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The question has been answered in part in this post: How serious is saying "Je t'aime"?, with Papa Poule answering:

... you’ll know soon enough what it meant to her or at least how she chose to take it. If she responds with “Moi non plus” you’ll know that she's a playful “keeper” who’s ready to take it anyway you want her to. – Papa Poule Feb 6, 2016 at 17:41

Getting to the nub of my question: did the Serge Gainsbourg song Je t'aime…moi non plus change the meaning of the phrase je t'aime? If I recall correctly, before the Jane Birkin version was released in 1969, it was not a strong statement, and meant more like Je t'aime bien does today. Back in those distant days it took some flowers to get the message across.

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  • Please clarify, is your question about if the song changed the meaning of Je t'aime ? That's your title perhaps, otherwise this is a duplicate and a matter of opinion. Please take a moment to see the help center et bienvenue sur French Language SE.
    – livresque
    Jul 24, 2023 at 0:51
  • Thank you for the response. I have read the help center advice on posing a question. This is a somewhat duplicated question, and definitely seeking opinion. Jul 24, 2023 at 1:09
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    If we look at 19th c. literature, we can see that the difference between je t'aime and je t'aime bien was the same as it is today. Flowers or no flowers. Je t'aime bien was and still is a lesser statement.
    – None
    Jul 24, 2023 at 7:23
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    Is je t'aime serious? Yes. Does Gainsbourg's song change its meaning? No.
    – jlliagre
    Jul 24, 2023 at 11:01
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    Done! I guess I was thinking in FranEspanol. :) Jul 25, 2023 at 17:57

1 Answer 1

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How serious is saying "Je t'aime"?

Serious.

Did the Serge Gainsbourg song Je t'aime…moi non plus change the meaning of the phrase je t'aime?

No, je t'aime has the same meaning it still has today in that song. The moi non plus line reflects the particular relationship between the lovers, asymmetrical and/or with ups and downs.

If I recall correctly, before the Jane Birkin version was released in 1969, it was not a strong statement, and meant more like Je t'aime bien does today.

No, it was already a strong statement in 1969, as it has been for many centuries.

Back in those distant days it took some flowers to get the message across.

Flowers could complement or substitute the words, but were not obligatory.

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