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  #21  
Old November 18th, 2004, 10:58 am
Kehlen Crow  Female.gif Kehlen Crow is offline
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Ludivine,
I have a Russian version of Windows98, I guess that's why your codes mean different symbols in it.
As to the character table, you're right - it's useful and usually shows symbol codes. The problem is, it is not installed on my computer (I got slightly shocked when I found that out, have to improve the situation!)


And I have one more question. It's again from a book I'm torturing.
There is a passage like "We met in the appartement of my friend" and the next phrase is On parlait de tout, de rien.

That is an impersonal sentence in Imparfait (am I right?)
- tout ~ all; rien ~ nothing so it should mean "We talked about everything and nothing"
It's rather clumsy... Help me please!


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  #22  
Old November 18th, 2004, 6:37 pm
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kehlen Crow
Ludivine,
I have a Russian version of Windows98, I guess that's why your codes mean different symbols in it.
As to the character table, you're right - it's useful and usually shows symbol codes. The problem is, it is not installed on my computer (I got slightly shocked when I found that out, have to improve the situation!)


And I have one more question. It's again from a book I'm torturing.
There is a passage like "We met in the appartement of my friend" and the next phrase is On parlait de tout, de rien.

That is an impersonal sentence in Imparfait (am I right?)
- tout ~ all; rien ~ nothing so it should mean "We talked about everything and nothing"
It's rather clumsy... Help me please!
If you still have your Windows cd, I think you could manage to install the character charts. If not, you can still cut and paste the accents I used in my alt commands chart.

Now for your question. In fact you are right, the verb is in "imparfait" and your translation is good too. "Parler de tout et de rien" is an expression in french so you don't really need to translate it. I'm sure there are some similar expressions that mean aproximately the same thing in other languages.


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  #23  
Old November 19th, 2004, 10:57 am
Kehlen Crow  Female.gif Kehlen Crow is offline
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Thank you, Ludivine!

And as to accents, I have found them in the chart already, it' just didn't occur to me before

It is the tricky thing when learning the language - you come across a word combination which seems to be a common saying (which means "ware language tricks", but if you don't find it in the dictionary, you still remain uncertain).


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  #24  
Old November 19th, 2004, 6:32 pm
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kehlen Crow
Thank you, Ludivine!

And as to accents, I have found them in the chart already, it' just didn't occur to me before

It is the tricky thing when learning the language - you come across a word combination which seems to be a common saying (which means "ware language tricks", but if you don't find it in the dictionary, you still remain uncertain).
Yes and online translators are really bad especially with common sayings and "proverbes". It can be really funny though.


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  #25  
Old November 19th, 2004, 7:36 pm
sketch  Undisclosed.gif sketch is offline
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Nice idea!
I've always wanted to improve my French but it's been hard living in an English world.

One thing I was never, ever able to understand was the use of 'de' and 'du'.

une tasse du cafe vs. une tasse de cafe vs. une tasse de la cafe.

Ok that last one was pretty bad but like I said, I never know which one to use.

Or why is it 'de Canada' and not 'du Canada'?


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  #26  
Old November 20th, 2004, 12:05 am
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch
Nice idea!
I've always wanted to improve my French but it's been hard living in an English world.

One thing I was never, ever able to understand was the use of 'de' and 'du'.

une tasse du cafe vs. une tasse de cafe vs. une tasse de la cafe.

Ok that last one was pretty bad but like I said, I never know which one to use.

Or why is it 'de Canada' and not 'du Canada'?
We say "une tasse de café" because the cup is filled with coffee as we would say "un verre de lait" or "un pot de sucre" and so on. "Du" is a contraction of "de le" used in front of masculine words. That's why we say "du sucre" and "de la crème", because "le sucre" is masculine and "la crème" is feminine. We never say "de le".
We say "du Canada" and not "de Canada". "I come from Canada" would be "Je viens du Canada" because it is "le Canada. And for "I come from China" would be "Je viens de la Chine" or "Je viens de Chine" because we say "la Chine".


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  #27  
Old November 20th, 2004, 12:52 am
crocodile  Female.gif crocodile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludivine
We say "du Canada" and not "de Canada". "I come from Canada" would be "Je viens du Canada" because it is "le Canada. And for "I come from China" would be "Je viens de la Chine" or "Je viens de Chine" because we say "la Chine".
Um, quick question. If so, why have I seen the phrase "produit DE Canada" on food lables?

Merci.


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  #28  
Old November 20th, 2004, 12:53 am
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocodile
Um, quick question. If so, why have I seen the phrase "produit DE Canada" on food lables?

Merci.
A wrong tranlation? They literaly translated "Product of Canada". You can't rely on labels. I once saw "Made in Turkey"/"Fabriqué en dinde".


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  #29  
Old November 20th, 2004, 3:09 pm
Kehlen Crow  Female.gif Kehlen Crow is offline
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Thanks
These translators are good for foming language jokes but for almost nothing more
With one exeption, though - I never met a mistake yet on www.lingvo.ru. But is only Russian-... and ...-Russian and I can't recommend it.

We started numbers and days of the week yesterday and hence I got several questions:
- why do you have such a queer formation of numers 70 - 99? Is it because earlier the number system's foundation was 60 (like for hours?).

and about history of French:
- how was the word for "today" - ajourd'hui - formed?
- and the days of the week, is it true they're named after the planets - it should be Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus. But what about Samedi and Dimanche?


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  #30  
Old November 20th, 2004, 5:04 pm
sketch  Undisclosed.gif sketch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludivine
A wrong tranlation? They literaly translated "Product of Canada". You can't rely on labels. I once saw "Made in Turkey"/"Fabriqué en dinde".
Fabriqué en dinde??? HAHAHAHAAHAHAHA

At work, sometimes we don't have time to do get a French translation of something so I try to figure it out on my own (I keep a notebook of website phrases for that-- I.m a web designer). I always wonder if my translations end up being funny. So apologies in advance to the Francophones!

So 'de' means 'to be filled with' (well, in a way) and 'du' is the short form of 'de le'. I wish I knew back in University it was that easy! Merci Ludivine!


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  #31  
Old November 20th, 2004, 7:39 pm
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch
So 'de' means 'to be filled with' (well, in a way) and 'du' is the short form of 'de le'. I wish I knew back in University it was that easy! Merci Ludivine!
Not exactly. to be filled with would be "rempli de" but went we're talking about somethings that fills a container, we use "de".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kehlen Crow
We started numbers and days of the week yesterday and hence I got several questions:
- why do you have such a queer formation of numers 70 - 99? Is it because earlier the number system's foundation was 60 (like for hours?).

and about history of French:
- how was the word for "today" - ajourd'hui - formed?
- and the days of the week, is it true they're named after the planets - it should be Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus. But what about Samedi and Dimanche?
First, the numbers. I don't know where this comes from. (If I find anything, I'll come back to you on that). I know that in Belgium and some parts of France, they say "septante", "octante" (or huitante) and "nonante" which I think is more logical than what we commonly use (follows "soixante") but you can't use this anywhere else in the world (I also think these words are less in use now).

Now for the days of the week. "aujourd'hui" comes from "au", "jour" and "hui". "Hui" alone is not a word that we use in french now but it come from the latin word "hodie" which is a contraction of the words "hoc" and "die" (jour) and means "en ce jour".

The days of the week, like you said, come from the planets.
Lundi = Lune
Mardi = Mars
Mercredi = Mercure
Jeudi = Jupiter
Vendredi = Venus

But Samedi comes from "Sabbat" and Dimanche comes from latin "Dies dominicus" which means "jour du Seigneur".


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  #32  
Old November 20th, 2004, 7:41 pm
Darynthe  Female.gif Darynthe is offline
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Do you know how you pronounces the years. For instance 1830? Is it mille huite cent trente or Dix-huit trente???

I am reading a few books in French right now.


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  #33  
Old November 20th, 2004, 7:49 pm
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darynthe
Do you know how you pronounces the years. For instance 1830? Is it mille huite cent trente or Dix-huit trente???

I am reading a few books in French right now.
You can say both "Mille huit cent trente" and "Dix-huit cent trente" but the second way to say date only works with past centuries. When we were in the 1900's, we used "Mille neuf cent" and not "Dix-neuf cent" and we could use the second way for date from the 1800's and before. Since we're in the 2000's, I suppose we can say "dix-neuf cent" too now.


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  #34  
Old November 22nd, 2004, 2:54 pm
Kehlen Crow  Female.gif Kehlen Crow is offline
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Thank you! It is such a great encouragement to know someone is willing answer your millions of questions

So Samedi is the day of witch-gatherings? Great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludivine
Since we're in the 2000's, I suppose we can say "dix-neuf cent" too now.
It's the same in French as in Russian, then. We couldn't say that the year was "One Thousand Nine Hundred ..." until the 2000s too, only "A Thousand ..." (I got shouted at at school for writing the first variant in a dictation).


And another question about days.
Why quinze jours = 2 weeks and
huit jours = 1 week
Are there any more strange calculations like these?


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  #35  
Old November 22nd, 2004, 6:16 pm
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kehlen Crow
Thank you! It is such a great encouragement to know someone is willing answer your millions of questions

So Samedi is the day of witch-gatherings? Great!

It's the same in French as in Russian, then. We couldn't say that the year was "One Thousand Nine Hundred ..." until the 2000s too, only "A Thousand ..." (I got shouted at at school for writing the first variant in a dictation).

And another question about days.
Why quinze jours = 2 weeks and
huit jours = 1 week
Are there any more strange calculations like these?
First, Samedi is more for the Jewish Sabbat not the witch-gatherings (that would be cool though).

And for your other question, those are just common expressions. In Quebec, we also say "un trente sou" for a quarter. Can't think of any more.


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  #36  
Old November 24th, 2004, 5:15 am
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Inkwolf  Undisclosed.gif Inkwolf is offline
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I studied French on my own...I got to the point where I could converse pretty well online at the Band Dessinee chat room. Then I ran smack up against the past tense and never got any further, and haven't messed with it for about five years now. I've forgotten most of what I learned, though I can often pick out meanings of simple sentences.

Forgive me while I lurk. Peut-etre je veux attempt de parler en peux plus tard...


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  #37  
Old November 24th, 2004, 5:23 am
Meiko  Female.gif Meiko is offline
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I love the French language. I studied it in primary and junior high school, and I still remember most of it when I see or hear French. Because I am homeschooled I studied French mathematics books, which was a really good way to keep my language skills sharp.

My father is really good at French. He studied it for three years full on, and copied out a whole French course book to memorise and translate.


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  #38  
Old November 24th, 2004, 12:30 pm
Kehlen Crow  Female.gif Kehlen Crow is offline
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Thank you Ludivine

(I confess I didn't know that Sabbat was Jewish and this other meaning was given by both English and French online ditionaries )

I have a question not only about French but about speaking foreign languages in general.

It is a widely spread stereotype of French people to dislike foreigners attemting to speak French. (A lot of people I know agree with it [none of them really had experienced this "snobbery" though ] )

It slightly irritates me when a person speaks Russian very-very well, but not perfectly well (you know, when there is something ... intonational or when it is a very slight misuse of the words, which gives him away as a foriegner). I automatically try to guess which languages is his first and it distracts attention. (solely French snobbery, huh?)
But one who speaks Russian a bit worse doesn't create such feeling.
(I asked several friends - they don't have such a feeling).

Do you understand it?
Moreover, do you think it is possible to speak another language without any accent at all?

And one more thing.
I like Joe Dassin's songs very much. As he is an American, did he speak French without accent?


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  #39  
Old November 24th, 2004, 7:25 pm
Ludivine  Female.gif Ludivine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kehlen Crow
Thank you Ludivine

(I confess I didn't know that Sabbat was Jewish and this other meaning was given by both English and French online ditionaries )

I have a question not only about French but about speaking foreign languages in general.

It is a widely spread stereotype of French people to dislike foreigners attemting to speak French. (A lot of people I know agree with it [none of them really had experienced this "snobbery" though ] )

It slightly irritates me when a person speaks Russian very-very well, but not perfectly well (you know, when there is something ... intonational or when it is a very slight misuse of the words, which gives him away as a foriegner). I automatically try to guess which languages is his first and it distracts attention. (solely French snobbery, huh?)
But one who speaks Russian a bit worse doesn't create such feeling.
(I asked several friends - they don't have such a feeling).

Do you understand it?
Moreover, do you think it is possible to speak another language without any accent at all?

And one more thing.
I like Joe Dassin's songs very much. As he is an American, did he speak French without accent?
Well, I think you can't speak without an accent because everybody has one depending on the region they come from. (Like I come from Quebec and my accent is very different from an accent from France). I think after many years of living in a country where they speak another language, you can manage to learn that language and slowly grab the right accent.

I don't remember hearing interviews with Joe Dassin so I can't tell you what kind of accent he had. In his songs he sounds french so I assume it was the same when speaking.

And Inkwolf, if you come up with any question while lurking, fell free to ask. I usually try to give answers every day.


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  #40  
Old November 25th, 2004, 5:29 am
starxgazer  Female.gif starxgazer is offline
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I'm sort of a beginer at French. So bear with me.
Un & Une are the Feminime and Masculine for My
& La and Le are Feminime and Masculine for The, Correct.
Also Jouer au foot, would mean to play Soccer,
As with étudier would be To study?
I'm just making sure, I'm having some trouble understanding this stuff. Thanks.


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