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  Would someone be kind enough to translate for me the following statement. 

         "I study french in case one day I may have to seek political asylum in france, when things get really bad, when they imprison you because you speak your mind.  I believe france stands for liberty."

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"J'étudie le français au cas où, un jour, je doive aller demander l'asile politique en Frace, quand les choses tourneront vraiment mal, quand on vous emprisonnera pour dire ce que vous pensez. Je pense que la France représente la liberté."



I'll correct 2 things: doive demander l'asile politique en France...  or sois obligé de demander l'asile politique...  I prefer the second.

...quand on vous emprisonnera pour avoir dit ce que vous pensez.

Erwan -- just out of interest, do you prefer this to " serais obligé de..."?

I think that you can hear " serais obligé de..."  or " suis obligé" but I don't think it's correct even if it's more and more common to not use the subjonctive. 

The last French grammar reform authorize to substitute the subjonctive present  by indicative present but it often sounds weird (to my hears :-) ).

So, I really prefer " sois obligé de...".

Erwan, I think the conditional with "au cas où..." is pretty well accepted (see examples in Thomas, "Dictionnaire des difficultés de la langue française"; Colin, "Dictionnaire des difficultés du français", who actually says "Noter l'emploi de la forme en -rais"; Larousse and other dictionaries list examples with the conditional under "cas").


In contracts that I translate (which are obviously formulated in quite formal language), "Au cas où..." with the conditional is very common.


The subjunctive is prescriptively advocated with "au cas que...", but I've not seen an author prescribe it with "où". I wonder if using the subjunctive with "au cas où" is essentially a hypercorrection.

You seems to have right (

I'm a (too) high defender of the subjonctive :-)

Thank you, that's very interesting-- my observation had been that people just automatically used the conditional. I didn't realise there was this controversy!

Another point of view,


here is a specific use of the subjonctive tense. I'll try to provide you a poor english translation..


you can use the adverb "ne" in this case :

"Dans les subordonnées dépendant d'un verbe ou une locution exprimant la crainte" : When the main clause express "fear", you can use "ne" + subjonctive in the subordinate clause.


The previous updated sentence   :


J'étudie le français de peur qu' un jour, je ne sois obligé de demander l'asile politique en France


As for me, we have to "rebuild" these sentence, as shown in the example supra in order to provide  a correct translation.


here the source link


PS : congratulation for the high quality of users answers in this forum. (j'ai l'impression de maltraiter le français quand je lis vos réponses =)

If it's with "de peur que...", rather than "au cas où", then yes, the subjunctive would be used, often with "ne" as you say. I wasn't aware of a view that "au cas où" was considered as "une locution exprimant la crainte" (at least from the point of view of deciding which tense to use).


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