate to us, by saying it?
  • 1
    It might help to know that she's using finalement as a filler word (though this is clearer in the second instance of the word than the first), meaning something like "at the end of the day" or "let me put it this way." It should be set off by commas.
    – Anonymous
    Aug 10, 2021 at 0:51

1 Answer 1

  1. Taking le fait de out would render the sentence less understandable. Le fait de makes clear that what follows explains what means the scholarly expression motivation extrinsèque here while using the shorter qui est finalement répondre au besoin would have required the listener to think a little bit more to get what was meant.

  2. Et donc is not a filler, it introduces a consequence.

  3. Performer à travers cette prise de parole is the consequence of répondre au besoin.

I understand this excerpt to describe the gap that the person speaking experiences between:

  1. her lack of internal motivation to elaborate on some sensitive subjects;
  2. the social pressure leading her to actually elaborate on these subjects.
  • oh, now i understand the sentence better, though maybe not 100%. with your answer, i see that "le fait de... [all the way to the end of the sentence]" is explaining what motivation extrinsèque means; i think if I were to say the same thing (in English), i would say something like "What I mean by external motivation, is that it pressures me to finally respond to the need, which makes me speak out".
    – silph
    Aug 9, 2021 at 0:20

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