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18
votes
5answers
7k views

Pourquoi « comment vous appelez-vous », et pas « quel est votre nom » comme en anglais ?

We know that when French people want to know someone's name, ask “Comment vous appelez-vous ?”. However this literally means “How do you call yourself?”. Why they don't use something like “quel est ...
14
votes
3answers
641 views

What is the difference between “concurrence” and “compétition”, and why?

It always confounded me why Russian language borrowed the Western word “concurrence” (конкуренция) to mean “competition”. English concurrence means “coincidence” or “agreement” more often than not, ...
5
votes
3answers
153 views

In dialogue, how do we separate the speaker's from the narrator's voice?

I am reading Le Comte de Monte Cristo, and the following sentence completely stumped me. I had to obtain an English translation to work out what it was saying. — Oui, dit la marquise, sans que ce ...