Can I borrow your?

Article published on Nov. 1, 2006
Article published on Nov. 1, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Across EU lending things is part of daily life. Which girl hasn’t borrowed her friend´s cool top? But all lenders will understand when the Dutch say “lenen doet wenen” (lending out makes you cry in the end): your favourite dress will come back with a stain.

Lending is a sensitive issue. That’s why the French make it clear that borrowing has a temporary character: “il s´appelle revient” (‘come back’). Paradoxically people asking you to lend something is often your own fault. You want to share your experiences, books or favourite music. If you lend your ‘precious’, do like the Italians or Spanish respectively, and say; “si chiama Pietro e torna indietro” (he’s called Pietro and comes back directly) or “es de Huelva” (‘it´s from Huelva’ – a Spanish town - but pronounced as ´de vuelva´: it comes back).