IronJohnSr wrote:The expression is "tous les temps en temps", which translated means literally "every time to time", or idiomatically "every once in a while".
Sorry I'm so late to this party. Funnily enough, the Wikipedia entry quoted by Slidell
references the discussion on this very page for its view that "Tu le ton son temps" means "Tous est en son temps" - but IronJohnSr
have it right.
You get to "Tous les temps en temps" from "Tu le ton son temps" in a two-step process (see what I did there?). The first is to apply the "rules of liaison" that govern French pronunciation, and then produce a phonetic transliteration of the French pronunciation for English speakers.
Rules of liaison? A final 's' is never pronounced in French except
when the following word begins with a vowel. In those circumstances, the final 's' is
pronounced, but as part of the following word: it forms a liaison
with the following word. So the pronunciation of "Tous les temps en temps" - in French - is "Tous les temp s'en
temps": the only 's' that's pronounced in the whole expression is that 3rd one; because it immediately precedes the 'e' of "en".
So, transliterating "Tous les temp s'en temps" phonetically for English-speakers gives you "Tu le ton son temps"; or as it's rendered (perhaps more consistently) elsewhere: "Tu le ton son ton".
The trouble is that the words used to produce these Anglo-phonetic representations of "Tous les temp s'en temps" can also all be found in French dictionaries, and that's where the confusion starts to arise: "Tu le ton son temps" and "Tu le ton son ton" make no sense in French - "You the tone his time...?? You the tone his tone...??" In this context however, they're not French words: they're made-up English ones. They only make sense (in French) if spoken aloud - by an English-speaker!
Éspèrant que ça vous aide!!
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