Et si tu le fais bien et vite, tu comprends francais.
Has Oz mentioned that his grandmother was French? Oh, there is so little we know of each other, but then, very little we know of ourselves.
“Tout bien ou rien.”
I think I got this from John Muir in his dedication of the book On National Parks, 1901. He got it elsewhere, though where, I don’t know. The sentiment is surely an old one.
I translate it as all is well or nothing. That is literal. Somewhat like the English, All or nothing, but not quite.
Some translations give it as, Do your best or not at all. That works too. If that is the case it is like the Flemish, Als Ik Kan, literally, as I can, and figuratively, to the best of my abilities.
The French phrase, tout bien ou rien, contains opposites, all or nothing, polar extremes, it is good or it is not. Shakespeare likde this form of “simplespeak”. It is ambiguous and clear, depending on the intended purpose of the speaker. One is afraid to argue for seeming the fool.
Ambiguity is a fact of life. It puts one in trouble and keeps us out of trouble. Just ask any politician, who has to explain contrary positions to opposing sides.
Tout bien ou rien, c’est bien fait, c’est tout.
Now, quick, try this – Vite fait bien fait.