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18
votes
5answers
8k 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
720 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Does 'bon marché' have the same connotation of “low quality” as 'cheap' in English

Somehow bon marché and économique sound positive to me, as some kind of praise. In English cheap has a connotation of not good. It can be used for an expensive thing but not well made. Am I just ...
1
vote
4answers
129 views

“He was like” vs “il était genre” similarities and differences

What are the similarities and differences between the Americanism 'He was like...' And the French expression 'Il était genre...'? They both introduce citations.
5
votes
3answers
163 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 ...