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Apprivoiser

The standard translation for the French word “apprivoiser” is to tame, domesticate, or to socialize. It is a painfully bad way to translate such a beautiful word. In the children’s story Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Little Prince asks the fox, <<Qu’est-ce que signifie “apprivoiser”?>> The fox explains to the Little Prince, <<C’est une chose trop oubliée, […], ça signifie “Crée des liens…>>. (The story is lovely in its original language, so as to not disturb its natural beauty, I will translate it here: “What does ‘apprivoiser’ mean? “It is a thing that is often forgotten, it means ‘to create the bonds’.)

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Thus as you can see, “apprivoiser” means to connect with someone. Of course, the English word “to bond” seems sufficient enough. However, “apprivoiser” signifies a much deeper level of connection between two beings. It is to entrust one’s soul to the other person. Just as the fox says, <<Si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde.>> (If you apprivoise with me, we will need each other. You will be unique in the world to me. I will be, for you, unique in the world as well.)