A true friend

Un véritable ami

  caring, respectful, loving
  is loyal, supportive and caring.
  who actually cares about you, with whom you have a lot of memories
  who is always there for you
  who is always there for you, who loves you for who you are
  who is always there when you need them
  who is there for you, who listens to you
  who is there through everything
  who listens and is honest.
  who listens and is willing to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing
  who listens and laughes
  who listens with every sense.
  who puts himself out for me
  who puts your needs above theirs
  who truly listens to you instead of just waiting for their turn to talk.
  who will always listen and is understanding.
  who will not judge you no matter what you do.
  who will stand up for you no matter what and really loves you
  you can always count on
  you can do just about anything in front of and not be afraid of embarrassment.

à qui ont peu tout dire, qui est toujours là, qui conseille, qui soutient, avec qui on partage des activités
avec qui on a beacoup d'afinité et avec qui on partage tous
on passe de bons moments et qui nous soutient quand on a des problèmes
que me connait très bien
qui est toujours là pour moi, avec qui je m'entends
qui est toujours là  quand on a besoin de lui
qui répond toujours présent, qui nous connaît, qui ne nous juge pas, avec qui on peut tout aborder
se marre avec son ami
sur qui on peut compter
sûr qui on peut compter en cas de problème
sur qui on peut compter, qui est tjrs là, qui nous soutient, avec qui on s'amuse, activités communes, qui nous comprend, on est là l'un pour l'autre, expériences communes
sur qui tu peux compter dans les moments difficile, qui comprend ta facon de penser et ta mentalité



Despite all this talk of Americans having a different idea of what a
friend is than the French, our responses to "a true friend" seem pretty
similar. I think, for us, "a friend" is very different from "a true
friend" - we expect less of them. We agree that a friend is always
there for you and is someone you can count on.

I noticed that the INT students responded with activities and joint
experiences which was less evident in the Brown students' responses. At
least for me, I'd still consider a "true friend" someone you spend a lot
of time with and share experiences with, but since that could be true of
any friend, I didn't bother to write that down.

INT students, would you have had different responses if the question had
been "a friend" rather than "a true friend"?


Je crois que pour nous, le mot ami est déjà très fort. Lorsqu'on parle de quelqu'un que
l'on connaît moins, on parle de copains ou de connaissances. Un ami est toujours un
véritable ami !!!

I guess that could be a difference in cultural usage. I'm not sure English has a word
that's used the same as "copains" and "acquaintances" in English signifies people who are
still pretty distant from you. I know that anyone I would consider a real "friend" would
be a "true friend" but I may call other people "friends" for many reasons, like not
wanting to offend someone or trying not to be lonely.

An interesting example of this use of friends is a website that many people use here at
Brown: TheFacebook.com. It is a relatively new online directory of college students
where you can write a little bit about yourself and link to your friends' profiles. A lot of
people try to get as many "friends" as possible, regardless of whether they are actually
friends or not. Having more "friends" can make people feel more proud or safe.

Ideally, "friend" should be used only for real "friends", but that is not always true in
reality. Is the word "ami" never used to be polite as "friend" can be? What standards
must a person meet to be an "ami"?

Je crois très sincèrement qu'utiliser le mot "Ami" de manière polie à l'égard de personnes
avec tu n'as finalement pas beaucoup d'affinités serait hypocrite...

En ce qui me concerne et cela reste mon avis sur le sujet, on ne peut pas avoir des
dizaines et des dizaines d'amis ou sinon c'est que tu donnes un nouveau sens au mot, un
sens qui se rapprocherait clairement de "friend". Mes amis, ces personnes sur qui je
peux me reposer aveuglément, ces personnes avec qui je m'entends plus que bien, je
les compte à peine avec les 10 doigts de mes 2 mains et je trouve ça logique... Alors
lorsque tu me parles de personnes cherchant à se faire le plus de "friends" possible, ça
me laisse songeur... C'est en tout cas contraire à ma notion d'"ami".

Retiens simplement qu'il n'y a pas de critères particulier pour mériter ce titre. C'est avant
tout une alchimie, des atomes crochus, ça n'a rien à voir avec un statut social, c'est du
domaine du sentimental et de l'irrationnel ou presque...

I agree that to name people "friends" merely to be polite is indeed
However, I would argue that it is difficult to truly know who your friends
are. There is the idea of "fair weather friends" - friends that seem true
until there is a problem. There is also a question of time: how long do
you need to know someone before you can be certain they are your
friends...and a question of location: what if your friends are far away
and cannot be leaned on in daily manner?
Which of these would you call a friend? Can an "ami" become a "copain"
or an "acquaintance" through distance or time? What about the
These are all pretty rhetorical and philosophical questions, but it's
interesting to consider the different ways one word can be treated.

L'amitié est une chose très importante. Pour ma part je n'est pas beaucoup de vrai ami (
4 ou 5 au plus). les autres personne sont des amis occasionnel mais avec qui je ne
partage pas grand chose. Je veuit dire par cela que je ne vais pas me découvrire a eux
et leur dévoilé des choses qui me sont propre.
Avec mes amis proche je partage enormement de chose et il y'a une véritable entraide
entre nous.
Au niveau mot mon ami proche je le présente comme "mon ami" et pour les autres le
mot est "un ami".

You make a good point in distinguishing between "my friend" and "a
friend"- for me, "a friend" can be used in the same way, whereas a list
of "my friends" would be much shorter.

This dialogue on friendship is interesting. I think it's important to
distinguish the difference between friends and best friends. We use
the term best friend to define those people that are the closest. On
average, most Americans only have five to ten best friends, maybe
even less. The idea of having as many friends as possible perhaps is
also true, but these friends are not as close. It's important to
recognize that we all value intimate friendships as an important part
of life.

Hi AR!!!

I agree with you 100%. I can count my true friends on my one
hand. I have only a few people I can and will tell everything
personal. For example, one of those is my roommate at Brown,
one is my boyfriend, and another one is my sister. I think there is a
clear difference between a friend/acquaintance and a true friend as
you stated. I know that my true friends have changed over the
years as well. I had a few true friends in High School that I no longer
talk to and I've made a few true friends here at Brown that I feel I
will be friends with throughout life. I feel like you meet a lot of your
true friends/friends for life in college because you are more mature
at that age, a lot more mature than you were in High School.

My high school, for example, was divided into many different social
groups. There were the jocks, the brains, the smart jocks, the
druggies, the computer geeks, the people who believed they were
the coolest in the world, etc. People in my High School were so
immature that it was basically, "illegal" to talk to someone outside
your group. You were always glared at or made fun of if you tried
to date or talk to someone outside your group. I thought this was
the worst situation in the world. I couldn't wait to go to college and
get out of all the stupid games played in High School. Now that I am
in college, I feel like you are older, and more mature. I don't find
there are a lot of "groups" here at Brown. There are certain groups
of people like the sports groups, theater and music groups, etc., but
I have never felt like I can't or shouldn't talk to someone just
because they are involved with a certain activity or part of a group
with which I am not involved. Do you agree with me Brown

Is there this kind of division in high schools or colleges in France?
What are you personal experiences with friends in High School vs.
College. Do you think there is a big difference in the maturity level
of the different schools? Are most of your true friends today people
you met when you were little, in high school, or in college? Is there
a difference between your friends from High School and your friends
from College?

I feel like I am not as close to my friends from High School now that
I am away for most of the year at Brown. I don't talk to them that
often - maybe sometimes on the phone or on Instant Messanger,
but in reality, not that often at all. I am more connected to my
friends here at Brown. INT students, what is the case with your
friends from High School vs. College? How do you feel about this?



Olivia, I agree with you for the most part. I think Brown students are a lot more socially
mature than people in my high school were. Our groups in high school were not quite as
rigidly defined as yours sound like, but conversations with people outside of your
immediate group of friends tended to be superficial.

I have kind of picked up my "true" friends along the way - I have one from 5th grade,
and a few from high school who I am still very close to. I think it's hard to tell who your
true friends are until you no longer live close to them because then you see who you still
keep in touch with. I have a fairly good idea of the Brown students I'll keep in touch with
once I leave Brown but again, it's hard to tell until it actually happens.
I agree that "true" friends are few and can be counted on one or two hands, but I have a
lot of friends who I consider good friends - who I might not tell EVERYTHING to, or count
on in every situation, but who I seek out and enjoy talking to and spending time with.
INT students, do you have friends like this, or would you consider your friends either
a "true" friend or an acquaintance?

pour moi un ami est un ami..
il n'y a pas de faux ami ou de vrai ami... on est ami ou on ne l'est pas, point.
la distinction que je peux faire : une connaissance, un copain, un ami
là on parlait d'amis, effectivement mes réponses auraient été différentes si la question
avait porté sur "un vrai copain est un copain qui..."
une question intéressante aurait été : combien d'amis au maximum vous pouvez avoir
en même temps ? en ce qui me concerne les amis se comptent sur les doigts d'une main
au maximum, et vous ?